16 Dec 2009

Washington D.C. Gay Marriage Law Will Work Differently Than State Laws

The Washington D.C. Council voted yesterday to legalize gay marriage in the District. In D.C., laws passed by the council have to be approved by Congress before becoming law. Once the D.C. mayor signs the bill, both Congress and the president must vote to block the bill within 30 days–otherwise

30 Nov 2009

Are Gay Couples that Raise Children Being Selfish?

One of the most common arguments I hear against gay parenting is that same sex couples who want to have children are being selfish. The argument goes that if they really cared about the child, they wouldn't force the child to grow up with two same sex parents instead of

25 Nov 2009

Gay Couples Pay Millions More in Federal Estate Tax

Steve Sanders, a Chicago appellate attorney, pointed out a new study by the UCLA Law Williams Institute finding that same sex couples subject to the estate tax (people with more than $3.5 million at death) pay on average $3.3 million more in taxes than straight couples. The study [PDF] says that

23 Nov 2009

Effect of Referendum 71 on Washington Life and Health Insurance

I've gotten a couple questions from people wondering about how the new Washington “everything but marriage” law that passed earlier this month will affect their insurance. First, you won't need to get a new insurance policy. The law says how to interpret policies, not how policies have to be written.

18 Nov 2009

How Lesbian Couples Can Prevent Sperm Donor from Asserting Legal Rights to Children

Lesbian couples wishing to raise children can either (1) adopt a child or (2) have one of the couple give birth with donated sperm. But there's risks with the second option. Depending on the state law in which the sperm donation occurs, the sperm donor may have legal rights to

16 Nov 2009

Washington Domestic Partnership Law May Influence Rhode Island and Other States

Earlier this month Washington voters passed an expansion of dometic partnership rights for gay couples living in the state. While this is good for those living in Washington, couples in other states might benefit as well. In particular, the law might encourage politicians in other states to enact a similar

11 Nov 2009

Health Care Bill Would Make Domestic Partner Benefits Tax Free

The new health care bill passed by the U.S. House on Saturday would do more than help reduce the amount of people without health insurance. It also would reduce the taxes usually owed by gay couples. Currently, employees must pay taxes on the health benefits given to their domestic partners

09 Nov 2009

Getting Divorced After Marrying in Canada Isn’t Easy for Gay Couples

Folks who live in Maine might be thinking about getting married in Canada after their state voted down a law that would have allowed gay marriage. In fact, many U.S. gay residents go to Canada to take advantage of laws that have allowed gay marriage since 2005. But they better

05 Nov 2009

Maine Gay Marriage Result Won’t Slow Nationwide Trend of Increasing Support

The people of Maine voted yesterday to repeal a law that would have allowed gay marriage, but the vote will not slow increasing public support for gay marriage overall. Law professors Patrick Egan and Nathaniel Persily discussed in an article the growth in public support of gay marriage over the

03 Nov 2009

Hate Crimes Act Doesn’t Violate Freedom of Speech Rights

Some people object to the new Hate Crimes Prevention Act because they say it restricts First Amendment free speech rights. For example, Pat Robertson said last week in a TV .” But actually the law has no such effect. Sherry Colb, law professor at Cornell University, talks about the difference