Comments

  1. Dback says

    Cruel is right. There’s a special place in hell for this judge, and I hope it’s next to that Pennsylvania judge who was accepting kickbacks to send juveniles to private prison in exchange for money. The unbelievable viciousness of some people is mystifying.

  2. Martin says

    If you are LGBT in TX and can possibly get out of the state, I recommend it. Better to do it now, before the climate there gets much worse than this. This looks like the beginnings of a pogrom.

  3. Zlick says

    Get the Frell Out of Texas. Oh, and fund the surrogate’s appeal of this ruling – because I suppose someone must remain in Texas to have grounds to appeal, and an appeal must happen. If that’s not the case, get out of Texas AND appeal. Sheesh, this is disgusting.

  4. Mike in the Tundra says

    No matter the economic reasons, those two (four, counting the children) need to get out of that third world country. If it’s social reasons, their families can visit. Actually, their families and every one they know should get out of that hell hole.

  5. azmike says

    This is obviously a travesty of the law and parental rights that only Texas would dare try. The question I have is why would ANY gay couple or even single gay person live in Texas? Of all the states, Texas will possibly be the last holdout to recognize our right to be treated with respect and dignity and be afforded the same rights as straight Texans.
    The state that gives us Rick Perry, George Bush 1 & 2, Ted Cruz, militias, gun nuts, tea party extremists, secessionists, religious hypocrites, racists, high hair, and the twin armpits of Houston and El Paso…should be the last place to live.
    And yes, we have Jan Brewer, Sheriff Arpaio, and a full cast of crazies on the right that make Arizona sometimes just as bad, but still better than Texas.

  6. pete says

    Why would ANY decent person step foot in Texas? Sorry I know and love a lot of people from there but I will never cross the border willingly. I understand the urge to stay and fight but enought is enough.

  7. Keith says

    Simple Answer. Your children are the most important responsibility in your life, and they deserve every protection you can possibly provide them. Move to a different state once you can find a job in that ME state, get married, adopt, and then don’t return to TX until after the US Supreme Court has made ME nationwide in the next few years, and your children would be protected when you return. Nothing is worth your staying in that sad state at this time, as jeopardizing your children’s well-being should be paramount at this point their young lives. Only in TX would this be the result.

  8. Zlick says

    To be fair, the lax regulatory regime in Texas that results in things like huge chemical factory explosions also results in one of the most booming job markets in the U.S., and people are flocking there out of economic necessity.

    But when your twin boys are potentially in danger, you must find a way to leave!

  9. Keith says

    Man, I need to edit better. I meant to say, “Nothing is worth your staying in that sad state at this time, and not risking or jeopardizing your children’s well-being should be your paramount concern at this point their young lives. Only in TX would this be the result.” Amazing what a few missing words can do to change the context of a message. Sorry.

  10. Keith says

    Man, I need to edit better. I meant to say, “Nothing is worth your staying in that sad state at this time, and not risking or jeopardizing your children’s well-being should be your paramount concern at this point their young lives. Only in TX would this be the result.” Amazing what a few missing words can do to change the context of a message. Sorry.

  11. Moony says

    My god. At least when anti-marriage equality activists argue in the courts, they have the decency to try and hide their bigotry behind some phony argument like “we want what’s best for the children” so that it doesn’t sound as insulting and personal.

    The contempt and cruelty of this decision is so unashamedly blatant that you almost have to applaud the judge for having the balls to do something so awful.

  12. john says

    Why does ANYONE live in that rat hole state? I say the US should remove it from the union and our nation will be vastly stronger for it’s leaving.

  13. bernard says

    Is there anything we can do to help this family, like a legal defense fund or something? This is just so batshit wrong that I actually want to do something besides leave an Internet comment and feel angry for 30 seconds. Seriously. This sets a VERY BAD PRECEDENT, especially for future gay fathers who might find themselves in the same situation.

  14. ppp says

    @ John

    I lived in TX because I am Texas resident, the tuition is much cheaper for in state. There are plenty reasons why we are stuck. However, from promotion of ex-gay to this, I will definitely get out after I finish my school.

  15. oncemorewithfeeling says

    Seriously, these men had the money and the organizational skills to have these two children, but they never once thought to move someplace civilized to raise them?

    They are doing nobody in their family any favors by having their family in this hideous, awful, backwards hellhole.

    Maybe they will be able to eventually have some good come from all of this, maybe they will change laws and make lives better for others, but, in the meantime, all of their lives are in jeopardy — and only because they insist on living someplace horrific.

