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04/19/2007


Prince George Meets Child Of Gay Parents For Playdate: VIDEO

Couplesroyal

As part of their official royal tour of New Zealand, their royal highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took time for a play date with a group of first time parents whose children are all around the same age as their son, Prince George.

GeorgeThe play date was put on by The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society (a.k.a. Plunket) which provides free parental support services to more than nine in ten babies. The 10 couples invited to the play date included a gay couple and their daughter Isabella. Jared Mullen, originally from Oregon, and husband Ryan Tunstall, originally from Australia, were chosen to “represent the growing numbers of same-sex couples in New Zealand who use Plunket’s parental support services,” as The Telegraph reports:

Tristine Clark, New Zealand president of Plunket, said: “The parents are a spread of all the communities in New Zealand, including Maoris, Samoans, people of Chinese descent and gay couples. This is a very multi-cultural country and we wanted the Duke and Duchess to meet people from all backgrounds.”

Mrs Clark said the Duke and Duchess did not specifically ask to meet a gay couple, leaving the choice of parents entirely down to Plunket.

Mullen and Tunstall spoke of their experience meeting the Cambridges shortly after the play date. From Wales Online: 

Mr Mullen said: "Isabella and George had a little play together, they were chums.

"In a way all we did was talk about babies.

"The Duke and Duchess were lovely, they were both very relaxed and we chatted about our experiences as first-time parents.

"He is a lovely little boy, very intrepid. The whole thing has been a huge privilege.

"It was lovely to meet the Duke and Duchess and share our beautiful children with them. They are both very lovely and loving parents."

You can watch a video of Prince George’s play date, AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "Prince George Meets Child Of Gay Parents For Playdate: VIDEO" »


Long Island Mom Won't Let Her 'Innocent Son' Attend Birthday Party for Girl with Two Gay Dads

Note
(edited image via huffpost)

Prejudice is taught, and this week's lesson comes from a mom in Baldwin, NY who would not let her son attend his seven-year-old classmate's birthday party.

The mother's note went viral this week after it was printed on the K-98.3 Facebook page.

It reads:

Tommy will NOT attend. I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your "lifestyle." I'm sorry Sophia has to grow up this way. If you have an issue or need to speak to me: [number erased]

Since the note was originally printed with the woman's phone number visible, we'll bet she got quite a few calls about it.

UPDATED: The story is a hoax.

Dear K-98.3 Listeners,

On Wednesday, we told you the story of Sophia's birthday party, and one parent's objection to the same-sex household of Sophia's parents. We also posted the invitation on our Facebook page, and invited comments from our followers.

This story was, in fact, totally fictitious, and created by the two of us. This was done without the knowledge of K-98.3 management or ownership.

We were attempting to spur a healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic, but we made a mistake by misleading our listeners into thinking that this specific situation actually existed.

We are very sorry that we perpetuated this falsehood, even after it was clear that it had taken on a 'life of its own.' We deeply apologize for violating your trust, and we will work hard to regain that trust.

Sincerely,

Steve & Leeana


Four Ohio Couples File Suit Against State To Have Same-Sex Marriages Recognized On Birth Certificates

After Judge Timothy Black's ruling in December, which ordered Ohio officials to recognize same-sex marriages on death certificates despite the state's 2004 ban on such unions, four couples have been inspired to fight for their, and their children's, rights.

OhioThe couples, all of whom were legally married in other states but have ties to Ohio through their children, or soon-to-be-born children, filed a lawsuit against the state to have their marriages recognized on birth certificates. They stated that being forced to list only one parent is a violation of their rights according to the U.S. Constitution. 

The AP reports:

"We want to be afforded the same benefits and rights as every other citizen of the United States," said one of the plaintiffs, Joe Vitale, 45, who lives in Manhattan with his husband and their adopted 10-month-old son, who was born in Ohio. The pair married in 2011 shortly after New York legalized gay marriage.

Rob Nichols, a spokesman for Republican Gov. John Kasich, said his office doesn't comment on pending litigation, "except to say that the governor believes marriage is between a man and a woman."

A spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, whose office will fight the lawsuit, declined to comment.

The other plaintiffs in Monday's lawsuit are three lesbian couples living in the Cincinnati area who married in states that have legalized gay marriage. One woman in each of those marriages is pregnant through artificial insemination, and their babies all are due to be born this summer in Cincinnati hospitals.

The couples fear that certain parental rights could be denied them later on should both names not be listed on the birth certificates. They are being represented by Al Gerhardstein, the attorney who sought the December court order regarding death certificates, which is now being appealed by the state. 

"At both ends of our lifespans, a marriage is a marriage. A family is a family," said the couples' lawyer, Cincinnati civil rights attorney Al Gerhardstein. "A family is a loving, nurturing group of people and the identification document when the children come along is the birth certificate, and it ought to be right."

Best of luck to the four couples and their children. We will keep our fingers crossed.


State Of Utah Files Brief Against Same-Sex Marriage, Says The Issue Is 'Child-Centered'

The state of Utah filed a formal brief against same-sex marriage before the 10th Circuit late Monday evening, and the message they have put across is all about the children. The brief claimed that marriage is "principally a child-centered institution" rather than one aimed at fulfilling "the emotional interests of adults."

