Post-Election Legal Advice for the LGBTQ Community
10 months ago
Many of us are still processing the the results of the 2016 Presidential Election. But if you are a member of the LGBTQ Community, there are a few steps I strongly advise you to take before the next administration is sworn in in January 2017.
SAME-SEX COUPLES WITH CHILDREN: If you and your spouse have children, I recommend that both parents secure their legal relationship to their children. If one of you is the biological parent, the non-biological spouse should obtain a step parent adoption to ensure your parental rights are equally recognized. The law on this issue is still uncertain and changes may be coming with the new political climate. Appearing on the child's birth certificant is not sufficiant to establish parental rights. Adoption is the only way to make sure that a non-biological parent's relationship will be treated equally under the law. For more information on how this process works in the State of Utah, visit the Utah State Courts' self help page for stepparent adoptions.
TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUALS: If you have started your transition process but have not obtained legal documents relecting our new name and gender marker, you need to begin this process immediately. Under the Obama administration, the State Department adopted a more inclusive policy that allowed trangender individuals to change their name and gender on their U.S. passports as long as the transition was supported by a letter from a licensed physician. There is a very high likelihood that this policy will change under the new administration. If you are also interested in changing your birth certificate, I strongly recommend that you contact a lawyer immediately. If you cannot afford an attorney, please visit the Trangender Law Center's Free Legal Helpline.