    If you’re sincerely trapped someplace you can’t leave, I get it and I sympathize, but what were these two thinking?

  16. Hawthorne says

    I’m very distraught over this, and I’m trying to understand the backstory. I clicked through to the HuffingtonPost article. There, it says that the judge said that under current law she could not grant the request, although the HuffPost article said others were successful in parallel requests. Does anyone know the law(s) cited? Does anyone know the judge’s reputation? Has she made any rulings in the past along these lines? Again, just trying to understand the fuller picture. Frankly, I was very surprised to find the judge was a woman. I automatically assumed the judge was a rabid Christian man. I agree with many other commenters who said that, for the time being, the couple needs to leave TX to protect their family.

  17. jamal49 says

    The Texas GOP and its right-wing-nut, Tea Batty sycophants are ruled by christian fundamentalist filth and evangelical effluvia. This is your future, America, if you continue to elect Republicans to positions of power.

  18. bleh says

    “This is a whole new level of regressive behavior”

    Uh, no it isn’t. This has been going on for decades, and you have to be completely clueless, like these two idiots, to not be aware of that.

    What’s especially galling is that they have the financial means, unlike so many other couples, to move to a state where they wouldn’t be placed in this situation. I am all for fighting against unjust laws, but you don’t subject an infant to that.

  19. Enchantra says

    Martin, Id gay people run away from hostility, then progress is never made. Every state that now recognizes gay marriages and parenting at one time was as hostile as a state which doesn’t. Do not forget that it wasn’t too long ago that Californians voted for Prop 8.

  20. Boston says

    Why would the biological father’s name be prohibited from being put on the birth certificate of his respective baby? The article doesn’t touch upon that.

  21. JonnyNYNY2FLFL says

    This story should be the lede in the New York Times, 60 Minutes, Frontline, and every other credible news outlet. There are so many aspects of this situation that are so wrong. I doubt if even Fox News could spin a report that would make Texas look justified in ruining the lives of this family,

    Yes, these guys would be far better off in a more civilized state, but give them credit for staying and fighting for their rights. Our national equality organizations should spare no expense in coming to their aid.

  22. throwslikeagirl says

    This is horrible. I have an idea these men have the means to hire a top-notch lawyer. I’m with poster Bernard on this. Wonder if the ACLU will step in? I think this needs major play in the mainstream media. Celebs? Please keep tabs on this Towleroad, and give us updates.

  23. I wont grow up says

    This judge is obviously mentally unbalanced that is the only explanation for such 14th century barbarism. He needs to be removed from the bench and TX law needs to come forward into this century.

  24. Jerry says

    @Martin:

    I was about to say. Jason Hanna is a senior associate at an architectural firm. He could start his own firm and GET THE HELL OUT OF DALLAS.

  25. steve says

    I’m an old high school (only) graduate form Indianapolis. Living in Texas, I feel and believe, I am more intelligent than 90 percent of the people here.

  26. Jerry says

    @Hawthorne:

    I’m not knowledgeable on the specific law applied here, but given the backwards state of parenting laws here in Texas (having seen what lesbian couples using IVF go through here), the laws are all pretty lame and determined to stay in women’s wombs under any and all circumstances.

  27. June says

    These men had enough money to do this serogacy which is very expensive….They certainly could have chosen an out of state serogate and done all the paperwork out of state…

  28. Brian W. says

    Texas by far has the best economy in the country. Plenty of jobs, low cost of living, and no state taxes. You can get a newly built 5 bedroom home here in the $200k range.

    So the father’s weren’t able to list themselves as fathers on THEIR biological child’s birth certificate?? Something is missing here.

    The adoption of the other partner’s child being barred is of no surprise.

    No marriage equality=no adoption rights.

    We’ll just have to wait until these cases move through the federal court system and we have full marriage equality nationwide.

  29. Anon says

    It’s repulsive how many of the comments here seem so callus; ‘They should’ve moved to another state’, ‘They could’ve moved to another state’, ‘Sure, they could have chosen an out-of-state surrogate; I see no problem with that at all’.

    You think it’s so easy to just leave your life and home, everything familiar to you, behind?! You think the couple might have wanted a surrogate that was immediately available for maybe more than one reason?! Just maybe?!

    I support their decision to stay and contest, to choose a surrogate close by [[[DUH]]], and to choose to have a family in the first place – where they live.