UtahThe brief was written by seven attorneys, and now representation for the three same-sex couples challenging the state's ban on gay marriage have until February 25th to file their response brief. Oral arguments in the case will begin on April 10th.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

"Marriage between the man and woman who create a child provides that essential link," the state said, and encourages those parents to set aside their own personal desires for the benefit of their children.

"The district court’s ruling rests on a very different understanding of the principal public purpose and meaning of marriage — one centered on accommodating adult relationship choices," the state said.

But Utah has "steadfastly" reserved social recognition of marriage for man-woman marriage "so as to guide as many procreative couples as possible into the optimal, conjugal childrearing model."

"While other jurisdictions may choose to elevate adult-centric relationships, Utah has chosen a different course," the state said.

Utah’s marriage laws signal "all would-be parents that the state want them to do their best to ensure that any children they conceive are raised by their biological mother and father within a stable marital union."

RobertshelbyThe state also argued against the December 20th decision by district court judge Robert Shelby (right), in which he overturned the state ban on same-sex marriage, claiming that Shelby misinterpreted legal precedent and was incorrect to label marriage for same-sex couples a fundamental right, among other problems.

Utah "has good reason to fear that a judge-imposed redefinition — and the changes to the public meaning of marriage such a redefinition would entail — would over time weaken its marriage tradition enough to reduce its fertility rate, perhaps even below the replacement rate," the state said.

The laws governing marriage do not interfere with the ability of same-sex couples to enter committed, loving relationships or to raise children together, the state argues.

Instead, they "encourage a familial structure that has served society for thousands of years as the ideal setting for raising children. Nothing in the federal Constitution prevents Utah’s citizens from making that choice."


Denial of ‘Second Parent’ Adoption Puts Same-Sex Couples Parental Rights in Jeopardy

BY RICHARD VAUGHN and ARI EZRA WALDMAN

Earlier this month, in a ruling that rocked the worlds of same-sex couples and attorneys alike, a Brooklyn court denied the non-biological mother of a child born to a married lesbian couple the right to legally adopt her child.

VaughnThis seemingly arcane quadrant of family law matters because this process of adoption has, traditionally, been the only legal tool protecting gay families when they travel to marriage discrimination states. A biological parent has parental rights, obviously. But her non-married cohabitant, which is how marriage discrimination states look at same-sex spouses, is not considered a parent. She is considered a stranger even though she helps feed, raise, and care for the child.

But in a world of marriage equality, this form of adoption seems unnecessary. Brooklyn Surrogate’s Court Judge Margarita López Torres reasoned that New York recognizes the couple’s marriage and the names of both mothers appear on the child’s birth certificate. Thus, the judge wrote in her decision, the non-biological mother is already the legal parent of her child.

The “purpose and effect" of adoption is “…to create a new legal relationship where one did not previously exist. Adoption is not utilized for, nor…is it available to reaffirm, an already existing parent/child relationship.”

That makes sense. But, as we discuss below, the decision represents ideals over reality and endangers families run by same-sex couples.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Denial of ‘Second Parent’ Adoption Puts Same-Sex Couples Parental Rights in Jeopardy" »


Gay Dads' Family Photo Causes Outrage on Twitter

Kordalenkaleb

This photo of gay fathers Kaleb and Kordale, posted to their Instagram account (along with lots of cute others) is making headlines after it reportedly stirred up a ridiculous heap of anti-gay outrage on Twitter from people offended by two black men taking care of their children.

Wrote the pair on Instagram:

Being fathers is getting our daughters up at 5:30 am making breakfast getting them dressed for school and putting them on the bus by 6:30 .This is a typical day in our household . It's not easy but we enjoy every moment and eveny minute of #fatherhood . #proudfathers #blackfathers #prouddads #gaydads

KordaleMusedMag first noted the uproar, as well as positive comments which mostly took the form of "Finally, a black gay couple"

Writes Beyond Steven:

Are we that sheltered from black gay couples that the general public doesn’t think they exist? But, can you blame them? There is hardly an image of “gay” love that features people of color. In the heat of  national marriage equality campaigns, if you google black gay couple you get bunch of Tumblr links. This is not like the in-depth articles when you google the opposite. It’s almost like black gay couples don’t exist – but we do.

The couple released a statement to the Huffington Post which reads, in part:

As far as the positive; yes we are two gay men with three kids who have no problem with preparing them for their education every morning; that comes with anything and everything they may need for school! Our kids are blessed to have three parents (Kordale, Kaleb and their Mother) who love, care and support them in every decision they have made and will continue to make as they get older. We are blessed to have the ability to provide for them in ways that a lot of people cannot for their family, which ultimately makes us happy knowing that they don't want for much! Our main objective as parents is to provide, love, educate, support, encourage, and love some more!

In regard to the negative, people fail to realize that we are people too with kids who love us. We do what is necessary for them to succeed in this ever-changing world but it's sad that we're discriminated against because of our sexuality and/or what we do behind closed doors -- which is no one's business. In the same breath, we take all of what's been said in stride. The picture was put out on social media for an opinion so we can't be mad when people give just that: an opinion. People tend to think that gay people cannot raise their children to be heterosexuals. Instead, they have derogatory thoughts of us "tainting" our children or "confusing them" with what society sees deems as wrong an unmanly because we're gay. But this is all comical because people forget where a lot of gays come from: a heterosexual household.


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