National Center for Lesbian Rights


Month: May 2012

Our Voices blog

Federal Court of Appeals Strikes Down Anti-Gay Defense of Marriage Act

Statement by NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, Esq. (San Francisco, CA, May 31, 2012)—Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. The court held that DOMA, which prevents the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples even in states where those marriages are valid, violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws. The ruling came in a case...


An NAACP Announcement for Equality

Here at NCLR, we know that LGBTQ people of color face some of the greatest injustices our movement strives to address. Racial and economic oppression mean that LGBTQ people of color are often poorer, have worse health outcomes, and are more vulnerable to hate crimes than their white counterparts. LGBTQ youth of color face harsh and unfair discipline in schools. This weekend, the nation’s leading civil rights organization made it clear that they too understand that reality. On Saturday,...


Port v. Cowan

Jessica Port and Virginia Anne Cowan married in California in 2008. Unfortunately, their relationship broke down and they made the difficult decision to end their marriage. They were residents of Maryland at that time, and sought a divorce in a Maryland court in 2010. Longstanding Maryland law provides that couples who validly married in another state are recognized as married in Maryland, even if the couple would not have been able to marry in Maryland. However, the trial court found that...


New Obama Initiative for LGBTQ Prisoners

Today, the Obama administration announced new rules designed to launch a major offensive to help stop the epidemic of sexual violence in the nation’s prison system and youth detention system. The rules, released by the Department of Justice (DOJ), aim to “prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse in confinement facilities.” The new rules—and a new report from DOJ that was also released today—recognize that sexual violence is an especially urgent issue for LGBTQ youth in juvenile justice...


Family Acceptance Project Publishes Pioneering Resource for Youth Suicide Prevention

For the past decade, Dr. Caitlin Ryan of the Family Acceptance Project (FAP) at SF State University has been studying the impact of family acceptance and rejection on suicide risk among LGBTQ youth. Today we’d like to take this moment to congratulate FAP and Dr. Ryan on their truly groundbreaking work. Because youth suicide is typically the result of many complex interacting factors, our community needs comprehensive suicide prevention strategies and interventions to reduce the risk to LGBTQ...


Where Were You When Obama Made History?

Where were you when you first heard? I was in front of Lincoln Center (I’m in New York City this week for a meeting with other LGBTQ civil rights attorneys from across the country) when NCLR Deputy Director Arcelia Hurtado screamed, “He did it!” I turned around and said, “What?” To which she replied, “Obama came out in support of marriage!” We both screamed and hugged, teary eyed. The New Yorkers walking past us didn’t care. But we knew that this was a historic and indelible moment....


NCLR Applauds President’s Support of Marriage Equality

Statement by NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, Esq. (San Francisco, CA, May 9, 2012)—Today, President Barack Obama told ABC News that he supports marriage equality, becoming the first president in the nation’s history to endorse marriage for same-sex couples. Said President Obama: “I have to tell you that over the course of several years, as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous...


More than 1,500 People Honor Seven Heroes of LGBTQ Equality at NCLR’s 35th Anniversary Celebration

(San Francisco, CA, May 5, 2012)—Tonight, more than 1,500 people honored seven heroes in the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality at the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ 35th Anniversary Celebration. The sell-out event—held at the City View at Metreon—is often called the party of the year, celebrating the strides made in the LGBTQ movement and recognizing the trailblazers who have stood up for equality, becoming role models for millions of people in the process....


California Court of Appeal Rules for Same-Sex Partner in Inheritance Dispute

Court Recognizes New Legal Claim for Unmarried Partners Intentionally Deprived of Expected Inheritance (Santa Ana, CA, May 4, 2012)—Yesterday, the California Court of Appeal established an important new legal protection for unmarried partners who are wrongfully prevented from inheriting property from each other when one partner dies. The Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the surviving same-sex partner of a deceased Southern California man in a lawsuit alleging that the deceased partner’s...


Supreme Court Rules on Title VII! Give now & Celebrate!