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Courts Address Gaylesbian Family Rights

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The City of Ann Arbor has agreed to honor the request of Jayne Miller and Chris McGown that they be treated as spouses n the City's application of personnel policies. While this validation of their relationship as a lesbian couple is not complete, the City has stated that McGown and Miller will be considered as spouses in City employment policies on maternity leave, child-care leave, sick leave, life insurance, and funeral leave. Sharing medical insurance is not included in the agreement. The couple exchanged wedding rings in an Episcopal ceremony of union four years ago. They jointly own a house in Washtenaw County. Our sincere congratulations and thanks to Chris and Jayne for the risks they have taken and the work they have done toward obtaining some of their human and civil rights. What they have done to help themselves has helped us all.

A circuit court judge in Florida has ruled that a State law prohibiting lesbians and gay men from adopting children in that state violates Floridians' constitutional right to privacy, equal protection, and due process of law. According to Judge M. Ignatius Lester of Monroe County, Florida, the statute "suffers from the trite notion of homosexuals' unsuitability as fit parents and evidences discrimination through archaic stereotypes associated with homosexuals." The court also stated that the law violates the right to privacy because inquiries into sexual orientation do not advance the "best interests of children" and "totally" frustrate the best interest of adoptive parents.

An Ohio appellate court has ruled that the State of Ohio's domestic violence statute must be interpreted to cover lesbian and gay male domestic partners. The court stated that the legislature intended "that the domestic violence statute provide protection to persons who are cohabiting regardless of their sex." Responding to this landmark decisiĆ³n, Paula Ettelbrick, the Legal Director of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, noted that the decisiĆ³n offers strong support of two timely and important concerns: "First, it is clear that the court considered the prevention of domestic violence, whether within lesbian and gay homes or heterosexual homes, to be a legal priority. Second, the court clearly recognizes that lesbian and gay domestic partners are entitled to equal protection and treatment."

Gay Liberation Front's Purpose is to provide information, counseling, and related social services for people concerned about sexual orientation. We maintain a hotline for crisis intervention, peer counseling and referral. We help provide factual information to offset prejudice and misinformation about lesbians and gay men. We work to obtain human and civil rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation. We help lesbian and gay men's groups organize, and we are a link to other community groups.

Community Services include: a Hotline for crisis intervention, peer counseling , referral. Education: workshops and conferences on lesbian and gay male concerns, with an emphasis on how people in the "helping professions" and "teaching professions" can work positively with lesbian and gay male clients, patients, & students. Speakers Bureau: phone for information. Human & Civil Rights: information and referral to help people who are being discriminated against because of their actual or presumed sexual orientation or because of their presumed "cross-gender" characteristics; lobbying for human and civil rights. Community Organization and Liaison: information and assistance in organizing groups, setting goals, addressing conflict, linking with other groups and resources.

Gay Liberation Meetings vary according to purpose; we do most of our work in subcommittees (counseling, groupwork, education, civil rights). Cali for time and place. Gay Liberation includes U-M students, staff, faculty and people from the larger community. We have a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. We're a registered non-profit organization. Gay Liberation, co 4117 Michigan Union, Ann Arbor, Ml 48109; 763-4186.


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