The rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are expanding, as constitutional and statutory protections continue to grow. The U.S. Supreme Court’s historic legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide in June 2016 (in a case originating in Michigan) has opened the door to adoption by LGBTQ individuals and same-sex couples and the extension of employee benefits to same-sex partners.
Despite the advances, state and federal civil rights laws do not universally prevent discrimination against sexual orientation in employment, housing, or services, and the LGBTQ community – as well as the organizations that employ them – struggle to understand their rights and responsibilities. That’s why they turn to Shelton & Deon.
We provide counsel in matters involving:
- Estate planning for LGBTQ individuals, partners, spouses, and families
- Adoption by LGBTQ individuals and couples
- Parenting agreements
- Same-sex partnership and marriage dissolutions, including resolution of parenting time, property division, and spousal and child support disputes
Additionally, we help employers navigate state and federal laws involving:
- Anti-discrimination policies addressing harassment, bullying, and confidentiality
- ERISA compliance wit
h respect to benefits provided to private and public employees in same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships
- OSHA and workplace accommodations
Our attorneys are devoted to protecting and advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ community. For example, Amanda Shelton worked pro bono with the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of 42 plaintiffs on an appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court about the provision of employment benefits to the domestic partners of public employees, and has also aggressively litigated for same-sex parents seeking custody of their children through the equitable parenthood doctrine and through second-parent adoptions. We closely monitor developments in the courts and legislatures to stay abreast of evolving laws.
Safeguarding the rights of LGBTQ individuals and families isn’t just business to us – it’s personal.