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Lambda Legal Mourns the Death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam

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“Judge Abdus-Salaam saw clearly how damaging it was to keep LGBT parents from their children. We owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude.”
April 12, 2017

(New York, April 12, 2017) – After news reported the death of Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African-American woman and Muslim to serve on New York’s highest court, Lambda Legal issued the following statement from Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation:

“Judge Abdus-Salaam’s death is a tragic loss for all of New York, and our hearts go out to all who knew her. Just last August, Judge Abdus-Salaam wrote the ground-breaking decision in Lambda Legal’s case that cleared the way for LGBT parents and other parents with no biological ties to seek parenting rights to their children on equal footing with biological parents.

“Judge Abdus-Salaam saw clearly how damaging it was to keep LGBT parents from their children. We owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude. She touched the lives of many New Yorkers; her legacy will live on. ”

Writing for the majority, Judge Abdus-Salaam said: “[T]oday, we overrule Alison D. and hold that where a partner shows by clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive a child and to raise the child together, the non-biological, non-adoptive partner has standing to seek visitation and custody under” New York’s Domestic Relations Law.

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Contact Info

Lisa Hardaway; 973-902-9298; lhardaway@lambdalegal.org

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