Since 2003, the antigay Alliance Defense Fund has been trying to eliminate benefits for same-sex partners of city employees in New Orleans. They’ve yet to succeed, and Lambda Legal has been fighting them every step of the way.
Lambda Legal recently went back to court to argue that same-sex couples deserve access to benefits without extremist groups such as the ADF standing in their way.
This case is another instance of a politically motivated lawsuit by organizations motivated by bias. Lambda Legal is taking a stand against antigay forces around the country, defending ground we’ve already gained in the fight for equality.
In 1997, the city of New Orleans extended insurance benefits to same-sex partners of city employees. In 1999, the City Council created a domestic partner registry that allows couples to make public commitment to care for and support each other. Both policies came under attack in a lawsuit brought by the Alliance Defense Fund. At the city’s request, Lambda Legal joined the lawsuit to uphold these policies.
The city of New Orleans took it upon itself to do the right thing for its gay and lesbian employees and their families by giving them access to the same health insurance plans that its heterosexual employees and their families receive. The city is well within its rights to do so.
Who is the Alliance Defense Fund?
- August 2003 Lambda Legal joins city of New Orleans in defending domestic partnership benefits for same-sex partners of city employees.
- January 2005 Louisiana appeals court hears oral arguments in the case.
- December 2005 Louisiana appeals court holds that taxpayers did not have standing to challenge the New Orleans domestic partnership benefits and upholds ruling safeguarding health insurance benefits for same-sex partners of city employees.
- May 2006 Louisiana Supreme Court reverses the decision of the Louisiana Appeals Court, holding that taxpayers could challenge the New Orleans domestic partnership benefits. The case was returned to the trial court for further proceedings.
- September 2007 Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on the merits denied.
- November 2007 Defendants’ cross-motion for summary judgment heard. The court took the matter under advisement.