our work relationships marriage.625

Marriage & Relationships

After marriage equality, LGBTQ people still face significant discrimination related to their relationships and families. Many states still do not treat same-sex spouses equally in every respect, and unmarried partners in most states lack full protections. NCLR works to ensure that marriage equality is a reality for same-sex spouses, including access to common law marriages, and to advance laws protecting unmarried partners.

NCLR represented the Tennessee plaintiffs in the marriage equality cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and served as counsel in many of the state marriage equality cases. After achieving marriage equality, NCLR has continued our work to ensure that all relationships and families are recognized and free from discrimination.


Legislation & Policy

Uniform Laws Protecting Nonmarital Relationships


Few states provide strong protections for people in nonmarital relationships — some states do not even recognize that unmarried couples even have the right to enter into cohabitation agreements. The Uniform Law Commission is currently drafting a Uniform Act, the Economic Rights for Unmarried Cohabitants, to provide a basis for states to provide some recognition for nonmarital relationships. NCLR is an Observer for the drafting committee, providing input and representing the needs of LGBTQ people in nonmarital relationships as the uniform legislation is being drafted.


Cases & Advocacy

Reed v. KRON/IBEW Local 45 Pension Plan


On August 9, 2016, the widower of a former KRON4 employee sued Young Broadcasting of San Francisco and the KRON/IBEW Local 45 Pension Plan for refusing to provide him with a spousal pension benefit even though the couple were registered domestic partners.



Press Release

NCLR Applauds Passage of Federal Marriage Equality Protections

July 19, 2022. Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) by a bipartisan vote of 267-157. The bill repeals the disgraceful Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 – and codifies additional federal legal protections for the marriages of same-sex couples, transgender people, and interracial couples. The bill has the strong support of President Biden.


Share This
Protecting our Future. Donate Now!