A gay Manhattan man is fighting his
father's will, which specifies that he must marry a woman for his
children to get his money.
Frank Mandelbaum, who died in 2007,
instructed in his will that his son Robert Mandelbaum must be married
to the mother of his children within six months of their birth,
otherwise the children get none of his money.
Robert, a Manhattan Criminal Court
Judge, argues that he married his husband Jonathan O'Donnell shortly
after their 16-month-old son Cooper's birth via a surrogate,
entitling the child to a portion of his father's estate. He stated
that O'Donnell is the only “mother” Cooper knows, the New
York Post reported.
At stake is a portion of the $180,000
trust Frank Mandelbaum left his three grandchildren.
Robert Mandelbaum turned to Manhattan
Surrogate Court to settle the dispute, claiming the demand is
discriminatory and violates New York law.
The will “imposes a general restraint
on marriage by compelling Robert Mandelbaum … to enter into a sham
marriage,” he said in court papers.
“There is no doubt that what [Frank
Mandelbaum] has sought to do is induce Robert to marry a woman,”
Anne Bederka, a law guardian appointed to represent Cooper, wrote in
Robert Mandelbaum said his father was
aware that he is gay and knew his longtime partner.