Published January, 2006

The Legal Rights of LGBT Youth in State Custody: What Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Professionals Need to Know, Rudy Estrada and Jody Marksamer, 85 CHILD WELFARE, 171 (2006)

This article provides a guide for advocates representing LGBT youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. All youth in state custody, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are guaranteed rights to physical safety and prevention of psychological harm under the Constitution and state laws. Despite these legal protections, LGBT youth in state custody are often unlawfully confined and/or discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The authors identify the legal rights of LGBT youth, provide an analysis of key cases, focus on the specific concerns of transgender youth and provide broad overview of LGBT-related state laws, some of which provide broader protection than the federal Constitution.