This week’s historic ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act will have a big effect on same-sex spouses in Minnesota. But in the Daily Beast, Douglas NeJaime says there are “still two Americas” for most same-sex couples.
In the vast majority of states…the decisions will have little direct impact. These (same-sex) couples will continue to confront the same hostile laws. They cannot marry. In fact, most possess no relationship-based rights whatsoever. Even outside relationship recognition, the legal landscape looks bleak. If one of them has a child from a previous heterosexual relationship, unsympathetic courts may essentially force them to choose between their same-sex partner and their child. For same-sex couples raising their own children, a breakup with one’s partner may mean a breakup with one’s children. Without second-parent adoption rights or the parental presumptions that spring from marriage, the nonbiological parent may find herself a legal stranger to her own children. Discrimination continues when these couples go to work. Federal law and the laws of most states provide no protection against sexual-orientation discrimination in employment.
Read his entire column.
Listen to our interview about how the law will affect same-sex couples in Minnesota.