Happy Pride Month!
June 21, 2022
June is LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) Pride Month! Originally celebrated as Gay Pride Day on the last Sunday in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City, Pride Month gradually became a month-long event. For more background information, we recommend the Library of Congress's brief but excellent write-up of the history of Pride Month and the Stonewall Uprising.
At the State Law Library, we believe that everyone is entitled to equal justice under the law! In honor of Pride Month, here are a few titles and resources in the library's collection on LGBTQ law.
LGBT Law Guide
Our librarians have created a research guide to LGBT Law with information on resources that may help LGBTQ community members navigate the various legal challenges they may face. If you're not familiar with the federal law on LGBTQ rights, the Federal Law box on the General Information page is a quick introduction to several impactful cases for LGBTQ rights. Obergefell v. Hodges (the Supreme Court ruling that required the states to recognize same-sex marriage) and Bostock v. Clayton County (the Supreme Court case that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity) are two examples of such cases.
Check out the Know Your Rights page for links to articles that help explain your legal rights at work, at school, and when accessing healthcare and housing. The LGBT guide also has a page on same-sex marriage and divorce.
This guide also has information on some of the recent developments in Texas law on gender-affirming care for transgender youth and issues that affect transgender student athletes; please see the Recent Developments Affecting Trans Texans box on the General Information page.
Changing Your Name and Gender Markers
If you aren't sure where to start to update the gender marker on your driver's license or change your name to reflect your gender identity, you can begin by reviewing the Name & Gender Marker Changes page of our LGBT guide. Several Texas counties have created sample forms and directions for these procedures, so we've linked directly to their information. You may also be able to adapt these forms for use in your own county.
To find out how to change other identifying documents like your passport or social security card, be sure to check the state or federal agency that is in charge of issuing these documents. See the Changing Other Identifying Documents box for links to information about each process on the respective agency's website.
If you need help with this process, don't worry! There are several free legal clinics that may be able to provide some assistance:
- The Houston Trans Legal Aid Clinic hosts virtual and in-person clinics once or twice a month, so check their Facebook page for details about upcoming clinics.
- Pride Center San Antonio's Gender Affirmation Project offers this service in partnership with St. Mary's School of Law's Pro Bono program and the Richard and Ginni Mithoff Pro Bono Program. Be sure to email them directly for more info about participating in this program.
- The University of Texas at Austin's School of Law also hosts a clinic where transgender people can get assistance with the name and gender marker change process.
If we hear about any new clinics, we'll be sure to list them on our Name and Gender Marker Changes page! If you know of a legal clinic that isn't listed, please let us know.
LGBT Titles in the Digital Collection
We've added a collection of titles that address LGBTQ Law to our Digital Collection. Most have been written or updated recently to reflect recent changes in the law. Some are written for folks who do not have a legal background but are looking for legal information, like Nolo's A Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples. Others are written with the practicing attorney or law student in mind, like Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and the Law in a Nutshell.
As most of these titles deal with family law subjects like divorce, child custody arrangements, living together, etc., the LGBT Law collection is nested under the Family Law subject. However, if you're researching another aspect of LGBTQ law, you may also want to look at some of the general titles we have on that particular subject for chapters or excerpts on how the topic may apply in an LGBTQ context. For instance, our Employment Law titles may have a chapter on how employment discrimination applies to LGBTQ employees, like Chapter 10: Special Problems in Sex Discrimination in the treatise Civil Rights in the Workplace.
If you need help researching an LGBTQ issue, let us know! We're happy to help via email, in person, or over the phone. Happy Pride Month!