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Nancy Polikoff
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By Guest Blogger Nancy Polikoff It's always risky to predict the outcome of a case based on oral argument. Nonetheless, I'll predict that the Arkansas Supreme Court will affirm the decision of a trial judge that the state's ban on adoption and fostering by anyone living with a nonmarital partner violates the state's constitution. The ban was enacted by voters in 2008. You can watch the argument on the court's website here. Although a lawyer for the state did argue briefly, the lawyer who primarily argued for upholding the ban... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2011 at hunter of justice
Early last year, a panel of the Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Adar v. Smith that Louisiana was required to issue a new birth certificate naming two men as the parents of a child born in Louisiana, after the couple adopted the child together in New York. The Louisiana registrar of vital records refused to issue the birth certificate with both fathers' names because unmarried couples are not permitted to adopt in Louisiana. Well, the court granted the state's motion for rehearing en banc, and tomorrow all... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2011 at hunter of justice
Not quite accurate, Nan. The District of Columbia allows different-sex couples to register as domestic partners. Here's my post that describes the pciture across the country: http://beyondstraightandgaymarriage.blogspot.com/2010/12/different-sex-couples-also-eligible-for.html
by Nancy Polikoff In an opinion dated last Friday, the Vermont Supreme Court has upheld the order of a family court judge transferring custody of Isabella Miller-Jenkins to her nonbiological mother, Janet Jenkins. Isabella (identified as IMJ in the court rulings) has been underground with her biological mother, Lisa Miller, since the court ordered the custody transfer. This latest opinion does nothing in any practical sense to reunite Janet and Isabella. The opinion is a careful, reasoned application of Vermont legal doctrine to the facts of the case as found... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2010 at hunter of justice
The Florida Department of Children and Families has responded to last week's ruling that the state's ban on adoptions by gay men and lesbians is unconstitutional, and the news is great. In a two page memo dated the day after the ruling, Alan Abramowitz, State Director of the Office of Family Safety, announced that the Department has submitted to the legislature language repealing the statute. "Effectively immediately," the memo states, "staff will discontinue asking prospective adoptive parents their sexual orientation." Forms will also be revised to delete any reference to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2010 at hunter of justice
By Guest Blogger Nancy Polikoff Civil rights lawyer William L. (Bill) Taylor, died today at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. He was 78, and had been hospitalized since he suffered a brain injury as a result of a fall last month. Bill will be lauded in the days and weeks to come for his contributions to racial equality and education reform, efforts he wrote about in his 2004 memoir, The Passion of My Times. I knew him also as the father of Lauren Taylor, one of my oldest friends. The... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2010 at hunter of justice
Wow! That is such a great response. Congratulations on making the effort and having it pay off.
It's not my term; it's the term in the report. I don't use "homosexual couples" when I write but rather "same-sex couples," or I use the terms "gay" or "lesbian." You might see if you can contact the researchers through the Cultural Cognition Project website and make your suggestion to them.
by Nancy Polikoff Among opponents of gay and lesbian adoption who base their opposition on the welfare of children, only 22% say they would change their mind if shown convincing empirical evidence that children raised by gay and lesbian couples are just as likely to be healthy and well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual couples. This is just one statistic in the report recently released by the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School. Cultural cognition, according to the project's website, refers to "the tendency of individuals to conform their... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2010 at hunter of justice
The custody dispute over Isabella Miller-Jenkins is the longest running and most notorious dispute between former same-sex partners over a child they planned for and raised together. You can read much of the background in a February 2007 Washington Post Magazine article, and the GLAD website has more recent updates. Here are the barebones: Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller were partners, living in Virginia, when they travelled to Vermont in 2000 and entered a civil union. Their daughter, Isabella, was born in 2002 after Lisa was inseminated by donor semen,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2009 at hunter of justice