An interview with Joan Burda at the American Bar Association Meeting 8/2012
The Defense of Marriage Act has been ruled unconstitutional by two federal courts, but LGBT marriages have yet to receive federal recognition and the rights and protections that come with it. One area in which this impacts same-sex couples is estate planning and inheritance.
An Ohio Common Pleas court judge issued a ruling that protects the parental rights of a non-biological parent. Rowell v. Smith, Case No. 08JU-10-13850, Franklin County, Ohio Common Pleas Court, Juvenile Branch (August 27, 2012).
Julie Rowell and Julie Smith were in a committed lesbian relationship during which Smith gave birth to Maddie. When the couple ended their relationship, Smith decided Rowell was not entitled to any further contact with the child.
Rowell filed a petition for joint custody and Smith fought it tooth and nail. On August 27, 2012, Judge Elizabeth Gill adopted the Magistrate's decision.