02 Nov 2009

Gay Marriage Statistics from 2010 Census Will Probably Increase Legal Protections

Gay marriage statistics are hard to find. That's because the U.S. Census, the primary tracker of demographics, has never counted them. In fact, gay couples who reported as married on the 2000 census were changed to unmarried by the Census Bureau. That will change next year. Erik Fowle reports on

29 Oct 2009

E-Marriage Laws Could Spur Out of State Gay Marriage

Video conferencing and remote connection technologies could make it easier for same sex couples who live in states that don't allow gay marriage to get married in states that do. Professors Adam Candeub and Mae Kuykendall, who run the E-Marriage Project over at Michigan State Law School, said in an

28 Oct 2009

Female, Not Male, Same Sex Couples Have Less Retirement Income Than Straight Couples

A study by Naoimi Goldberg of the UCLA Law Williams Institute says that same sex couples have less retirement income than straight couples, but only if they're women. The study was the first to look exclusively at elderly (65+) gay couples. The study makes numerous findings, but three of them

27 Oct 2009

Obama Administration Fails to Help Gay Couple Bypass Discriminatory Immigration Laws

The federal government Friday denied asylum to a gay Brazilian man who married his partner in Massachusetts. The man must now stay in Brazil. Normally, foreign citizens can become U.S. residents if their spouse is a U.S. citizen. But because of DOMA, immigration law doesn't recognize same sex marriages. Passing

26 Oct 2009

Dallas Judge That Ruled Texas Gay Marriage Law Unconstitutional Speaks Out

Remember when Dallas Judge Tena Callahan struck down the Texas gay marriage ban earlier this month? Unfortunately, because she gave an oral decision, no  written decision was available to see what motivated the judge to rule the way she did. But last week the judge spoke at a democratic organizitaiton

24 Oct 2009

Questions About the Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Yesterday I explained how the new federal hate crime law works. I've seen some questions about it and wanted to answer them. What if my state or other federal laws define hate crimes differently? States are free to make their own hate crime laws. In those laws, they can define

23 Oct 2009

How the New Hate Crimes Prevention Act Works

Yesterday Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The president said he'll sign the bill. The new law lets the Department of Justice give money to help local investigations and prosecutions of hate crimes based on on sexual orientation. Or, the Justice Department can lead

22 Oct 2009

Same Sex Divorce Issues Highlighted by Rosie O’Donnell’s Split from Partner

Rosie O'Donnell and Kelli Carpenter were one of the most famous married gay couples. But as of Tuesday, they are couples no more. Rosie and Kelli live in New York, but married in California. Their split shows many of the issues that come up during a same sex divorce. Getting

21 Oct 2009

OPM Wants Feedback on Federal Regulations That Include Domestic Partners in Definition of Family

I got an email this morning that said the U.S. Office of Personnel Management wants feedback on proposed changes to federal regulations that would include same sex domestic partners in the definition of family member for the purpose of using federal employment benefits. Specifically, the changes would allow federal employees

20 Oct 2009

What Happens In a Domestic Partnership Dissolution With No Legal Relationship?

Gay couples in most states can't enter into a formal legal relationship, so instead they live together without one. Sometimes these relationships don't work out, and the couples break up. There's plenty of laws about what happens to property and children when married couples get divorced. But here's what generally