FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | May 24, 2005
National Center For Lesbian Rights Argues Groundbreaking Parental Rights and Responsibilities Case Before California Supreme Court
"All children, not only those born to married or heterosexual parents, must have a legal right to support and care from both people who brought them into the world."
(San Francisco, CA, May 24, 2005) — This morning the California State Supreme Court heard three cases involving the rights of children born to lesbian parents. In her argument before the Court, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Senior Staff Attorney, Courtney Joslin, argued that, "all children, not only those born to married or heterosexual parents, must have a legal right to support and care from both people who brought them into the world."
Joslin argued one of three cases currently pending before the Court. NCLR's client, Emily B., is seeking child support from her former partner, Elisa B., for the twin children that she and Elisa conceived and raised together prior to their separation. All three cases pose the question of whether both partners in a same-sex couple who use reproductive technology to have children together are legal parents, as they would be if the partners were married.
"There are hundreds of thousands of couples, including many same-sex couples, who rely on assisted reproduction to have children. Without question, those parent-child relationships are just as authentic and real as any others, and they should be protected equally under the law," said Courtney Joslin, NCLR Senior Staff Attorney.
According to Joslin, much is at stake with the court's ruling: "The California Supreme Court's decision will decide whether these children will be protected, or whether we'll turn the clock back to the day when children born outside of marriage were punished for being 'illegitimate.'"
NCLR Legal Director, Shannon Minter, argued on behalf of amici in the Kristine H. case, also before the Court.
For twenty-eight years NCLR has been a national leader on LGBT family issues including adoption, child custody and visitation, alternative insemination, partnership protection, domestic partner benefits, and marriage rights.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.