News & Opinion
for this issue
NCLR Applauds Florida Officials’ Decision Not to Appeal Adoption Ban Ruling
A Statement from NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell
10.22.10—Today Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced that he would not appeal last month’s ruling by the Third District Court of Appeal striking down Florida’s anti-gay adoption ban as unconstitutional. Florida Governor Charlie Crist and the state’s Department of Children and Families had already announced that they would not appeal the ruling. The ruling will become final after today, and will be binding on courts across the state.
NCLR Applauds Court Ruling Striking Down Adoption Ban
Court Rules Florida’s Anti-Gay Adoption Law Is Unconstitutional
09.22.10—Today the Third District Court of Appeal in Florida unanimously upheld a 2008 Miami-Dade Circuit Court decision striking down Florida's anti-gay adoption ban and permitting Martin Gill, a gay man, to adopt two foster children he and his partner have parented for years.
NCLR Hails Landmark Inter-American Commission of Human Rights Decision
Decision finds Chile violated lesbian’s human rights
04.08.10—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) hails a landmark decision by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) rebuking a Chilean Supreme Court ruling in which a woman lost custody of her children for the sole reason that she is a lesbian. The IACHR found that “the Chilean state had violated Karen Atala Riffo’s right to live free from discrimination” when it revoked Atala's custody of her children because she was living with her lesbian partner.
NCLR Settles Same-Sex Parent Custody Dispute
03.05.10—Today the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) announced the resolution of the custody dispute between Kim Smith and Maggie Quale in Santa Cruz, California.
U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Decision Protecting Children Born to Same-Sex Couples
California Court of Appeal ruling stands; Lesbian mother’s parental rights upheld
02.22.10—Today, the United States Supreme Court denied review in a custody dispute involving a non-biological lesbian mother whose former partner, the child’s biological mother, was seeking to strip her of any parental rights.
New Law Protects Children Born to Same-Sex Parents in the District of Columbia
National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, and Law Professor Nancy Polikoff applaud new legal protections for children
07.22.09—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington (GLAA), and American University law professor Nancy Polikoff applaud the enactment of a new law to protect children born to same-sex parents in the District of Columbia. Councilmember Phil Mendelson was the principal sponsor of the measure known as Bill 18-66, the Domestic Partnership Judicial Determination of Parentage Act of 2009.
Florida Court of Appeal Holds that Florida Must Honor Second-Parent Adoptions by Same-Sex Couples
05.13.09—Today, the Florida Court of Appeal unanimously reversed a lower court ruling and held that Florida must give full faith and credit to adoptions granted to same-sex couples by other states, holding that Lara Embry, the plaintiff in the case, “must be given the same rights as any other adoptive parent in Florida." The court based its decision on the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the federal constitution and a Florida statute requiring Florida to honor adoption decrees from other states. Noting that "there are no public policy exceptions to the full faith and credit which is due to judgments entered in another state,” the court concluded that "regardless of whether the trial court believed that the Washington adoption violated a clearly established public policy in Florida, it was improper for the trial court to refuse to give the Washington judgment full faith and credit." A concurring opinion further noted that Embry’s "same-sex relationship with [the other parent] is irrelevant for the purpose of enforcing her rights and obligations as an adoptive parent."
California Supreme Court Unanimously Rules That Doctors Cannot Deny Treatment to Lesbian Patients
Justices reject attempt to create exception to California non-discrimination law
08.18.08—Today, the California Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Benitez v. North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group, declaring that the physicians of the North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group cannot deny medical treatment to individuals based on their sexual orientation. In 1999, North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group refused to provide fertility treatments to Guadalupe Benitez because Benitez is a lesbian in a same-sex relationship. In its historic decision, the court ruled today that California law prohibits such discrimination and rejected the doctors’ argument that their religious beliefs should enable them to deny treatment based on an otherwise legally protected characteristic. Jennifer C. Pizer of Lambda Legal argued the case before the California Supreme Court on May 28, 2008. The National Center for Lesbian Rights filed an amicus brief along with medical, civil rights, and community based organizations, in support of Benitez’s claim.
NCLR Secures Federal Benefits for Child
06.06.07 — Today, NCLR announced the successful resolution of a case seeking disability benefits for a ten-year-old child of lesbian parents. The Social Security Administration initially denied these benefits simply because the child had two mothers. In a ruling issued on March 19, 2007, however, Administrative Judge Alberto Gonzalez ruled that the Social Security Administration must recognize that the child has two legal mothers under California law and that the child is entitled to benefits.
Landmark Lawsuit Protects California’s Adoptive Children and Parents from Discrimination
05.21.07 — Michael and Rich Butler, a San Jose couple, successfully resolved their landmark discrimination suit on Monday against the operators of the for-profit websites Adoption.com and ParentProfiles.com.
Federal Court Permits Gay Couple to Sue Internet Adoption Business under California Discrimination Law
04.10.07 — Federal district court Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton has ruled that Michael and Rich Butler, a San Jose gay couple, can move to trial in their discrimination suit against an internet business known as Adoption.com and Adoption Profiles LLC. The business is owned by Arizona residents Nathan and Dale Gwilliam, who are also named in the suit.
Kate’s Blog: Out for Justice
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
02.20.07 — Last Friday, we received a devastating decision from the Utah Supreme Court, holding that non-biological parents have no standing even to seek visitation with their children. The majority opinion now makes it virtually impossible for a co-parent to ever be granted an ongoing relationship with a child that he or she helped raise unless the biological parent consents to that ongoing contact. Unfortunately in this case, the biological mother did not give her consent.