The U.S. Supreme Court announced on February 24 that it will review a 2019 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, in which that court rejected 1st Amendment claims by the Catholic Social Services agency in Philadelphia that lost its foster services contract with the City by insisting it would refuse to provide services to same-sex couples. The unanimous appeals court decision affirmed a ruling by U.S. District Judge … <Read More>
The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals refused a request by Catholic Social Services (CSS) to block enforcement of the City of Philadelphia’s requirement that the agency not discriminate against same-sex couples who seek certification to be foster parents. Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 11711, 2019 WL 1758355 (3rd Cir. 2019). The April 22 ruling by a unanimous three-judge panel, which affirmed the denial of a preliminary injunction by District … <Read More>
The New Jersey Appellate Division, the state’s intermediate appeals court, issued an important decision on August 17 expanding the range of “bystanders” to whom negligent actors may have liability for causing emotional distress to include non-marital same-sex families. A unanimous three-judge panel, taking account of the momentous developments in public attitudes about LGBT families over the past 38 years, ruled in Moreland v. Parks, 2018 WL 3945312, 2018 N.J. Super. LEXIS 120, that the … <Read More>
When a child is born to a woman married to another woman, both women should be listed as parents on the child’s birth certificate. So ruled the Supreme Court, voting 6-3 and reversing a decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court on the last day of its October 2016 Term, which was coincidentally the second anniversary of the Court’s historic marriage equality ruling, Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015), which provides the basis for … <Read More>
The New York Appellate Division, Second Department, an intermediate appellate court based in Brooklyn, issued a unanimous ruling on April 6 affirming a decision by Suffolk County Family Court Judge Deborah Poulos recognizing the parental status of a lesbian co-parent, now resident in Arizona, who is seeking visitation with two children who were conceived through donor insemination while she was legally partnered with their birth mother, first as a California domestic partner and then as … <Read More>
Nassau County (NY) Family Court Judge Edmund M. Dane rejected a lesbian co-parent’s joint custody petition on June 30, finding that despite the 2011 passage of New York’s Marriage Equality Law, the state’s child custody laws fail to acknowledge parental claims of a co-parent who was not married to the child’s birth mother when the child was born. Jann P. v. Jamie P., NYLJ 1202664272007 (published July 23, 2014).
According to Judge Dane’s opinion, the … <Read More>
Responding to a request from a French court for an interpretation of European law, the 5th Chamber of the European Court of Justice ruled today, December 12, that an employee of a French bank who requested leave and a marriage bonus under the employer’s policy on the occasion of his entering into a pact civil (the French equivalent of a civil union) with his same-sex partner in 2007 had suffered direct discrimination on the basis … <Read More>
A Colorado Administrative Law Judge ruled on December 6, 2013, that a bakery had violated the state’s public accommodations law when its owner refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay male couple on July 19, 2012.
Colorado does not have same-sex marriage, and only enacted a civil union law open to same-sex couples early in 2013. Back in 2012, however, Coloradans Charlie Craig and David Mullins planned to get married in Massachusetts and … <Read More>
An August 8 decision by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania (an intermediate appellate court) shows why same-sex couples, especially in states that do not provide any legal status for same-sex couples, should take the trouble to make wills and other legal documents to deal with contingencies, pending the time that same-sex marriage becomes available in the state. Although the court’s ruling in In re Estate of Richard A. Devoe, 2013 Pa. Super. LEXIS 2129, may … <Read More>
Response by the “defendants” in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases to the Supreme Court’s June 26 rulings was swift.
Within hours after the Court announced that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional, the President had announced his “applause” for the decision and instruction to the Attorney General to coordinate with executive branch department heads to seek “smooth” implementation for federal recognition of lawfully-contracted same-sex marriages. Some of the quickest responses came rolling in right … <Read More>