Same-Sex Family Law
Over the past few weeks, the elected register of wills in Montgomery County has been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage. So far, at least 100 licenses have been issued to gay men and women hoping to receive the same rights and protections under the law as heterosexual couples.
As the only Northeastern state that does not legally recognize same-sex marriage, the county clerk’s actions have caused a stir on both sides of the issue.
Supporters argue that the open defiance is an act of civil disobedience, not unlike women fighting for the right to vote, or African Americans fighting for civil rights. However, opponents say the county clerk is flat out breaking the law and “may be guilty of a misdemeanor for each act of neglect or refusal.”
According to an On Top Magazine report, Pennsylvania State Representative Daryl Metcalfe recently announced that he will reintroduce a resolution that aims to ban gay marriage in the state. Presently, state law prevents same-sex marriage, as do laws in 30 others U.S. states, though there are a number of states that do allow gays to marry or are in the process of changing their laws, indicating a significant political shift in the country. However, Metcalfe states that it is important to “support traditional marriage” and the proposed amendment would eliminate confusion as to what constitutes a legal marriage in Pennsylvania. Read the rest »
A new study entitled Securing Legal Ties for Children Living in LGBT Families: A State Strategy and Policy Guide details the current state laws that may put a child in the U.S. at risk and undermine their stability, according to a LGBTQNation.com report. Discriminatory parenting laws in more than 30 states may mean that a child being raised in an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) family will be a legal stranger to at least one of his or her parents. The report notes that this lack of legal recognition for LGBT families harms children and may threaten their ability to thrive. An estimated two million children are being raised by gay parents, and most live in states where they are excluded by family law. Read the rest »
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)-based Williams Institute is a “national think tank” committed to advancing sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy through research. This month, The Williams Institute released its most recent study, Patterns of Relationship Recognition by Same-Sex Couples in the United States. Read the rest »