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Legal Victories For Gay Parents Across The Globe: Roundup

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Last week, gay parents in three different nations celebrated several significant wins within the court systems of their respective countries. The courts granted fundamental custodial rights to gay families in Colombia, Italy and Switzerland.

On Thursday, Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled that Veronica Botero could legally adopt the biological child of her lesbian partner, Ana Leiderman. Five years ago, Leiderman underwent artificial insemination to have the child, whom her partner helped raise since birth. The AFP news agency reports:

With six votes for and three abstentions, the court ruled that Leiderman, who underwent artificial insemination to conceive her daughter and raised her together with Botero, had the right to request an adoption by her partner regardless of sex.

"The court considered that the discriminatory criterion the administrative authority had used to deny the adoption procedure... was unacceptable in this case, which involves a consensual adoption in which the biological father or mother consents to an adoption by his or her permanent partner," said chief justice Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva.

This ruling, however, does not allow adoption by gay couples in cases wherein neither is the biological parent of the child.

Meanwhile in Italy, a court in that country also ruled that a woman could adopt the biological child of her partner. The online news site The Local reports:

In this case, the non-biological parent was allowed to adopt the child due to a clause in Article 44 of Italy’s adoption law of 1983, which prioritises “the best interest of the child in order to maintain the emotional relationship and cohabi-tation with the ‘social’ parent,” Pili added, such as the person who has raised the child other than the biological parent.

“This particular article of adoption law does not discriminate between heterosexual and homosexual parents,” she said

The court ruling was described as an “historic step for our country” by the gay rights group, Mario Mieli Society for Gay Culture.

In Switzerland, a court in the northern part of that country has ruled that a gay couple are legally the parents of a child born to the men via surrogate in California. 

The American birth certificate was based on a California court decision by which the surrogate mother and her husband abandoned their parental responsibilities for the newborn. The Saint Gallen cantonal department responsible for births and marriages supported the two men but the Swiss federal justice department appealed the canton’s decision, which brought the case to court.

The court ruling dated August 19th partially recognized one concern of the justice department by requiring the genetic parentage of the child to be registered as part of the birth certificate. However, in its decision the court clearly recognizes the two men as fathers. “The administrative court recognized the judgment from the United States,” Karin Hochl, the lawyer for the gay couple told SDA.

This ruling can be appealed and then brought to the Swiss Supreme Court. No word yet if there are plans to do so.


Robert Oscar Lopez: Same-Sex Marriage Is 'A Tidal Wave' Sweeping Up Children - VIDEO

Robert Oscar Lopez

In a July speech to the Stanford Anscombe Society, anti-gay activist and "ex-gay" Robert Oscar Lopez said that he cannot support same-sex marriage because it has become a “tidal wave” that has “swept up children,” reports Right Wing Watch.

The Stanford Anscombe Society aims “to help university students and young adults to promote the values of marriage, family, and sexual integrity to the broader popular culture” and “defines marriage as a union, until death, between one man and one woman.”

Lopez said that although he once supported same-sex marriage, many people “have chosen to yoke gay marriage and gay parenting together” which forced him into the opposing camp “because it ultimately means that in order to protect the sexual relationship between two adults, you have to shatter the relationship between a child and either his father or his mother.”

Lopez also attacked what he called “a very powerful gay lobby that has a lot of money” which works to “erase” the realities of life for LGBT people, including high rates of domestic violence in same-sex relationships,”rampant problems with depression, anxiety, eating disorders” and “the fact that HIV infection rate recently went up among boys 13 to 19.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Robert Oscar Lopez: Same-Sex Marriage Is 'A Tidal Wave' Sweeping Up Children - VIDEO" »


Indian Government Moves to Axe Adoption Rights for Same-Sex Couples

India's Cabinet has decided to bar same-sex couples in the country from adopting children, Live Mint reports:

IndiaThe cabinet took the decision on Wednesday while considering amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, a government official said. However, the draft Bill, which also covers rehabilitation and adoption of children, does not mention disallowing same-sex couples from adopting.

The current law allows unmarried men and women above the age of 30 to adopt. Single LGBT Indians are not specifically barred from adopting, but whether the cabinet decision will change this will become clear whenever the Bill is tabled in Parliament.

