The Virginia Equality Bar Association

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  • 26 Jun 2015 6:53 PM | Bary Hausrath (Administrator)

    Do you promise to support LGBTQ youth and work for safer and more affirming schools so that children are free from bullying and harassment and so that youth find loving and supportive adults as alternatives to suicide and self-harm?

     

    WE DO.

     

    Do you vow to continue to fight for affordable, equitable, safe, and informed health care, specifically for transgender people and people living with HIV-disease as well as care facilities for LGBT seniors?

     

    WE DO.

     

    As we were reminded last week by the events in Charleston, violence driven by hate is a very real problem in our country and while any of us are unsafe, none of us are safe. Do you vow to build safer, healthier communities and relationships free of violence and abuse and to fight for full equality for all persons of color?

     

    WE DO.

     

    It is now legal in Virginia to deny employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Do you promise to support efforts to criminalize such discrimination?

     

    WE DO.

     

    Do you vow to support the voices of transgender people, especially trans women of color and acknowledge and address the disproportionate levels of discrimination and violence that they experience?

     

    WE DO.

     

    Because spiritual violence is an issue facing our community, do you promise to engage in meaningful dialogue with churches, synagogues, mosques, and other communities of faith?

    WE DO. 

     

    Do you promise to fight for a just and fair system that addresses the needs of immigrants?

     

    WE DO


    With these vows, do you recommit yourselves to building a better Virginia, a better United States, and a better world? Will you be with us tomorrow when the wedding cake is gone, the glitter is swept away, and the celebration is over?

    YES WE WILL!

  • 26 Jun 2015 11:28 AM | Bary Hausrath (Administrator)

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    VIRGINIA EQUALITY BAR ASSOCIATION

    CONTACT:    Christine Svoboda, President

                            (804) 822-0805

    Day of Decision Press Conference

    Richmond, VA - Today the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.  The Virginia Equality Bar Association (“VEBA”) and other community organizations will hold a press conference at 5:30 pm at The Byrd Theatre at 2908 W Cary St in Richmond, Virginia to discuss the impact of the decision.  Fellow organizers include Virginia Pride, Fan Free Clinic, Richmond Triangle Players, Friends of Rosmy, Diversity Richmond, University of Richmond, MCC Richmond, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, ACLU of Virginia, Richmond Business Alliance, and Virginia Anti-Violence Project.

    VEBA is thrilled the Supreme Court has seen fit to recognize the fundamental right to marriage for LGBT people across the United States.

                                                    ##


  • 28 Apr 2015 1:47 PM | Bary Hausrath (Administrator)

    Today's historic oral arguments on the marriage equality cases at the US Supreme Court have concluded!  Initial reviews suggest that the court is divided, but leaning towards recognizing the fundamental dignity of same sex couples.

    Click here for the complete audio.   Question 1 deals with whether states must issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.  Question 2 deals with whether states have to recognize marriages between two persons of the same sex legally entered into in another state.

  • 12 Feb 2015 11:39 AM | Bary Hausrath (Administrator)
    Yesterday, Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Congresswoman Susan Davis re-introduced the Jury Access Act (S. 447) and the Juror Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 864), respectively. These companion bills are critical pieces of legislation that would help to end anti-LGBT juror discrimination. The LGBT Bar is proud to help lead the effort for the passage of these bills, and to bring the power of the legal community to Capitol Hill in support of it. 
     
    And together, we're making real progress; today's re-introduction is bipartisan, with GOP Senator Susan Collins offering her leadership and support to this important effort.
     
    Now, we need your help, too; please call on your Senators and Representatives to sign on as co-sponsors of the Jury Access Act and Juror Non-Discrimination Act. Visit www.Senate.gov to find your Senators' contact information and www.House.gov to find your Representative's, or call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Call three times in order to be connected with both of your Senators and your Representative, and tell them you're a member of the legal community and support Senator Shaheen's and Congresswoman Davis' legislation.
     
    Jury service is critical to ensuring our legal system works. And yet, as recently as last month, attorneys in Houston asked a judge to allow them to inquire about potential jurors' sexual orientation as a way of eliminating LGBT people from the final jury. 
     
    That's wrong, and it should be illegal. Sexual orientation and gender identity have no bearing on a juror's ability to serve. And when LGBT jurors are disqualified, there is no jury of our peers.
     
    So please, take a moment and call your Congress Members today. Ask that they co-sponsor the Jury Access Act (S. 447) in the Senate and the Juror Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 864) in the House and work for it's swift passage. With your help, we can bring Republicans and Democrats together to end juror discrimination.
  • 04 Feb 2015 3:36 PM | Bary Hausrath (Administrator)

    The Virginia Equality Bar Association welcomes action taken by Virginia’s Registrar for Vital Records to ensure that the children born to same sex married couples have the same legal protections of children born to opposite sex married couples. Janet Rainey, the Registrar for Vital Records, sent a letter instructing a hospital in Suffolk. instructing that the birth certificate of a child born to two women who are married to each other should list both parents on the birth certificate. A copy of the letter can be found here

    In a separate but related story, amended Virginia birth certificates will be available for all Virginia-born children whose two moms were married at the time of the birth, even if the birth occurred before the marriage was legally recognized in Virginia and even if there is no order of adoption.  In response to a letter from the ACLU of Virginia that you can find here, Rainey is also accepting applications to amend birth certificates to reflect both moms as parents, if the moms were married at the time of the birth, and even if the birth occurred prior to the February, August, or October 2014 court decisions requiring Virginia to recognize those marriages.

