Friday, February 19, 2010

Recent news and commentary

Marriage equality legislation - Minnesota

Last year, Minnesota state Rep. Phyllis Kahn introduced the Marriage and Family Protection Act (HF1644), which would reverse the state's DOMA. On February 22nd, the House Civil Justice Committee plans to hold an informational hearing on the legislation. The Committee will not also take a vote. The Minnesota Independent identifies Doug Benson as the "citizen author" of the proposed Act. He faulted the hearing as " basically a show hearing," but OutFront Minnesota supports the hearing: "Legislators will hear from experts and their constituents that discrimination against people because of who they love or who they are is wrong." OutFront predicts that "it will take 3 to 5 years to get such a bill passed." (Minnesota Independent)

Adoption - Lousiana

Law professor Arthur Leonard analyzes yesterday's ruling in Adar v. Smith, No. 09-30036 (5th Cir.). Emilie Adams, Staff Counsel of the Human Rights Campaign, also discusses the case.

Custody - Ohio

When an Ohio same-sex couple ended their relationship two years ago, Kelly Mullen, the biological mother of 4-year-old Lucy, denied visitation to Michele Hobbs, her former partner. Hobbs sued for shared custody in Hamilton County juvenile court (no. C 0900285). The juvenile court magistrate awarded partial custody to Hobbs and temporary visitation, while recognizing the biological mother and father as the only legal parents under Ohio law. A juvenile court judge later reversed the orders on partial custody and visitation, but reinstated interim visitation by Hobbs (no. C 0900407). She appealed to the First District Court of Appeals, No. C-090285,C-090407, in Cincinnati. Mullens cross-appealed on the issue of visitation. The appellate court ruled that Hobbs is not entitled to custody or visitation, and she has appealed to the state Supreme Court (no. 2010-0276). (; cross-posted at Alliance Defense Fund)

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