The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) guidelines prevent foreigners in same-sex relationships from adopting children in India.

Last year, India's Supreme Court reinstated a colonial-era ban on homosexuality with the Indian government saying last month they have no plans to amend or change the law until it is reviewed again by the high court.  


Republicans Mike Enzi And Mike Kelly Introduce Anti-Gay Adoption Bill

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New legislation introduced last week aims to allow adoption and foster care providers to refuse service on the basis of the organization’s religious objections, reports Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Introduced by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA), bill S. 2706/H.R. 5285 would allow adoption or foster care providers to deny service to heterosexual couples of a different faith, single parents and LGBTI couples.

In a statement, Ellen Kahn, Director of the HRC Foundation’s Children, Youth, and Families Program, said:

“If this bill passes, an Evangelical straight couple, a single father, or a committed and loving gay and lesbian couple could find their path to adoption blocked for no reasonable reason other than naked discrimination.

"Taxpayer funds should not be used to discriminate, and too many children need loving families right now for our elected officials to be playing these kinds dangerous political games. This bill has nothing to do with faith, and it must be condemned.”

President Obama recently signed an executive order banning federally-funded organizations from discriminating against LGBTI people.

Last week, it was announced that Democratic House Representative Jared Polis is preparing to initiate a discharge petition for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a means of bringing a bill directly to the floor without consideration from committee or direct input from the House leadership.


Luxembourg Parliament Prepares To Vote On Gay Marriage

Luxembourg2Luxembourg, the small Grand Duchy that puts the “lux” in “Benelux”, is on track to legalize gay marriage by the end of 2014. Justice Minister Félix Braz announced earlier this year that the government would vote on a same-sex marriage bill this summer. The legal affairs committee in Luxembourg’s parliament Wednesday approved the proposed bill--n°6172A--which will now face a vote before all of parliament sometime “after the Pentecost holidays and before the summer”, the Luxemburger Wort reports: 

The bill, which also includes reforms on other aspects of family law, was first introduced at the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies in May 2012, and has taken over two years to pass to a vote in parliament.

Several changes were made along the way. Most importantly, same-sex couples were granted the right to both closed and open adoption. A previous version of the bill had foreseen that same-sex couples would only be allowed open adoption, in which birth parents retain access to information about their child.

The Luxembourg State Council, however, ruled that this was discriminatory and threatened to withhold approval should closed adoption not be made available to same-sex couples also.

Luxembourg, whose Prime Minister Xavier Bettel is openly gay, would become the 9th EU nation to legalize same-sex marriage if the bill is approved, joining the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Denmark, France and the UK.

(Photo via Instagram)


Utah Supreme Court Issues Stay On Adoptions By Gay Couples

The temporary stop to gay adoptions was issued by the court on Friday. The AP reports:

Dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsThe Utah Supreme Court has ordered a temporary halt of several district judges' orders requiring the Utah Department of Health to issue birth certificates in same-sex parent adoptions.

The stay was granted Friday night in response to a Utah Attorney General's Office request for clarity on whether the department can issue the birth certificates if directed by court order.

The attorney general's office praised the decision, saying the stay will remain in effect until the issue has been resolved by the court. The court has not yet announced a date for oral arguments.

The stay was issued a day after the Attorney General's office was ordered to appear in court for their refusal to issue birth certificates to adopted children with same-sex parents. According to the Salt Lake Tribute:

A state court judge this week ordered that the Utah Attorney General’s Office and several government agencies appear in court on June 16 to explain why they have refused to honor these adoptions.

If they refuse, or provide an inadequate response, Attorney General Sean Reyes, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Health, W. David Patton, and the State Registrar of the Office of Vital Records, Janice Houston, may be held in contempt of court — a crime punishable by incarceration, a fine or both.

"[These officials] must appear and show cause why they should not be held in contempt for their willful disregard and refusal to obey the Decree of Step-Parent Adoption," wrote 3rd District Judge Andrew Stone.

The AG's office issued a statement in response to the stay. It reads in part:

"The stay prevents further confusion as the district court order required the (health) department to list same-sex parents as the legal parents of an adoptive child. The department sought clarification because the court orders appear to conflict with Utah law currently in effect, which prohibits the state and any state entities from recognizing same-sex marriages."

 


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