Out Law by Angela Giampolo

Angela D. Giampolo, principal of Giampolo Law Group, maintains offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and specializes in LGBT law, family law, business law, real estate law and civil rights. Her website is www.giampololaw.com and she maintains a blog at www.phillygaylawyer.com. Reach out to Angela with your legal questions at 215-645-2415 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I have never fielded more phone calls, emails and Facebook messages than since the passage of marriage equality as I did this week. That’s because everyone in the LGBT community is concerned about the state of their rights. For those wondering how actively President-elect Donald J. Trump wants to roll back LGBT rights, this is the first in a series of columns outlining the possible ramifications of his administration on the progress we’ve made.

The LGBT community has been making long-deserved strides recently in obtaining equal protection under the law. With decisions like Windsor and Obergefell, we have precedents protecting us from discrimination based on whom we love.

Most LGBT couples spend upwards of $5,000 to go through the adoption process in the United States. As always, Canada is about to make life that much easier for LGBT couples having families. Lawmakers in Ontario introduced legislation last week to give same-sex parents who aren’t biologically related to their children the same legal rights as heterosexual moms and dads. No longer will people who were not previously legally considered parents have to live in fear they cannot make medical and other decisions about their children if a spouse becomes incapacitated.

Since Whitewood v. Wolf in Pennsylvania and the federal Obergefell v. Hodges, gay people’s biggest worries surrounding marriage have been whether or not to invite that annoying second cousin on mom’s side of the family, centerpieces and what kind of food to serve the guests. What very few people realize is that, even though we have marriage equality nationwide, there are still many couples who are “wed-locked” in Pennsylvania. 

I’m always looking up “lawyer apps” that help attorneys with productivity, keeping track of billable hours or even offer tips on how to relax. That got me to thinking about whether or not there are apps for non-lawyers — to help with deciphering the law, pairing people with lawyers or even substitution for traditional legal services. As you know, there is an app for everything, so here is my review of the best legal apps out there for non-lawyers.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently filed its first suits challenging sexual-orientation discrimination as sex discrimination — one comes from Pennsylvania and the other Maryland. In the lawsuits, the agency charges that a gay male employee and a lesbian employee were subjected to hostile work environments because of their sex.

North Carolina is truly a state of Tar Heels — they are stuck in the past. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who couldn’t help but think of the LGBTQ individuals in the state of North Carolina as the NCAA Championship game was on, reflecting on how the University of North Carolina men’s basketball team's success this season was overshadowed by the reckless actions of their governor, Pat McCrory, and state lawmakers in passing HB 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.

Cooler heads prevailed on Tuesday, when South Dakota’s governor vetoed a bill that would have made it the first state in the country to approve a law requiring transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their sex at birth. Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who initially reacted positively to the proposal, retracted and instead said he needed to research the issue further. He ultimately rejected the bill after the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Campaign insisted it was discriminatory. In his veto message, Daugaard said the bill “does not address any pressing issue” and such decisions were best left to local school officials.

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