It was only last year that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that marriage is marriage and that states can’t restrict same-sex couples from entering into such legal contracts. Whether you live in Arkansas or some other state, the law of the land now is that same-sex marriages are recognized.
The old marketing meme, “You’ve come a long way, baby,” may be one that can be applied. However, it would be a mistake to believe that just because the law grants people of the same sex the right to marry it means that all the issues that can create wrinkles in the legal landscape have been ironed out. Challenges in family law may continue to surface for some time for nontraditional families.
In the year since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, it’s estimated that more than 100,000 couples have opted to wed. But in looking around it’s reported that there are still a number of ways families in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community continue to suffer discrimination. Protecting individual rights may require the help of skilled legal counsel.
In broad terms, discrimination can rear its ugly head in the area of employment. As anyone who has tried to start and support a family knows, it takes a steady job to provide stability. Yet, open expression of one’s gayness can still lead to repercussions in some workplaces. Nor does federal law yet prevent LGBT couples from being discriminated against in housing. The New York Times has reported that LGBT individuals are also the most likely hate crime targets in the U.S.
But, even within the confines of family law, where the precedent is set with legalized marriage, discrimination may be experienced. Despite efforts in many states to balance the scales of justice, some parents have seen their child custody and visitation rights eroded because of their sexuality. Some have been denied the right to adopt or serve as foster parents.
Therefore, for as much as things have changed, many experts say there is still room for greater improvement.