    These two stories bring meaningful change for the wives of birth mothers, who for years have been denied the presumption of parentage afforded to similarly situated straight men whose wives gave birth following artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization.

    The modification of birth certificates requires submitting a certified copy of the marriage certificate along with a new “Acknowledgment of Parentage” form, signed by both parents, indicating that both of them recognize Victoria as a parent.  Review the letters linked above for additional information about how to ensure that the form is properly processed.

  • 26 Jan 2015 11:25 AM | Bary Hausrath (Administrator)

    On February 15, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. VEBA will host a brunch at the Richmond home of board member Jeff Jacobs and his husband.  The topic of discussion will be the Supreme Court's upcoming consideration of marriage equality.  An evite has been sent to all of our members and other select guests.  If you would like to put on a similar program in your part of the state or if you would like to attend the brunch but did not get an invitation, please email info@vaequalitybar.org

  • 26 Jan 2015 11:21 AM | Bary Hausrath (Administrator)

    This case was successfully litigated by Coleen Quinn, VEBA member.  This may be the first same sex couple to give birth in Virginia that does not have to go through the adoption process for both parents to have full parental rights. Read the full story here.

  • 10 Oct 2014 1:55 PM | Bary Hausrath (Administrator)

    VEBA member Colleen Quinn has put out an article that summarizes the post-marriage equality realities for adoption by same sex couples.  Check it out at http://www.lockequinn.com/lgbt-family-law/same-sex-adoption/

  • 06 Oct 2014 2:22 PM | Bary Hausrath (Administrator)

    The decision of the Fourth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals will stand and same sex marriages will now be performed in and recognized in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  For the many gay, lesbian and bi people with questions about what this means for their coupling, children, and family, here is the basic overview.

    I WAS MARRIED IN A JURISDICTION THAT LEGALLY ALLOWED SAME SEX MARRIAGE –WHAT SHOULD I KNOW? 

    1.     You are now legally married in the Commonwealth of Virginia and afforded all of the rights and obligations of a legally married couple.
    2.     You are legally married for all purposes under federal law.
    3.     You must now file married state as well as federal tax returns.
    4.     If you are the non-legal parent of your children, you may now obtain a step-parent adoption in the Commonwealth of Virginia and become a legally recognized parent of your child(ren).
    5.     You may now travel across local state lines (MD, DC, and VA) and your marriage will be recognized in all jurisdictions.
    6.     The question of how far back your marriage will be recognized will not be answered in advance.  If other jurisdictions are any indication, your marriages will at least relate back to when your same sex marriage became legal in this Commonwealth:  either when the Fourth Circuit decision came down (July 28, 2014), or when the District Court decision came down (February 14, 2014).  There is the possibility that your marriage can relate back to when it was validly performed in the jurisdiction in which you were married.
    7.     You may now re-deed any Virginia property between you and your spouse so that it is owned as Tenants by the entireties – a right only afforded to legally married couples.
    8.     You may now qualify for coverage of health insurance and other spousal benefits available through your spouse’s employer.
    9.     You may now get divorced in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and all of the rights and privileges as well as obligations of marriage, including, but not limited to spousal support, child support, child custody, child visitation/custodial access, equitable distribution, and fault based divorces are now available to you.

    I AM NOT CURRENTLY MARRIED – WHAT SHOULD I KNOW?

    1.     You may now get married in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
    2.     If you want to legally adopt your children, you may do so via step-parent adoption if you first get married.
    3.     If you get married, and then have children, your children should be the product of your marriage and you should both be legally recognized on the birth certificate as parents.  Because not all 50 states recognize your marriage, you should still perform a second- or step-parent adoption so that your legal relationship to your children can be recognized in all 50 states.
    4.     Before rushing to get married, you should consult a family law attorney to discuss possible Premarital Agreements, Property Agreements, and/or Custody Agreements.


    This Press Release is provided for informational purposes only, courtesy of Zavos Juncker Law Group PLLC. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, the contents of the Press Release should not be construed as legal advice, which, of necessity, must relate to specific factual situations and claims. This Press Release DOES NOT create an attorney-client relationship between the Virginia Equality Bar Association or its contributors and any reader. You are urged to consult with counsel concerning your own situation.

  • 06 Oct 2014 11:58 AM | Bary Hausrath (Administrator)
    VEBA Board member Cordel Faulk's editorial in Sunday's Richmond Times Dispatch entitled "A Proud Virginian: Come Out" reminds us of Harvey Milk's admonition to come out "[f]or your sake. For their sake. For the sake of the youngsters..."

    "It still is as important as ever that gay Virginians stand up and boldly live an authentic life, so everyone who lives with and loves them sees a human face attached to the struggle for equality."

    The editorial is particularly timely, as news of the Supreme Court's action on same sex marriage becomes widespread.  Says Faulk, "[s]ome bad stuff might happen because you come out — but even better stuff will happen, too. Living an authentic life and being able to truly fall in love is living. Suffocating in a closet is biding time until you die. Gay brothers and sisters ... You must come out."

(c) 2016 Virginia Equality Bar Association


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