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04/19/2007


Is Russia Preparing to Criminalize Gay Families? - VIDEO

Zhuravlyov

CNN reports that once the cameras turn away from Russia after Sochi ends, many families worry that this man, Alexei Zhuravlyov, plans to push forward with a bill removing parenting rights from some gay couples.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

CNN reports:

In 2013 lawmaker Alexei Zhuravlyov proposed a new law that would strip gay people with children of their parenting rights. The bill triggered fears the government was about to start taking children from their parents, but stalled in Russia's parliament.

FamilyZhuravlyov is now pushing for a slightly watered down version that would deny custody to any parent who leaves a straight relationship to be gay. He says: "In case any parent openly propagates homosexuality and only in this case, if the family splits, a child should exclusively stay with a parent who has heterosexual way of life."

Zhuravlyov dismisses Western liberalism and says traditional Russian values dictate a child should have a father and a mother. "We think on this, Russia is on the right path compared to the west," he says. "If you in the west are so tolerant, let Russia live with its established traditions. Be tolerant to us."

Activists say such a law would be another backward step and fear its implementation could gather momentum after the Sochi games when the world's focus has shifted away from Russia.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Is Russia Preparing to Criminalize Gay Families? - VIDEO" »


Pope Francis 'Shocked' By Gay Adoption

Francis

Time's Person of the Year has been lauded by many for what they interpret to be his more progressive approach to sexuality. However, according to The Telegraph, Pope Francis I openly encouraged Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta (pictured below) to condemn adoption of children by same-sex couples in his Christmas sermon once the Bishop shared his concern with His Holiness:

MaltaBishop Scicluna met Pope Francis on December 12. The bishop later told the Times of Malta: “We discussed many aspects… and when I raised the issue that’s worrying me as a bishop [the right for gay couples to adopt] he encouraged me to speak out."

Indeed, the Pope was "shocked" to learn that Malta's proposed Civil Union bill allows gay adoption. And Bishop's Scicluna's controversial sermon seems to have been delivered at his prompting.

None of this should be surprising: back in Argentina, Cardinal Bergoglio roundly condemned gay adoption and said that gay marriage was diabolically inspired. But confusingly – and I still can't quite figure this out in my head – he did clearly back civil partnerships as the lesser of two evils. (When Archbishop Vincent Nichols appeared to do that, his critics in the Vatican were furious.)

Journalist James Bloodworth, in a new op-ed originally published on NewStatesman.com, remains doubtful that Francis is as liberal and progressive as some would like to believe and argues little has changed in terms of doctrine since Francis took the keys to the Holy See from Pope Benedict:

Pope Benedict was a PR disaster for the church. Yet under Francis little of substance has actually changed. The Catholic Church continues to vehemently discriminate against gay people and women, it’s simply sugar-coated its message with fashionable sound bites about inequality. And depressingly this has worked. Many otherwise erstwhile progressives have fallen into line faster than Danny Alexander at a cabinet meeting.

 We should, however, reject the notion that someone who can rescind the Church’s stance on gay sex, and chooses not to do so, is a figure worthy of admiration. Nor, if he won’t countenance women priests, is there a reason to suppose the Pope has anything of note to say about poverty. Why waste precious time worrying about anything such a person thinks?

Aside from the fact that we still hold religious figures to a lower standard than secular ones, the fawning over Pope Francis demonstrates something profoundly depressing: in the struggle for a better world, women’s and LGBT rights are still not taken seriously.  

You'll recall that earlier this year, Francis excommunicated an Australian priest who was a vocal advocate of ordination for women and gay marriage. However, as Time points out, the Priest in question was "already tagged for removal before Francis took office in March."


Perez Hilton to Co-Produce, Star in Reality Series About Gay Dads

Perez Hilton will co-produce and star in a Bunim/Murray (The Real World, Keeping Up With the Kardashians)  reality series about gay dads in New York, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

HiltonThe project, which is currently casting and has yet to be taken out to networks, will follow single father Hilton -- who welcomed his first son in February via surrogate -- and a group of gay dads both single and married as they support each other through the ups and downs of raising children.

The series will be executive produced by Bunim/Murray Productions and OMG Productions. OMG's Suzy Unger, Steven Grossman and Mario Lavandeira (aka Hilton) will executive produce alongside Bunim/Murray's Jonathan Murray, Gil Goldschein and Scott Freeman.

“I immediately responded to the Gay Dads of New York concept because my partner and I were part of one of the first gay dads support groups in Los Angeles back in 1998,” Bunim/Murray chairman Murray said. "Whether it's a single dad like Perez, or married gay dads, becoming a gay parent affects your relationships with family and friends, all of which will make fascinating stories.”

More at THR...


Judge Orders Documents Related to Anti-Gay, Discredited Mark Regnerus Parenting Study Exposed

In June, University of Texas professor Mark Regnerus published what LGBT groups called, in a mass statement, a "flawed, misleading, and scientifically unsound paper that seeks to disparage lesbian and gay parents". The study on its face appeared to overturn three decades of research into families with same-sex parents and has been cited again and again by hateful right-wing groups despite the fact that the claims contained in it have been thoroughly debunked.

