The Paralegal Voice

The Legal History of LGBT Community Rights and Coping with Discrimination

April 29, 201535 min
In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews Ric Roane, Esq., a lawyer with Warner Norcross & Judd LLP in Grand Rapids, Michigan, about the history of legal rights regarding the LGBT community and how paralegals today can cope with discrimination and fear of coming out in their workplace. Roane discusses how the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) signed in 1996 denies marriage benefits to same-sex spouses. He also talks about how the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act in Michigan and similar acts in other states defend widely against discrimination without mention of the LGBT community. He explains the Supreme Court consideration of whether the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry and how their decision will affect workers. After the break, he talks about his own experience of being an openly gay lawyer, the differences between discrimination of paralegals versus lawyers, and steps a paralegal can take to help enhance their job security. Special thanks to our sponsors, Boston University, NALA, and ServeNow.

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