U.S. Passport Applications To Acknowledge Same-Sex Parents

PassStarting in February, passport applications will start to recognize gay and lesbian families:

The State Department has decided to make U.S. passport application forms "gender neutral" by removing references to mother and father, officials said, in favor of language that describes one's parentage somewhat less tenderly. The change is "in recognition of different types of families," according to a statement issued just before Christmas that drew widespread attention Friday after a Fox News report.

The announcement of the change was buried at the end of a Dec. 22 news release, titled "Consular Report of Birth Abroad Certificate Improvements," that highlighted unrelated security changes.

Sounds like progress to me, but the usual suspects have vocally opposed the changes. Wingnut Tony Perkins said the following in a press release:

"Only in the topsy-turvy world of left-wing political correctness could it be considered an 'improvement' for a birth-related document to provide less information about the circumstances of that birth. Yet that is the result of the State Department's decision to remove the words 'mother' and 'father' from Consular Reports of Birth Abroad."

He continued:

"This is clearly designed to advance the causes of same-sex 'marriage' and homosexual parenting without statutory authority, and violates the spirit if not the letter of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). But it does so at the expense of fundamental biological reality – and social reality as well. The State Department's abolition of motherhood and fatherhood would be almost comical, if it did not fly in the face of the mounting social science evidence that children are most likely to thrive when born into a family led by their own married biological mother and father."


  1. boone68 says

    I have three kids, all of whom were adopted at birth. According to Tony Perkins, my children’s passports should list their biological, meth smoking, meth dealing, gun toting, homeless, criminal “mother” and “father”???? Could he please show me the “social science” in which it states my children would be better off with their above mentioned, married mother and father than with the loving, stable, provider parents they have now????

  2. Kate says

    Actually, most social science points to the best home for children being with two income stable adults, regardless of relationship status or genders of those adults. The only reason two adults are better than one is that two tend to have more income stability and have better access to wealth, better housing, better school districts, etc. The science says that there is no substantive difference between two income stable same-sex parents and two income stable different-sex parents. Legally married parents are better than unmarried parents because of wealth, tax, inheritance, and insurance issues, but non-married same-sex parents aren’t much different than their married counterparts, probably because of the newness of same-sex marriage and marriage plays a role over the long term.

    I’m really tired of the religious right paying for their own, non-peer reviewed, social “science.” Sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists need to start standing up and refusing the misuse of our disciplines.

  3. Beth says

    To Perkins, I say: Explain to me how this is any different than my birth certificate listing the names of my adoptive Mother and Father, thereby negating the circumstances of my birth…

  4. Max says

    When the right-wing advocates adequate healthcare for all children (as well as the parents who care for them), then I will believe that they actually care about the well-being of children.

    Children “thrive” when they are loved and cared for. Period.

  5. gregv says

    Wingnuts like Tony Perkins invent their own “science.” It doesn’t matter to him that every leading organization in the civilized world representing medical, psychological, psychiatric, and pediatric professionals has issued policy statements concluding that their findings are exactly the opposite of what he says (that the children of same-sex parents are no less likely to grow up with positive outcomes).

  6. Karl says

    Per the Washington Post, it’s only being rolled back halfway. The form will now feature these spaces:

    Mother or Parent One

    Father or Parent Two

    Thus, parents may cross out whatever does not apply or otherwise choose how to describe themselves. ‘Sounds reasonable.

  7. Paul R says

    @Huh: that’s definitely true for a large portion of the metro DC population and for the many driven by right-wing nutjobs to comment on the Post’s site.

  8. gayalltheway says

    If closet-case Perkins is trying to appeal to the neo-conservative, right-wing religious nuts, talking about “social science evidence” is really not helping his case. He should have used Jesus instead.

  9. says

    We should feel sorry for Perkins & his ilk. Their worldview is rapidly collapsing before their eyes.

    With sperm & egg donors, surrogate mothers, gender reassignments, modern families, etc. the terms “mother” & “father” will become anachronistic.

    Government will be forced to recognize that a stable household with the legal coupling of two adults is the only family value they can sanction.

    Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is our birthright.

  10. Drakow says

    Surely, the only relevant information is the names of the adults who are responsible for the childs’ care and safety whether by adoption, birth, or due to marriage where this applies.
    These these “religious” nut-jobs will next, be wanting to have passports , driving licenses,
    etc. to list “christian names” and surnames (Name of sire).
    Freedom of religion also means Freedom from someone else’s “religion”, if it is to mean anything.

  11. Rowan says

    Sugar hill, don’t be crazy. Obama is the most homophobic president we have ever had according to the likes of Choi and our own right wing commenter Rat.

    He has done NOTNING cor gay rights. The right wing gays were right for voting by more then a quarter for the GOP.

    Things were better under Bush for people like GOProud and the eighty commenters on this site who pretend to be normal when really they are sociopaths with only their best interests at heart. Screw you, I want MY money.

  12. John says

    This is a step, and I’m glad to see it.
    I encounter this sort of situation often, when filling out all kinds of forms, such as medical doctors’ questionaires, insurance forms, even Facebook profiles. Not only is there not an appropriate answer relating to children, but also to my Civil Union partner.

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