RegnerusToday in Florida, a judge ordered documents relating to how that paper got published in the journal it did, and background on its funding, HRC reports:

Almost from the moment it was released, the 2012 New Family Structures Study raised red flags among family scholars for its results that suggest that children are less likely to thrive when raised by gay and lesbian parents than if raised by straight parents. The study is a clear outlier among 30 years’ worth of social science that suggest that children thrive equally well in two parent households, regardless of the genders of their parents. It was soon revealed that Regnerus’s study utterly failed to control for error. The study’s so-called “straight” households featured heterosexual parents in committed, long-term relationships, whereas the so-called “gay” households failed to feature same-sex couples in comparable relationships.

In today’s opinion, Orange County Circuit Judge Donald Grincewicz ruled that emails and documents possessed by University of Central Florida (UCF) related to the flawed study’s peer-review process must be turned over to John Becker, who sought the documents under Florida’s Public Records Act. UCF houses the journal Social Science Research, which published the Regnerus study, and the editor of the journal, UCF Professor James Wright, led the peer-review process for the research. Becker is represented by the Law Office of Andrea Flynn Mogensen, P.A., and Barrett, Chapman & Ruta, P.A; and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation funded the litigation.

“There has always been a dark cloud over the Regnerus study, yet this debunked study is now being touted by anti-LGBT organizations around the country and around the globe,” said Ellen Kahn, M.S.S, of the Human Rights Campaign. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and the public has a right to know how junk science gets published in a scholarly journal.”


State Attorneys In Utah Defend Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Cite 'Responsible Procreation' And 'Optimal Child Rearing'

State attorneys in Utah are defending their state's voter-supported same-sex marriage ban, Amendment 3, based largely on issues surrounding procreation and parenting ability. The defense comes after three same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in March seeking for District Judge Robert Shelby to rid the constitution of the amendment on grounds of unconstitutionality based on the 14th amendment's due process and equal protections clauses. Two couples, Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity, and Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge, were denied marriage licenses in Salt Lake; another, Karen Archer and Kate Call, were married legally in Iowa but receive no recognition from their home state.

UtahKSL Utah reports:

The state says the case doesn't turn on who is right and who is wrong about what marriage should be, but on who should decide. The Constitution does not prevent Utahns from defining marriage as between a man and a woman with children's interests at the forefront, the Utah Attorney General's Office argues.

"The resolution of this case will determine much more than whether marriage licenses will be issued to some same-sex couples. It will necessarily impact whether Utah or any other state can maintain the principle that children should be reared by a married mother and father whenever possible ... "

According to the state, "the traditional definition of marriage rationally promotes legitimate state interests in promoting responsible procreation, and in promoting the optimal mode of child rearing, among others."

Peggy Tomsic, the couples' attorney, cited the Supreme Court decisions on DOMA and Prop 8 in her case against Amendment 3. She argued that Utah's lack of recognition for marriages outside the state is now unconstitutional, and that the negative rhetoric about parenting skill is damaging for children of same-sex couples and should be remedied by recognizing their marriages.

The purpose of the state's Amendment 3 was to "further privately held moral views that same-sex couples are immoral and inferior to opposite-sex couples," she wrote.

Damaging, indeed. After state and county officials had begun to show support in Pennsylvania, New Mexico of course, and even North Carolina, this news out of Utah is dispiriting. The case is set to begin on December 4th. 


CA Governor Jerry Brown Signs Bill Allowing Children to Have More Than Two Legal Parents

Brown

On a busy bill-signing day last Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown gave his signature of approval to legislation that will allow children in the state to have more than two legal parents. LA Times reports that Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) authored the bill to better address the custody and financial responsibilities of same-sex couples who have a child with an opposite-sex biological parent.

Mark Leno"Courts need the ability to recognize these changes so children are supported by the adults that play a central role in loving and caring for them," Leno (pictured right) said. "It is critical that judges have the ability to recognize the roles of all parents so that no child has to endure separation from one of the adults he or she has always known as a parent."

The bill was partially a reaction to a 2011 court decision involving a lesbian couple that briefly ended their relationship, according to Leno's office. One of the women was impregnated by a man before the women resumed their relationship. A fight broke out, putting one of the women in the hospital and the other in jail, but the daughter was sent to foster care because her biological father did not have parental rights.

Conservative groups in the state, including the Pacific Justice Institute, opposed the measure on the grounds that it was an attack on the traditional family and would be detrimental to children.

"This is in the long run going to be a mistake," [PJI president Brad] Dacus said. "The ones who are going to pay the price are not the activists, but it's going to be children, who will see greater conflict and indecision over matters involving their well-being."

Brown vetoed a similar bill last year that allowed a judge to recognize a third parent "in the best interest of the child." This year's version was narrower and will allow such a declaration only when the judge finds that failing to recognize more than two parents would be harmful to the child. 


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