October 8, 2008
Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center Journal of Race, Gender and Ethnicity Call for Papers and Presenters
Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center
Journal of Race, Gender and Ethnicity
Call for papers and presenters Transgender Law symposium
Touro Law Center’s online Journal of Race, Gender and Ethnicity is pleased to announce a symposium, Transgender Law: Challenging the Boundaries of Law and Gender to be held on Friday, February 20, 2009 at the Touro Law Center in Central Islip, New York. The Journal is currently seeking presenters for the symposium. Presentations may address any issue related to transgender law, including but not limited to workplace law, health care, criminal justice, and non-discrimination laws. The Journal is also interested in proposals on New York-specific topics.
A transcript of the symposium will be published on the Journal’s website, in a similar format to our previous symposium on Women in the Law, which featured a keynote address by Chief Judge Judith Kaye of the New York Court of Appeals.
Presenters at the symposium will also have the option of publishing their papers in a symposium issue of the Journal of Race, Gender and Ethnicity.
We invite proposals of 500 to 1000 words. Abstracts should be submitted in electronic format via e-mail to Professor Meredith R. Miller at email@example.com, please carbon copy Jeannine Farino, Editor-in-Chief, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the body of the e-mail, please include your current contact information.
The deadline for proposals is December 19, 2008. All submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
We will endeavor to obtain CLE credit for attendees of this program, which will be co-sponsored by LeGAL, the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Law Association of Greater New York.
October 7, 2008
Montana Trial Court Recognizes De Facto Parent
On September 29, 2008, a Montana trial court recognized that a same-sex partner could be recognized as a de facto parent to the children adopted by her partner during their relationship. Kulstad v. Maniaci, No. DR-07-34 (Mont. Fourth Dist. Ct. September 29, 2008).
Although the partner seeking custody rights did not formally adopt the children during their relationship (because Montana law prohibits same-sex adoption), she participated in raising the children and was an integral part of their lives on a daily basis. Id. at 7. The court recognized, however, that there is a special balance at issue here: the fundamental rights of the legal parent (the mother who had legally adopted the two children) and the fundamental rights of the children (to have their best interests considered). Id. at 21-28. In order to facilitate that balance, the court recognized that the non-legal parent in this case was a de facto parent to the children because she raised them as her own children and was held out (by both partners) as a parent to the children. Id. at 31. In fact, the legal parent "ceded some of her parenting authority " when she "represented to various persons . . . that they were adopting the children as a couple and intended to remain together as a family." Id. at 28.
Because both of the parties acted as parents to the children, the court granted the petitioner "joint decision-making authority regarding all significant matters affecting the children . . . ." Id. at 37.