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Our Voices

Sherman v. Rouse

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. NCLR, along with other LGBTQ organizations, filed a friend of the court brief in Mr. Sherman’s and Mr. Rouse’s case. The brief explained the history of civil unions, that civil unions impose the same substantive rights and obligations of marriage, and the...


Christopher Doyle, LPC, LCPC v. Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr.

On May 15, 2018, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed the state’s Youth Mental Health Protection Act, prohibiting state-licensed therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a patient under 18 years old. Every leading medical and mental health organization in the country has warned that these practices do not work and put young people at risk of serious harm, including depression, substance abuse, and suicide. In January 2019, an anti-LGBTQ legal group...


Hedberg v. Detthow

In June 2005, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled that gay father Ulf Hedberg, must be given an opportunity to challenge a custody restriction prohibiting him from living with his same-sex partner. The Court of Special Appeals remanded the case back to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing. NCLR, Lambda Legal, and Maryland attorney Susan Silber of Silber & Perlman represented Hedberg, who challenged a custody order, issued several years ago in Virginia that prohibited him from...


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...


Margaret K. v. Janice M.

Margaret K. and Janice M. adopted a daughter during their committed relationship of 17 years. Because they adopted their daughter from India, which does not allow unmarried couples to adopt, only Janice adopted the child, but she and Margaret raised their daughter together. When their daughter was 7, Margaret and Janice separated and Janice refused to allow Margaret to see their daughter. An intermediate appellate court found that Margaret has a parent-child relationship with her daughter and...


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