LGBTQI Family Rights: An Update on USA Legislation

As of June 26, 2015 all American states are compelled to recognise and license same sex marriages based on the decision of the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges. There are still a few states, as of January 2016, defying these federal same sex marriage laws. The opportunity to get legally married must be seen as a major step toward LGBTQI family rights. Prior to this sodomy laws have been struck down, also in the US Supreme Court, and repeals of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act have also occurred.

In 2010 President Barack Obama made changes to hospital visitation and moral decision-making rights to allow gay and lesbian partners recognition in this fundamental and highly sensitive area. This followed a number of distressing cases where partners and children were denied access to their partners by hospitals, even in terminal situations. LGBTQI family rights: an update on USA legislation shows it to be a work in progress; but progress is being made.

Importantly, access to IVF and sperm donors has been a LGBTQI right for some time now; which goes to the heart of family rights. Now, as the right to marry and have their marriages officially recognized by federal law, LGBTQIs can enjoy the rights of all Americans and have families. There is always a time lag between new legislation and acceptance from the public at large; but these courageous people are no stranger to insensitive behaviours by the ‘so-called’ moral majority. The big difference now is that LGBTQIs have the law on their side.

With the federal election year now in full swing, LGBTQIs will be watching the Democrat versus Republican political battle with interest. Obviously, a Republican victory would set the reform agenda back but they will not have immediate control over the Supreme Court; the freedom of the judiciary is where the greatest LGBTQI family rights victories have occurred. A Bernie Sanders or Hilary Clinton victory in the presidential race would continue the rapid progress, now being made in LGBTQI human rights.

Gay Sperm Bank (GSB) urges all LGBTQIs to get involved in the political contest and continue the great work that has been done in this area by LGBTQI activists and lobbyists to this date. GSB wants to see stronger LGBTQI communities and more LGBTQI parents having babies and children. Family rights are the rights of all American citizens. The fight is not yet over.