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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lambda Legal Newsletter

Lambda Legal.
2/11 eNews: Good News, Bad News
The Issues   In Court   News   In Your State   Take Action   Help Desk   Donate Now    About Us

In This Issue
IL Civil Union Tracker
Defending Parental Rights
Justice for Trans Student
5 Years Old, No Birth Cert
Birth Cert Order Upheld
Trans Workplace Bias
New Trans Rights Toolkit

Kevin Cathcart.
In Brief
by Kevin Cathcart
Executive Director
Lambda Legal
Good news, bad news: In Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn signed the civil union law Monday, a huge step forward on the road to full equality. Lambda Legal's staff provided extensive legal analysis and drafting assistance for the bill, as well as public education and legislative advocacy pressing for its passage. And the very next day, across the state line, the Iowa House voted 62 to 37 in favor of an anti-marriage referendum barring all legal recognition of same-sex couples.
Lambda Legal's hard-fought victory for marriage equality in Iowa remains secure. In order for antigay forces to put marriage on the ballot, they first need to garner enough votes in both chambers of the legislature twice, in two consecutive sessions. But Tuesday's disappointing vote only reminds us that we're not done when we win in court. We have to keep working hard to win in the court of public opinion in order to protect our victories. Read more »
Ask Lambda Legal
Q: My partner and I have been together two years and are talking about making a formal commitment to each other. We are domestic partners since I enrolled my partner in my health plan at work. But we haven't done all the legal paperwork our friends did, as it sounded complicated. Hearing about the civil union law in Illinois and the vote to repeal marriage in Iowa, we're even more confused about what we should do. It feels like these options keep changing and we don't know the differences among them.
A: You're not alone in feeling confused! And you're right that there has been steady change, with ugly steps backward but lots of progress, and we think that will continue. At present, states vary enormously in whether they offer same-sex couples full protection, no protection, or something in between. Read more »
Events Around the Country
Lambda Legal regions map.
Lambda Legal Newsroom
"An exception that permits states arbitrarily to ignore legal parent-child relationships as families travel throughout the United States would create unprecedented chaos and harm," Lambda Legal Supervising Senior Staff Attorney Ken Upton told the Associated Press, regarding the Adar case (see "Five-Year-Old Still Lacks Birth Certificate," right).
Read more in Lambda Legal's In the News.

Watch Iowa teen Zach Wahls fight for equality for his moms.

Our Social Networks
MySpace. Flickr.
Facebook. Youtube. twitter.

**Iowa Teen Fights for Equality for His Moms** Watch Zach Wahls, the brave young man we met back in 2009, on MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, tonight at 8 ET/7 CT.

Liberty Awards.
Liberty Awards National Dinner
May 2, 2011 | 6:00 to 11:00 pm
Pier 60, Chelsea Piers, 23rd St. and the Hudson River, New York City

Join us in 2011 for our flagship event: the Liberty Awards National Dinner. Enjoy the company of Lambda Legal staff, Board and NLC members, as well as supporters from around the nation. For more information, please contact Adam Pedersen-Doherty at 212-809-8585, ext. 289.

Illinois Civil Union Tracker.
Civil Union Tracker Launched
On Monday, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed the civil union law, which will go into effect June 1. To support families protected by the new law, Lambda Legal and Equality Illinois launched Civil Union Tracker. Couples can register online to share stories and find information about their new rights and responsibilities. Find out more »

Lambda Legal.
Defending Parental Rights
The Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in Lambda Legal's case defending Michele Hobbs, a lesbian mother who was denied access to her child when she and her former partner, the biological mother, ended their relationship. Watch video of oral arguments. Read more »

K.K. Logan.
Justice for Transgender Student
Lambda Legal announced Jan. 28 the resolution of a lawsuit against the Gary, Ind., public school system on behalf of transgender former student K.K. Logan (pictured), who was barred from prom in 2006 because she wore a dress. Read more »

Lambda Legal.
Five-Year-Old Still Lacks Birth Certificate
A federal appeals court heard oral arguments Jan. 19 in Lambda Legal's case regarding the New York adoption of a Louisiana-born boy by a same-sex couple after the state of Louisiana denied the child an accurate birth certificate reflecting both of his parents. Read more »

Lambda Legal.
Birth Certificate Order Upheld
The Connecticut Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that both partners of a same-sex couple are the legal parents of their twins born through gestational surrogacy. The Court also declared that both parents are entitled to be listed on the children's birth certificates. Lambda Legal filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, in which the fathers are represented by attorney Victoria T. Ferrara of Fairfield, Conn. Read more »

Vandy Beth Glenn.
Fighting Trans Workplace Bias
Lambda Legal filed a brief in federal appeals court Monday defending a lower court ruling that the Georgia General Assembly discriminated against our client Vandy Beth Glenn (pictured), a transgender woman who was fired from her job after she told her supervisor that she planned to transition from male to female. Read more »
Lambda Legal.
New Transgender Rights Toolkit
Lambda Legal has published two important fact sheets from its upcoming guide to transgender rights, covering access to public restrooms and health coverage of transition-related care. Both are available at

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Get On the Call: Save the Date!
On Thursday, February 10th, Lambda Legal will be hosting our annual Member’s Only Coast-2-Coast Teleconference on Relationship Recognition. This year’s series will feature Deputy Legal Director Hayley Gorenberg (1pm ET), Senior Staff Attorney Camilla Taylor (1pm CT) and Staff Attorney Tara Borelli (1pm PT), who will each discuss the changing legal landscape of relationship recognition in their respective regions (East, Midwest and West). From Lambda Legal’s new Illinois Civil Union Tracker to new IRS guidelines that can affect the federal tax filings of same-sex couples in several states, this is definitely a call to be on! Our Coast-2-Coast Teleconference series is a benefit of membership. Please watch your email for further information, including dial-in number and instructions.

Look for the next exciting issue of eNews in March!

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