  30. JackFknTwist says

    Wow, so Texas as the best economy, you don’t pay state taxes [you think that’s a good thing !], houses are cheaper………

    Yet it is a state of unbridled homophobic bigotry……
    Thirty pieces of silver just doesn’t do it for me.

  31. MIke says

    Seems to me there’s an entire industry of donor eggs and donor sperm that would quickly go away if it means as a donor you are listed on birth certificates as mothers or fathers of some baby down the road.

  32. IPW says

    While I sympathize with the dads; this is an ordeal for them I wouldn’t wish on any parent, I can’t help think this is a good thing in the long term. Such wanton, blatant bigotry and cruelty towards two wholly innocent of any wrong doing citizens, simply because they’re gay can only ultimately benefit equality. This is a case of judicial overreach if ever there was one and there is no way it’ll stand. Ultimately this will help strike down the edifice on anti-gay laws in Texas. I’m sure for the two dads they just want their family and not be trust into the role of political footballs, but they’re going to have to do so to get their sons.

  33. MIke says

    Look at it this way: you are a woman in a straight relationship who carries a lethal gene, or have had chemo and it destroyed your ability to produce normal eggs. So you use a donor egg, get implanted with a fetus conceived from a donor egg and a husband’s sperm – and carry the child and give birth to it – you expect the birth certificate to list the donor as the mother? I think the courts have decided this for at least 40 years now and it’s not a unique situation to Texas. The woman who gave birth is the mother listed on the birth certificate.

  34. Hansel Currywurst says

    Unintended Consequence: Tens of thousands of angry straight men who have to pay child support but don’t get visitation rights now have a legal basis to stop paying. If the state says biological fatherhood means nothing, then it means nothing. Right? Oooops!

  35. Order in the Courtroom says

    This case is set up to challenge the law.

    REPEAT: This case is SET UP to challenge the law. Two highly sympathetic petitioners, with an extremely favorable set of facts, are what it takes to expose and highlight the inequity of the law.

    Someone has to be adversely affected by a law in order to challenge the law and have it found unconstitutional. These two men are too intelligent, too affluent and too meticulous in their planning NOT to have understood what they were doing, and understood that they would have to do in order to overturn the law. They deserve a thanks from the larger community for going through bother of the case. They could’ve gone to another JUDGE, never mind another state.

    Otherwise, why not name the judge? Name the judge, shame the judge.

  36. Raybob says

    Honestly, how many of you could just up and move right now, selling houses and changing jobs? Really?

    Yes, this is terrible, but hey, sometimes it’s just not economically feasible in this moment. It’s easy to kibitz someone else’s life from the keyboard.

  37. Kissyfur says

    I believe some states, (like Michigan) give parental rights to the surrogate even if she isn’t the egg donor. That’s why my friend had his baby out of state. I have extreme empathy for these guys have money, surrogacy isn’t cheap. So they should have, or did (?) do their legal research and would have known this would happen. Unless this is a test case in the making I don’t get it.

  38. simon says

    “Wow, so Texas as the best economy,”
    So are Saudi Arabia and Brunei where gay sex are punishable by stoning. They have oil. People not only don’t have to pay tax. Everyone gets government subsidies and a lot of freebees. Texas is a lot like these countries, except maybe the stoning part.

  39. simon says

    Speaking of stoning, they happened a lot in the Old Testament. For example:
    “If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city. Deuteronomy 22:23-24″
    Jesus didn’t like it because his mother could have been stoned.

  40. Matt27 says

    Nightmare for those fathers. I hope everything will turn better and the new decision will be made soon.
    What kind of judge or any human being would deny a safe loving caring parents from a child/children.
    Keep figthing guys!

  41. Alexander says

    Am I the only man fascinated that they had their babies in the same mother? Living in Oregon with my soon to be husband discussing doing the same thing minus Texas.I wish these fathers well. Only their names should be on the birth certificate.

  42. johnny says

    Something isn’t quite right here.

    When a baby is born in a hospital with the father present, they are supposed to sign the birth certificate and be named as father at that time. Unless Texas is completely different from other states, why was this not done?

    Could these guys be this stupid not to go down and sign the birth certificate and be named as father the day of the boys’ births?

    All the trouble they went through to create these precious babies and they didn’t have the brains to due diligence on the birth certs? Hmmmmmm.

  43. bleh says

    “Yes, this is terrible, but hey, sometimes it’s just not economically feasible in this moment. It’s easy to kibitz someone else’s life from the keyboard.”

