FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DETROIT, Mich. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) applauds today’s Michigan Supreme Court ruling that establishes the right of unmarried LGBTQ+ people in same-sex relationships to retain involvement in their children’s lives following a breakup.
The court, in Pueblo v. Haas, ruled that LGBTQ+ parents who were unconstitutionally denied the right to marry can seek custody and parenting time of children that they had with their partners. As a result, Carrie Pueblo – and other LGBTQ+ people like her – will, when relationships with their same-sex partners break down, be able to maintain a parental role with children they helped raise.
The Supreme Court ruled:
“Justice does not depend on family composition; all who petition for recognition of their parental rights are entitled to equal treatment under the law.”
“The children of same-sex partners bear no lesser rights to the enjoyment and support of two parents than children born to married opposite-sex parents.”
The ACLU of Michigan led a coalition of organizations in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, and also argued before the court. The brief was joined by Lambda Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the LGBTQA Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, Affirmations LGBTQ+ Community Center, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Equality Michigan, the Out Center of Southwest Michigan, and Stand With Trans.
Jay Kaplan, ACLU of Michigan Nancy Katz & Margo Dichtelmiller LGBTQ+ Rights Project Staff Attorney, released this statement:
“Until now, when children were born into families headed by unmarried same-sex couples, a child-parent bond could be severed forever because the non-genetic parent was considered a ‘legal stranger’ to the child. That included people like Carrie Pueblo, who was unconstitutionally barred from marrying her partner. Children, denied access to the love and financial support of one of their parents, suffered terrible harm.
“Thankfully, because of today’s ruling, that will no longer happen. It is an important step forward in the ongoing effort by the ACLU and its allies to obtain equal rights for every LGBTQ+ person in Michigan.”