New York State approves same-sex marriage: let the wedding bells (and cash registers) ring

New York State approves same-sex marriage: let the wedding bells (and cash registers) ring On Friday, June 24 2011 New York City’s West Village erupted in celebration as hundreds gathered outside the historic Stonewall Inn to celebrate one of the most significant victories in the modern gay rights movement – the legalization of same-sex marriage. The New York State Senate passed the legislation by a margin 33-29, making New York the sixth and most populous Read more…

GOP Funders Back Same-Sex Marriage in New York

GOP Funders Back Same-Sex Marriage in New York The tides for marriage equality may be changing.  The New York Times recently reported a coalition of gay rights organizations received a large financial donation from an unlikely source: wealthy donors to the Republican Party.  The small, yet highly influential group of donors “represent some of New York’s wealthiest and most politically active figures” including heavy G.O.P donor and hedge fund manager Paul E. Singer, wealthy financier Read more…

Immigration and LGBT Platforms – United or Divided?

Immigration and LGBT Platforms – United or Divided? The modern gay rights and current immigration movements may seem like two dissimilar issues; however, the two issues have much more in common than what initially meets the eye.  The push for human dignity, respect, and equality under the law are dominant themes underlying both minority movements.   And, with a large population of gay immigrants seeking refuge in the United States, the LGBT community cannot afford Read more…

A Call for Accountability

On February 25 2011, Christian Dior fashion designer John Galliano was arrested in Paris on charges of assault and for making anti-Semitic remarks directed towards a couple in a Marais district café.  Under French law, making anti-Semitic remarks is punishable by up to six months in prison.  While this maximum sentence is rarely handed down (offenders are usually given suspended sentences and a heavy fine for their transgression), the law itself is indicative of France’s Read more…

Obama and Attorney General Holder Challenge DOMA

Obama and Attorney General Holder Challenge DOMA The Obama Administration has taken another progressive steps towards equality that has LGBT rights advocates feeling like a victory has been won. On February 23, 2011, President Obama declared Section 3 of DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act] unconstitutional and stated that the Department of Justice would no longer defend the statute in federal court in jurisdictions that have no precedent defending the act. In a letter addressed to Read more…

The Impact of Dodd-Frank 342 on Diversity in the Financial Services Industry

The Impact of Dodd-Frank 342 on Diversity in the Financial Services Industry Though the equality divide seems to be inching closed with the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and other protective enactments, provisions are continuously being made to seal the gap.  These changes are not an accessory but a necessity in today’s society.  A prime example is Wall Street, which is very much still a patriarchal and discriminatory climate.  The Dodd-Frank 342 bill is Read more…

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Break-Up FAQ 1. How do you go about dividing up items you’ve purchased together? In the absence of a comprehensive set of legal rights and obligations, a same-sex couple may formalize their relationship by entering into a contractual arrangement called either a cohabitation agreement or a domestic partnership agreement. This agreement may cover a number of different subjects.  It may address, for example, the pooling of income during the relationship; the division of responsibilities for Read more…

Domestic Partner Benefits: The Hidden Costs Affecting LGBT Employees

Domestic Partner Benefits: The Hidden Costs Affecting LGBT Employees Many businesses are finally recognizing the value of diversity and equality in the workplace.  As a result, by offering domestic partner health benefits, companies are attracting many qualified LGBT employees.  The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) reported roughly 58% of Fortune 500 companies offer domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples, and while these companies are to be praised for their progressive efforts, many remain oblivious to the Read more…

Business Succession Planning for LGBT Business Owners

Business Succession Planning for LGBT Business Owners Proper estate planning is particularly important for the LGBT community due to the fact that same-sex marriage is not legal in most states and even in those states, same-sex couples are not afforded the privileges and benefits of federal law.   With that said, even those with estate plans often do not take into consideration ownership interests in companies.   Business succession planning is crucial to ensure the Read more…