Global legal giant Jones Day has launched a standalone website which provides a global legal guide to same-sex relationships: Jones Day Same-Sex Relationship Guide.
Jones Day, founded in 1893 in Cleveland, Ohio, is the biggest American and the third largest law firm in the world. It employs over 2,400 lawyers across 41 offices.
According to the firm’s press release:
“The site summarizes the status of legal recognition of same-sex relationships in all U.N. recognized countries worldwide, including relevant sub-jurisdictions, such as each of the United States. A total of 292 jurisdictional reports are included on the site. The work on the site was coordinated as a pro bono effort by a multi-national team of Jones Day attorneys and staff. The site will be maintained as new court decisions and statutes change the laws.
Each of the jurisdictional reports included on the website indicates whether the jurisdiction grants any form of legal recognition to same-sex couples and, if so, provides answers to such questions as:
- whether marriage or some other status is afforded same-sex couples;
- whether foreign same-sex marriages are recognized in the jurisdiction; and
- how same-sex couples may dissolve their relationships.
Jones Day has a long history of, and commitment to, pro bono work, public service, and community involvement in all of our locations around the world. To learn more about the Firm’s commitment to pro bono, please visit the Jones Day Pro Bono website.
Within the Firm and among the broader legal community, Jones Day is committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive legal profession. To learn more about the Firm’s commitment to diversity, please visit the Jones Day Diversity website.”
The significance of a law firm of Jones Day’s size and reputation undertaking such a release cannot be underestimated.
First, it is a clear demonstration of their commitment to diversity.
Second, it is a recognition of the significance of marriage equality as a social justice issue and as a matter directly affecting domestic and international businesses from a cultural, diversity and regulatory perspective.
One can only hope that one day such a guide will become unnecessary, and equality and acceptance will become a global gold standard.