June is LGTBQ Pride Month! (Family law & Same-Sex Legal Matters)

| Family Law Same-Sex Marriage | June 4, 2020

The History & 50th Anniversary

“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as ‘Gay Pride Day,’ but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the ‘day’ soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.  The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

“In 1994, a coalition of education-based organizations in the United States designated October as LGBT History Month. In 1995, a resolution passed by the General Assembly of the National Education Association included LGBT History Month within a list of commemorative months. National Coming Out Day (October 11), as well as the first “March on Washington” in 1979, are commemorated in the LGBTQ community during LGBT History Month.

“June 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of annual LGBTQ+ Pride traditions. The first Pride march in New York City was held on June 28, 1970 on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.” 1

The above was taken directly from the Library of Congress’s website about the LGTBQ Pride Month: https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/

LGTBQ and Family Law

With Arizona finally recognizing same-sex marriage on October 17th, 2014, the scope of family law has increased among the LGTBQ community. This opened up the rights to same-sex spouses to receive the same benefits under the law that were previously only reserved for spouses of the opposite sex. This also extends to the realm of family law services such as pre- and post-nuptial agreements, divorce, child custody and child support as well as spousal maintenance (alimony) among same-sex individuals. Another area that became more readily accessible was child adoption. “In September 2017, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously ruled that same-sex spouses have the same parental rights as opposite-sex spouses under state law. Basing their ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges and Pavan v. Smith, the court concluded that married same-sex couples have the right to list both their names on their child(ren)’s birth certificate(s).”2 This has also created precedence for other items such as non-biological fertility and surrogacy among same-sex couples; although such cases are not as cut and dry.

Duenas Eden Law, Experienced Family Law Attorneys in Same-Sex Legal Matters

As mentioned above, the recognition of same-sex marriage in the state of Arizona makes it easier for LGTBQ couples or individuals to seek and receive legal representation in family law matters. We, the attorneys of Duenas Eden Law, understand same-sex legal issues and will work with you on your family law matters. We will help guide and represent you in the process. Our Office in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, AZ and we serve the communities of Ocotillo, Chandler, Laveen, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert and San Tan Valley. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

 

Sources
1 https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/
2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Arizona#Adoption_and_parenting


Pregnant Man Denied Divorce…

| Divorce Legally Speaking Same-Sex Marriage | April 22, 2020

Did I catch your attention with the title and lure you in? Keep reading…

This is an interesting case! It is not often that there are rulings from a family law case in Maricopa County that leads to national headlines. However, on March 28, 2013, the Maricopa County Superior Court did just that when it ruled that a man, who was born a female and gave birth three times after receiving a birth certificate declaring him to be a man, could not divorce his wife.

In a very detailed and lengthy opinion, the court found that the parties failed to prove that they had a legally recognizable marriage under Arizona law. The full case opinion is In Re the Marriage of Thomas Beatie and Nancy J. Beatie, FC2012-051183.

 

The Details

Thomas, as stated above, was born a female. He began undergoing hormone treatments as part of a sex change to become a man, but abandoned such treatment before it would have eliminated his ability to bear or carry a child in his womb. He underwent a medical operation as part of his sex change, but it was revealed that the surgery was a double mastectomy. Thomas obtained a new birth certificate listing his sex as a male, but the court noted that Thomas never disclosed he would still have the ability to become pregnant. While Thomas presented an affidavit from one of his doctors explaining that he had undergone medical procedures, no discussion of the extent of those procedures was provided to the state issuing the new birth certificate.

After obtaining a new birth certificate listing his sex as a male, Thomas and Nancy married. They then went on to have three children, all carried by and born to Thomas.

 

The Findings

The Maricopa County Superior Court denied the dissolution of the parties’ marriage, finding that they were never legally married and thus there was nothing to dissolve. In Arizona, a marriage [was] legally defined as being between a man and a woman [prior to October 17, 2014].  In deciding that Thomas was not a man, under a plain meaning of the term man, the only decision the court could make was that the marriage was not valid because it was not between a man and a woman.

Where does this leave Arizona? Almost certainly with the Arizona Court of Appeals hearing the case. In fact, there has already been a notice of appeal filed with the Arizona Court of Appeals. Will this case have an impact on same-sex marriages or cases involving couples cohabitating? In my opinion, it likely will not. This case involved a very narrow legal issue asking whether the marriage between Thomas and Nancy was valid under Arizona law. In deciding it was not, the court declined to accept either party’s arguments of social policy, instead focusing solely on interpreting the laws of Arizona. This begs the question then – had Thomas not born a child, would anyone have questioned the legitimacy of the birth certificate?

 

Family Law, Divorce and Same-Sex Legal Matters

Although the above case was a unique one, with the current recognition of same-sex marriage in the state of Arizona many still have questions regarding such matters. Consult with an experienced family law attorney that listens to your case and your needs. The attorneys of Duenas Eden Law we are experienced and trusted lawyers focusing on Family Law including; Same-Sex Legal Matters, Divorce, Child Custody Cases, Child Support, Spousal Support and other Family Law matters. We are Family Law Lawyers servicing Laveen, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert. Call today: (480) 285-1735.

At Duenas Eden, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance. We are currently working remotely, but are available to address your individual needs. We have added new telephone numbers to better assist you. Please call or text attorney Amy Duenas at (602) 492-5636, attorney Dorian Eden at (480) 269–1731, or paralegal Chris Esparza at (480) 269-2158.  Our main office number of (480) 285-1735 is still being monitored hourly. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time for all.

Dorian Eden Attorney at Law Duenas Eden Law Family Law Ahwatukee AZ
By Dorian L. Eden
Adapted from the original published article in the June 2013 edition of Ocotillo Living

Who gets custody when a child’s same-sex parents aren’t married?

| Same-Sex Marriage | April 24, 2017

When the U.S. Supreme Court made its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, many people rejoiced as this effectively made same-sex marriage legal in the United States. Unfortunately, the process of writing laws doesn’t happen overnight in our country. Continue reading…


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