The United States Supreme Court’s decision to allow same sex couples to marry may be just the beginning of the legal impact of recognition of a fundamental right of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. There is a push for further protection of the LGBT community to add sexual orientation and gender identity to civil rights laws to protect them against discrimination.
The United States Supreme Court in the Obergefell case held the Fourteenth Amendment requires that same sex couples have the right to marry and have their marriage recognized by all states. This right has already had an impact on same-sex couples in states that have previously recognized same-sex marriages, including Indiana, such as including a spouse on medical decisions and treatment, and allowing survivor benefits for spouses.
Nevertheless, there are still statutes that may require amendments to incorporate the recognition of same-sex marriage within Indiana. Awareness of this issue will help you better understand where Indiana law is going as it relates to children. Several statutes do not address same-sex couples, although a trial court may apply this right.
For example, there could be issues in determining custody in the child’s best interests same-sex marriages and issues with parental rights or parenting time when the parties are neither biological mother or father, which could effectively become adoption issues. The statutes that appear to be outdated or where legal issue may arise because they do not contemplate same-sex couples or marriages are: the Adoption Act, de facto custodian provisions, uniform pre-marital agreement statutes, and certain guardianships.
Likely, an attorney familiar with the current law, legal trends, and policies can navigate these murky waters. This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. It is for general educational information only. It is not intended to be specific legal advice, nor a solicitation for representation. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys practice domestic law through the State of Indiana.