From the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to the passage of marriage equality in New
York, 2011 was another momentous year of progress for LGBT rights and the rights of
people with HIV. Here are the biggest events in the state of the law in 2011, according
to Lambda Legal—as well as a tipsheet for what to watch for in 2012.
New York has enacted legislation providing same-sex couples with equal access to
marriage. This document explains how marriage equality may affect same-sex couples
and families with low or no income, and provides general information about your legal
rights. Please note that this document is not intended to provide legal advice or guidance
regarding any specific situation.
The REPEAL ("Repeal Existing Policies that Encourage and Allow Legal") HIV Discrimination Act, introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, addresses the serious problem of discrimination in the use of criminal and civil commitment laws against those who test positive for HIV.
In recent years, the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has refused to grant tax-exempt 501(c)(3)
status to LGBT community centers with a more than insubstantial amount of activities that appear to be social
or recreational in nature. LGBT community centers may therefore wish to exercise caution in the amount of
such activities that they undertake.
On February 10, 2011, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) issued a letter to state birth
registrars announcing a procedure change allowing a woman to be named as a parent on the Maryland birth certificate of
the child born to her same-sex married spouse, without the necessity of a court order.