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Cases & Advocacy

Hogsett v. Neale Amicus

Edi Hogsett and Marcia Neale were a same-sex couple who were together for thirteen years. When their relationship ended, they jointly sought a dissolution of a common law marriage. Later, Marcia argued that she and Edi were not actually married, in part because they could not have legally married prior to marriage equality.

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Cases & Advocacy

Dvash-Banks v. Pompeo Amicus

Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks are a married same-sex couple who had twins through surrogacy in Canada, where they live. Each of them is the genetic father of one of the twins, but both fathers are legally-recognized as parents of the twins. Elad is an Israeli citizen and Andrew is a U.S. and Canadian dual citizen. The U.S. Consulate refused to recognize both twins as U.S. citizens because one child is not genetically tied to Andrew.

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Cases & Advocacy

Sherman v. Rouse Amicus

Scott Sherman and Martin Rouse entered into a civil union in Vermont in 2003. When their relationship broke down and they made the difficult decision to end their civil union, a Circuit Court in Maryland denied the couple the right to do so.

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Cases & Advocacy

In the Interest of A.E.

C.W. and M.N. were a married same-sex couple who decided to conceive a child using an anonymous sperm donor. Unfortunately, the couple separated during the pregnancy, but C.W. was present when their baby, A.E. was born, and was involved in A.E.’s care and support until M.N. stopped allowing her to see the baby. Even though Texas recognizes that different-sex spouses who conceive using a sperm donor are parents, the court refused to recognize C.W. as a parent.

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Cases & Advocacy

Turner v. Steiner (Oakley)

Heather Turner and Liza Oakley were a married same-sex couple who had a child using assisted reproduction. Heather gave birth to the child and both parents were listed on the birth certificate. Heather and Liza raised the baby together, with Liza staying as the primary caregiver until they broke up the following year. In their divorce, Heather argued that Liza was not a parent.

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Cases & Advocacy

Pidgeon v. Turner Amicus

In 2013, Houston mayor Annise Parker directed that same-sex spouses of city employees who were legally married in another state be afforded the same benefits as different-sex spouses of city employees. Two individuals, represented by the anti-LGBTQ group Texas Values, filed a lawsuit in Texas state court challenging the extension of benefits to same-sex spouses, arguing that it violated Texas’s prohibition on marriage for same-sex couples.

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Cases & Advocacy

Pavan v. Smith

The Arkansas Department of Health’s refusal to issue birth certificates naming both parents in a same-sex marriage violated the clear ruling of the United States Supreme Court in its 2015 marriage equality decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, which requires states to treat the marriages of same-sex couples the same as other couples’ marriages for all purposes under the law. NCLR petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 2017 overturned the decision of the Arkansas Supreme Court.

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Cases & Advocacy

Krall v. OPM

In May 2017, NCLR and Teresa Renaker of Renaker Hasselman LLP appealed a decision by the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to collect an overpayment of benefits that resulted from decades of discrimination. After 38 years of service, when Ms. Krall notified OPM of her marriage to her loving partner of 21 years, OPM informed the couple that if they elected a survivor pension benefit, the couple would have to first repay hundreds of thousands of dollars of retirement benefits Ms. Krall received as a single life annuity.

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Cases & Advocacy

O’Connor v. Pension Plan for Office Employees of the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York, Inc.

In November 2016, NCLR and attorney Teresa Renaker appealed a decision by the New York Philharmonic-Symphony’s pension plan denying a spousal benefit to Thomas O’Connor, a retired employee, and his husband, Victor Bumbalo. The plan originally denied the benefit on the basis that federal law in effect when Mr. O’Connor retired in 2009 did not recognize the marriage.

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