Teresa M. Harkins La Vita on The American Bar Association's Resolution 111: On the Road to Marriage Equality in America

Teresa M. Harkins La Vita on The American Bar Association's Resolution 111: On the Road to Marriage Equality in America

By Teresa M. Harkins La Vita

 

This Emerging Issues Analysis addresses the American Bar Association's Resolution 111, which urges state, territorial, and tribal governments to eliminate all of their legal barriers to civil marriage between two persons of the same sex who are otherwise eligible to marry.

 

“Boasting over 400,000 members, the American Bar Association (ABA) is the largest voluntary association of legal professionals in the world,” writes Teresa M. Harkins La Vita. “The ABA is responsible for providing law school accreditation, continuing legal education for lawyers, and furthering initiatives to improve the legal system, among other things. In achieving its mission to serve equally its members, the legal profession and the public ‘by defending liberty and delivering justice as the national representative of the legal profession,’ the ABA has four stated goals. These goals include eliminating bias and enhancing diversity by promoting full, equal participation in the justice system by all persons, and advancing the rule of law by assuring meaningful access to justice for all persons.”

 

“In August 2010, the ABA adopted Resolution 111. Resolution 111 was submitted by the ABA Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities (IRR), whose function is to protect and advance human rights, civil liberties, and social justice,” explains the author. “In furthering its purpose, the IRR submitted a Report and the required General Information Form along with its Recommendation for hearing and debate at the August 2010 House of Delegates annual meeting in San Francisco. The Report focused on the debate over extending legal rights and protections to committed same-sex couples in a way consistent with our country's principles of equality and liberty, as well as the states' interests in protecting and supporting families."

 

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Teresa M. Harkins La Vita is currently an associate at the Levitt Law Group in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and focuses her practice on family law and probate matters including divorce, custody and parenting plans, support, paternity, and guardianship. Prior to joining the firm in 2009, Attorney La Vita served for two years as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Justices of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court. She is an honors graduate of New England Law -- Boston, where she earned multiple scholastic achievement awards. Attorney La Vita serves clients in litigation, collaborative law, and mediation. She is certified to represent clients in Limited Assistance Representation agreements and is trained as a Guardian ad Litem in family matters. Attorney La Vita is also on the adjunct faculty of New England Law -- Boston, where she is a Legal Research & Writing professor.

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