2019 is an anniversary year for a number of landmark gay relationship recognition decisions from state high courts, including the thirtieth anniversary of Braschi v. Stahl Associates Co. in New York (the first American appellate court to conclude that same-sex relationships are entitled to legal protection and recognition), the twentieth anniversary of Baker v. State in Vermont (the state must guarantee the same protections and benefits to same-sex couples that it does to male-female spouses), and the tenth(ish) anniversary of Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health in Connecticut (denying same-sex couples the right to marry, even granting them a parallel “civil unions” status, violates the equality and liberty provisions of the Connecticut Constitution). The future for high-stakes LGBT litigation in federal courts is looking increasingly dismal, and so a discussion about the role that state courts can play is timely and warranted. On this panel, some of the advocates most intimately involved in these cases and a sitting openly gay state supreme court justice will discuss the history of gay relationship recognition in state high courts, and provide a useful lens as we look toward the future.
Location: Franklin 6
Speakers: Nan Hunter (Georgetown University Law Center); Bennett Klein (GLAD); Beth Robinson (Vermont Supreme Court); Matthew Skinner (Office of Court Administration, New York State Unified Court System)