National Center for Lesbian Rights

Cases & Advocacy

Sherman v. Rouse Amicus

Status: Open

Outcome: Pending

Location: Maryland

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 unconstitutionality of denying divorce to same-sex couples who entered into civil unions. Just as same-sex couples are guaranteed the right to marry, they must also have access to state laws that permit the end of those relationships

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