Relationship Recognition through a Federal Lens: An LGBT Bar Event Presented by Celesq® AttorneysEd Center

Program Number: 1990LGBT

Program Date: 09/11/2009


Now with marriage in the heartland and throughout New England, the broad impact of federal discrimination against same sex couples is finally being felt. Litigation strategies focusing on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act may provide much needed relief. With recent filings in the Boies/Olson suit and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts challenging DOMA on 10th Amendment grounds, Federal courts are becoming central to the marriage issue.

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Available in states

Arizona, California, Colorado Eligible, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey Eligible, New York, Texas Self Study

Credit Information

50 minute credit hour - 1.5 General CLE credit
60 minute credit hour - 1.5 General CLE credit

State Program Numbers


Patricia Cain, Esq.

Santa Clara Law School

Patricia Cain is the Inez Mabie Distinguished Professor of Law at Santa Clara Law. Before joining the SCU faculty in 2007, she served as Vice Provost and Aliber Family Chair in Law at the University of Iowa. She was a member of the faculty the University of Texas for 17 years before moving to the University of Iowa College of Law in 1991. A member of the American Law Institute and prior board member of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, she is a former President of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) and is currently serving as Treasurer of SALT. She is a frequent lecturer on tax planning for same sex couples and has participated in recent programs at The Williams Institute, UCLA (Los Angeles), Lavender Law (San Francisco), Kasner Estate Planning Symposium (San Jose), the Santa Clara Estate Planning Council (Santa Clara), Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Group (Sacramento), and ALI-ABA (national webcast). She has published numerous articles on tax planning for same sex couples and is the author of several books, including Rainbow Rights: The Role of Lawyers and Courts In the Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights Movement (Westview Press 2000); and Sexuality Law, 2nd edition (with Arthur S. Leonard) (Carolina Academic Press 2009). She received her A.B. degree from Vassar College and her J.D. degree from the University of Georgia.


William Eskridge, Esq.

Yale Law School

Professor William N. Eskridge, Jr. is the John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School. His primary legal academic interest has been statutory interpretation. Together with Professor Philip Frickey, he developed an innovative casebook on Legislation. In 1990-95, Professor Eskridge represented a gay couple suing for recognition of their same-sex marriage. Since then, he has published a field-establishing casebook, three monographs, and dozens of law review articles articulating a legal and political framework for proper state treatment of sexual and gender minorities. The historical materials in the book on Gaylaw formed the basis for an amicus brief he drafted for the Cato Institute and for much of the Court's (and the dissenting opinion's) analysis in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which invalidated consensual sodomy laws. His most recent book is Gay Marriage: For Better or For Worse? (with Darren Spedale). Professor Eskridge received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Davidson College, his masters in History from Harvard, and his J.D. from Yale.


Suzanne B. Goldberg, Esq.

Columbia Law School

Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg directs the Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic and teaches civil procedure at Columbia Law School. She has written extensively on procedural and substantive barriers to equality, including award-winning articles on equal protection review and morals-based justifications for lawmaking. Prior to joining the Columbia faculty, Professor Goldberg was a member of the Rutgers-Newark Law School faculty, where she taught and also directed the Women’s Rights Litigation Clinic at Rutgers-Newark Law School. Throughout the 1990s, Professor Goldberg was a leading lawyer with Lambda Legal, where served as counsel in many cases, including two that eventually became cornerstone gay rights victories before the US Supreme Court – Lawrence v. Texas, which invalidated Texas’s sodomy law, and Romer v. Evans, which struck down an anti-gay Colorado constitutional amendment.


Jonathan Miller, Esq.

Massachusetts Attorney General's Office

Jonathan Miller, Esq. is an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. He grew up outside of Boston and attended Dartmouth College, where he majored in history and played baseball. He worked as a sports writer for newspapers in Colorado and Texas before attending Columbia Law School. After graduating, Mr. Miller served as a law clerk to a federal district court judge in Philadelphia and worked as a First Amendment fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union, where he was part of the team that represented Joseph Frederick, the student in the Bong Hits 4 Jesus litigation. Before moving back to Boston, he worked at Staten Island Legal Services in their Homeowner Defense Project.


Shannon Minter, Esq.

National Center for Lesbian Rights

Shannon Minter is the Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, one of the nation's leading advocacy organizations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Shannon was lead counsel for same-sex couples in the California marriage equality case and is currently lead attorney in the Prop 8 legal challenge. Additionally, he has litigated many other impact cases throughout the country. Shannon serves on the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and on the boards of Equality California and the Transgender Law & Policy Institute. Shannon received his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1993.


Janson Wu, Esq.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders

Janson Wu is a staff attorney with the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). Before coming to GLAD, Janson worked as a coordinating attorney with Tri-City Community Action Program, a multi-service, anti-poverty organization, where he provided legal services to low-income individuals. Prior to that, Janson was an associate at the litigation law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges in San Francisco. In California, he volunteered on an LGBT anti-violence hotline, for the Lawyer's Committee of Civil Rights, and for the AIDS Legal Referral Panel.