States Clash Over Same-Sex Parental Rights

Four years ago, when courts in Vermont began recognizing the legality of same-sex civil unions, it was only a matter of time before cases came along to test whether sister states would give full faith and credit to those decisions.

The time has come.

One of the earliest cases to raise that issue is a same-sex parental rights challenge that has provoked a jurisdictional debate between Virginia and Vermont. According to an attorney for New York-based Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, it is also one of the earliest cases to test how state courts will respond to orders that derive from the legality of civil unions.

The main legal issue is whether a civil union, without more, creates a parental relationship. Application of the federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, which prevents a parent from filing a cutsody case in another state in order to avoid the jurisdiction or an adverse order of the original state, will be crucial. State and federal “defense of marriage” acts will also be relevant.

According to the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, 40 states have passed laws prohibiting same-sex marriage since President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1995.

Only three states recognize same-sex unions. They are Vermont; Hawaii, which offers reciprocal benefits; and Massachusetts, which allows same-sex marriage.

4 Replies to "States Clash Over Same-Sex Parental Rights"

  • AntiDenial
    May 7, 2011 (9:17 am)

    What about children being sent or sitting in on AA and NA
    meetings that have violent criminals and sexual predators
    sent by the judicial sytem? AA/NA encourages this knowing the dangers
    to minors.


  • Harshad
    August 3, 2011 (8:05 am)

    Excellent post.I want to thank you for this informative read, I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up your work.

  • AntiDenial
    August 15, 2011 (11:28 pm)

    Many people who are sent to Daytona AA/NA have been released from jail for violent crimes. They come sometimes within 24 hours of release to a meeting. Yet no one is warned and no one at the meeting is aware of the persons background. For those that go to meetings,please do not take your children,or send your teens and be very careful. You do not have to give out personal info at a meeting even though it is encouraged.

  • ICFAI Question Papers
    August 20, 2011 (3:02 am)

    nice work