F7: Respect for Marriage: Equal Protection for Same-Sex Couples in Washington State and Before the U.S. Supreme Court

Time: 8:30am - 9:45am
Location: 610

The trend toward same-sex marriage recognition has been surrounded by controversy ever since the marriage equality movement's infant stages. In 2012, the legislature in Washington State gave legal recognition to same-sex marriage, making it the ninth state to do so. This year the U.S. Supreme Court took up related questions. Recently, the court considered questions of the constitutional validity of California's Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban and Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. How do these decisions impact the LGBT community? How do they impact the marriage equality movement in general? To answer these questions and more, this program brings together a panel of experts to make sense of the current state of marriage equality law.

Takeaway 1: Participants will acquire in-depth knowledge of the legal issues involved in the same-sex marriage debate.

Takeaway 2: Participants will acquire tools and techniques that will enable them to better collaborate with different stakeholders and interested parties to achieve this objective.

Who should attend: Academic librarians who wish to heighten their knowledge of the same-sex marriage issue in order to better help faculty and students who are researching marriage equality issues; public law librarians who wish to help lesbian, gay, and bisexual patrons better navigate state and federal law that impacts marriage or marriage recognition

This independently produced SIS program is sponsored by the SR-SIS.

Track(s): Reference, Research and Client Services, General or Core Programs

Sarah Jaramillo (Coordinator)

Sarah Jaramillo is a reference librarian at Fordham University Law Library.  Her research interests include quanititative analysis of the pro se experience and access to justice issues generally.  She is also vice-chair of the Social Responsibilities Special Interest Section of AALL.

David Holt (Moderator)
Lisa M. Stone (Speaker)

 Ms. Lisa M. Stone has been the executive director of Legal Voice since 1995.  Legal Voice is a legal  advocacy non-profit working to promote equality for all women and their families throughout the Northwest.   Prior to working at Legal Voice, Ms. Stone was a lawyer in private practice and for the government.  Legal Voice has a history of championing rights for same-sex couples and families. It brought successful suits in Washington establishing the de facto parent doctrine for lesbian non-biological parents, and ensuring that lesbian and gay couples whose relationships ended had the same right to division of assets as non-married different sex couples; and successfully sued to strike down Montana’s same sex sexual activity felony law 3 years before Lawrence v. Texas.  In 2004, Legal Voice and Lambda Legal filed Andersen v. King County, a lawsuit challenging Washington’s ban on civil marriage for same-sex couples. Between 2007 and 2009, Legal Voice worked with allies to lobby the legislature for a series of domestic partnership laws.  Legal Voice was a founding member of Washington United for Marriage, the coalition that led the successful campaign to pass Washington’s marriage equality law and win Referendum 74, securing civil marriage for same-sex couples in Washington in 2012.

Peter Nicolas (Speaker)

Professor Peter Nicolas has been a member of the faculty of University of Washington School of Law since 2000.   His teaching and research interests include evidence, federal courts, international civil litigation, conflict of laws, constitutional law, and sexual orientation law.  Professor Nicolas has written extensively on issues related to same-sex marriage and sexual orientation and the law generally.  Recent publications include The Geography of Law: Same-Sex Marriage & Relationship Recognition in America, co-written with Mike Strong, which is now in its third edition; a new textbook entitled Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and the Constitution, published by Carolina  Academic Press; and a forthcoming article entitled “Gay Rights, Equal Protection, and the Classification-Framing Quandary,” which is slated to be published in volume 21 of George Mason Law Review.

Jamie Pedersen (Speaker)

Representative Jamie Pedersen was elected to the Washington House of Representatives in 2006 and has chaired the House Judiciary Committee since 2009.  Rep. Pedersen has worked for marriage equality since 1995. He chaired the national board of Lambda Legal and served as Lambda’s lead volunteer lawyer in Andersen v. King County, the state’s marriage equality case.  Rep. Pedersen was one of the main architects of legislation to create and expand the Washington’s domestic partnership registry and ensure equal parentage rights same-sex couples. Rep. Pedersen was the House prime sponsor of the marriage equality bill that passed the Washington state legislature in February 2012.  Outside the legislature, Rep. Pedersen serves as vice president and general counsel of a large construction and engineering firm based in Seattle.  He recently married his partner of over ten years, with whom he has four young children.

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