Tennessee should follow New Jersey's lead, secure parental rights for LGBTQ couples

Last week, on January 16th, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Bill S-3528 into law, a bill that helps establish a process to ensure both members of an LGBTQ couple will be recognized as parents of a child brought into their family by adoption or other forms of assisted reproduction.

GLAAD Media Institute Alum Danni Newbury, Coordinator of the Union County Office of LGBTQ Services, had this to say: “A law was written with such care and intent that it secures parental rights throughout the state by streamlining the process to obtain a judgment establishing parentage for the two-parent family where the biological parent and the non-biological are on the birth certificate.”

State Senators Nicholas Scutari and Richard J. Codey sponsored Bill S-3528. In this press release, Scutari said: “This new law will establish an efficient judicial process that will be available to same-sex couples who have utilized assisted reproduction. These couples will finally be given their long overdue legal right to be recognized equally as the parents of their child.”

Newbury also noted, “While states across the country pass laws to restrict access to protections for LGBTQ families, it is vital to acknowledge the unwavering support of Senator Scutari for leading and championing this legislation that eliminates the invasive and costly barriers of confirmatory adoptions for families here in New Jersey,”

Unfortunately, Newbury is right: New Jersey LGBTQ-inclusive policies stand in stark contrast to other states across the USA, which are passing laws to restrict protections for LGBTQ families. Right now, Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee has indicated that he will sign SB1304 into law. This anti-LGBTQ measure would further legitimize discriminatory practices against LGBTQ people in the states – all due to so-called “religious exemptions.” GLAAD is standing strong against Tennessee’s SB 1304, and you have a chance to make your voice heard.

Sign our petition here to call on Governor Lee to veto the discriminatory SB1304 and protect same sex couples in Tennessee.