Raising the bar

New LGBT Law Firm Opens Its Doors in New Orleans

This month, a private law firm focused specifically on the legal needs of the LGBT community opened its doors in New Orleans.

Openly gay lawyers Ryan Delaney and Brandon Robb, pictured here, both graduated from Loyola University. They decided to launch Delaney & Robb Attorneys at Law, LLC together earlier this year.

“We opened trying to do practical needs for the LGBT community,” Robb said in an interview with local news station WGNO in New Orleans. “Things like estate planning, family law, situations that same-sex couples may have.”

These sorts of services are sorely needed in a state that does not allow same-sex marriages, and that just recently announced it would not accept same-marriages on state tax forms, despite new IRS rules.

Last week, Louisiana Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield said that the state will not recognize a same-sex marriage tax filing because of its 2004 constitutional ban on gay marriage. Barfield, who was appointed by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, a vocal opponent of gay marriage, believes that Louisiana’s constitution trumps all other laws.

It’s because of Barfield and other naysayers that Delaney and Robb felt compelled to open their firm.

“It’s important to me as a gay individual that I’m treated as fair and equal as possible,”  Robb said.

Both Delaney and Robb acknowledge that starting a law firm specifically tailored to the LGBT community and marketing themselves as openly gay had it risks, but they say they were risks worth taking.

“By marketing ourselves that way right out of the gate, [LGBT individuals] know they can come here and talk about issues that they may not feel comfortable discussing with somebody who is not familiar or doesn’t understand what they’re going through,” Robb said.

“We hope to change the hearts and minds of people by being open,”  Delaney added.

The community’s response, the men say, has been overwhelmingly supportive.

“We get a lot of people saying they are proud of what we’re doing,” Robb said.

Two hot, young, openly gay lawyers making a difference in their community. It almost sounds too good to be true. But don’t get too excited boys, neither of the men are single.  Robb is married and Delaney is in a relationship.