    Do you know how much it costs to have a surrogacy? It’s typically $80,000 to $100,000, and it was likely more for this couple because they needed an egg donor and apparently requested twins.

    They easily had the financial means to move to another state and wait a few years to have children.

    And don’t give me the crap about leaving family behind. They clearly have the means to travel back to Texas to visit family anytime they want.

    They took a risk, and lost. What they’ve done is the height of irresponsibility.

  44. nn says

    It does not seem like they used a surrogate agency. And they should Checked regulations carefully before they decided to have kids in texas, why not use a surrogate who live in a frendly surrogate state and a state that is friendly to gay intended parents?

    Texas Reproduction and surrogate laws:

    1: Gestational surrogacy: permitted by statue:tex.fam.code §160.751.763 (2009), witch authorizes GS, but requires intendens parents to be a married hetero couple.
    2: Do results vary much by county? NO
    For more info ab the law

    http://www.creativefamilyconnections.com/state-map/texas-surrogacy-laws

    or http://www.creativefamilyconnections.com/state-map-surrogacy-law-practices

  45. Dixichuk says

    Judges do not make laws. The legislature makes laws. She can only interpret what is in front of her. The absurdity and inhumanity exposed through her interpretation will likely do more for the progress of gay parenting in TX, and by association, marriage, than other judges who may have issued a less inciteful ruling. Those of you who wish to simply run from TX and not fight are doing a disservice to the cause of equality for the rest of us. It’s slightly more difficult to uproot one’s entire life than to find a new barber. Your state may not have been so enlightened just a short time ago. Someone fought hard and did more than dress up and march in a pride parade for you to be able to grandstand your position. These guys are heroes for fighting for what is right. It’s process and we’re still a long way off. If TX falls, we will have made a huge leap.

  46. Dixichuk says

    Judges do not make laws. The legislature makes laws. She can only interpret what is in front of her. The absurdity and inhumanity exposed through her interpretation will likely do more for the progress of gay parenting in TX, and by association, marriage, than other judges who may have issued a less inciteful ruling. Those of you who wish to simply run from TX and not fight are doing a disservice to the cause of equality for the rest of us. It’s slightly more difficult to uproot one’s entire life than to find a new barber. Your state may not have been so enlightened just a short time ago. Someone fought hard and did more than dress up and march in a pride parade for you to be able to grandstand your position. These guys are heroes for fighting for what is right. It’s process and we’re still a long way off. If TX falls, we will have made a huge leap.

  47. Carlos says

    I wonder how much research the guys did into the laws in Texas. The smart thing to do while living in certain states is to go through other states to do these surrogacies. Texas is a great state to live in (so many different things to throughout the state that is really 4 different states), has a great economy, has great weather (the summers can be a bit hot), has great educational institutions (hook ’em horns), and the people generally far nicer than people in other big states I have visited (i.e. New York and California). Politically Texas is slowly moving towards becoming a purple state because of its growing Hispanic population (will be interesting how that will affect gay issues since we tend to be more conservative on social issues).

  48. Cinemaniac says

    I believe they’d have a difficult time relocating without ‘legal’ custody (by birth certificate). I hope the surrogate continues to support their roles as fathers until all this is worked out.

  49. Jay says

    I think a lot of the commenters are confused about the law here. The judge has discretion to interpret the law and make a decision on whether to accept the inclusion of the fathers’ names on the birth certificate. Jason and Joe were in a conservative court because the mother lives in or near Fort Worth. If they had been in Dallas, Houston, or Austin, it’s entirely possible, if not probable, that there would have been a different outcome.

  50. Rod says

    This is a sad story. But as a gay man living in Texas, I can tell you that there gay families routinely adopt children both through surrogacy and traditional adoption. The article mentions that their paperwork may not have been in order. As I understand it, this is typically a multistep process where the father’s name is added to the birth certificate in one step, the mother’s parental rights are later terminated in another, and the other father’s name is then added as an adoptive parent in a final proceeding. I don’t believe you usually do all three at once (but I could be wrong), which seems to be what was attempted. I wonder if their lawyer did something procedurally incorrect? It is strange that the story does not mention the judge by name. Usually elected judges who take such strident positions grandstand, but her name is not mentioned in any of the articles I’ve seen. I’m hopeful that this is a procedural glitch that can be fixed.

  51. Scott says

    Uh, feel free to put me down over this, but…HOW are neither of them listed as the biological father on the birth certificates if they are indeed the biological father? THAT is clearly why this ruling took place.

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