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Sexual Orientation   Tags: bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender  

This legal research guide provides information on legal issues relevant to the LGBTQ community, including handling finances and owning property as a couple, and workplace discrimination.
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Research from Home

If you have a library account in good standing, you can check out an OverDrive e-Book title or access our remote databases. Don't have a library account? Texas residents can register for a library account from home! Learn more about how to register from home.

Below are some eBook titles that may help you with your research on sexual orientation issues.

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A legal guide for lesbian and gay couples - Emily Doskow; Attorney Denis Clifford; Frederick Hertz
ISBN: 9781413310917
Publication Date: 2010-03-28
Nolo’s updated edition of A Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples provides information on the changing laws affecting LGBT couples. Outlining the proper legal steps to define and protect relationships, this guide covers the marriage laws of all 50 states, planning for medical emergencies, acquiring domestic partner benefits, buying property, legal issues surrounding children, and end of life decisions.

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Making it legal : a guide to same-sex marriage, domestic partnerships & civil unions - Emily Doskow; Frederick Hertz
ISBN: 9781413313185
Publication Date: 2011-02-02
Nolo’s Making it Legal is a comprehensive guide to same-sex relationship laws in the United States. The 3rd edition contains an updated 50-state relationship status chart to clarify nuances in state law. Making It Legal discusses both federal and individual state rules about same-sex partnerships, the issues involving same sex marriage and children, end of life decisions and living trusts, and the tax and debt implications of marriage.


Resources at the State Law Library

Below are some of the library resources that can provide further guidance on this topic. The Texas State Law Library has many other resources in addition to the highlights we present below. Please call us at (512) 463-1722 if you have any questions about these materials.

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The rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people - Nan D. Hunter, Courtney G. Joslin, Sharon M. McGowan
Call Number: KF 4754.5 Z9 H86
ISBN: 0809325187
Publication Date: 2004
The ACLU provides an accessible discussion of legal issues for individuals facing discrimination or legal uncertainty due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

About This Guide

This guide provides resources on issues of interest to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and others. These resources speak to the unique challenges confronted by gay individuals and couples.


    National Organizations

    These organizations are active in promoting legal rights, research, and awareness at the national level. 

    • American Civil Liberties Union
      The ACLU provides the webpage LGBT Basic Rights and Liberties with links to current and historical developments in LGBT rights.
    • American Foundation for Equal Rights
      "As the sole sponsor of the federal court challenge of California’s Proposition 8, now known as Hollingsworth v. Perry, AFER is leading the fight for marriage equality and equality under the law for every America."
    • Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
      "We are New England’s leading legal rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression."
    • Lambda Legal
      The national organization includes a legal help desk and links to numerous online toolkits and fact sheets.
    • National Center for Lesbian Rights
      This website includes links to publications on a variety of topics and an online legal information hotline.
    • Queer Legal Resources
      "The QRD (short for Queer Resources Directory) is an electronic library with news clippings, political contact information, newsletters, essays, images, hyperlinks, and every other kind of information resource of interest to the GLBQ community. Information is stored for the use of casual network users and serious researchers alike."
    • The Center for HIV Law and Policy
      The Center's National Legal Resource and Strategy Center for HIV Advocacy provides this webpage of "resources that describe the impact of HIV/AIDS on queer people of all ages and the programs and policies developed to address it, and other resources that otherwise are specific to the LGBTQI communities and their concerns."
    • United States, Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
      Facts about discrimination in federal government employment based on marital status, political affiliation, status as a parent, sexual orientation, or transgender (gender identity) status.
    • Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy
      "The Williams Institute, a national think tank at UCLA is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy."

    Texas Organizations

    These organizations are active in promoting legal rights, research, and awareness in Texas. 

    • Lambda Legal Texas
      You can find Texas-specific information linked from the national website including a listing of legal protections for LGBT people and their families.
    • OUTLaw
      "OUTLaw is a social and political student organization dedicated to serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community at The University of Texas School of Law."
    • Texas Law Help LGBT page
      Texas Law Help is an excellent source for a variety of legal information and self-help forms. It includes a LGBT resource page that includes a discussion of fair housing, estate planning and a Hospital Visitation Authorization form.

    Legal Research Guides from the Texas State Law Library

    The Texas State Law Library reference librarians have compiled legal research guides for specific areas of the law. These guides contain resources that can help you research a legal issue. The American Association of Law Libraries has a guide for Non-Lawyers on How to Research a Legal Problem. If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 463-1722 or at


    The information provided on this page has been prepared for general information purposes only and should not be construed as, nor substituted for, legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for advice specific to your fact situation. Your local bar association or the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service (1-800-252-9690) can assist you with locating an attorney.

    Some of the electronic resources we refer to in this guide may be in PDF format. Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view PDFs.

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