Dana Rudolph

LGBT Parenting Roundup

Filed By Dana Rudolph | March 14, 2009 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: adoption rights, butler county, Candace Gingrich, Florida, foster parenting, Gay-Straight Alliance, GSA, indiana, israel, Janet Jenkins, lisa miller, Nan Rich, Ohio, pflag, schools, Vermont, West Virginia

News about LGBT parenting and kids came fast and furious this week. Here's a compilation of some of the highlights:

The good:

Adoption News

  • A Kentucky bill to ban unmarried couples from becoming foster or adoptive parents is effectively dead after not being called for a floor vote this session.
  • Florida state Senator Nan Rich (D) has introduced a bill to repeal the ban against adoption by gay men and lesbians, and a second, that would allow judges to determine adoptions solely on "the best interests" of the child. Which is how it should have been all along, no?
  • New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced that the antigay Arizona-based Adoption Profiles, LLC and Adoption Media, LLC stopped doing business in New York after they were found to be violating New York laws prohibiting discrimination against same-sex couples.
  • The Tel Aviv family court ruled that a gay couple can legally adopt their 30-year-old son after a 14-year struggle. The men are the first same-sex male couple in the country to be granted this right.

Marriage Equality News:

School and Youth News:

  • A U.S. District Judge granted a preliminary injunction to force Nassau County, Florida school officials to allow a gay-straight alliance on campus.
  • The Obama administration wants LGBT youth to be among the White House summer interns, and has told HRC as much, according to Candace Gingrich, senior manager for the HRC Foundation's Youth and Campus Outreach Program.

Other News:

  • PFLAG has seen a "significant" spike in chapters and attendance across the U.S. since last November's elections. It has received at least 75 inquiries about starting new chapters.
  • Across the pond, Pinknews.co.uk explains what the U.K.'s new IVF rules mean for lesbians.
  • I don't watch the show, but apparently this season of CBS's The Amazing Race features a gay dad and his adult son. From what I glean on the Web site, they're doing quite well.

The not-so-good:

Adoption News:

  • Butler County Children Services in Ohio has adopted (!) a new policy that gives opposite-sex couples preference over single parents or same-sex couples in fostering or adopting children. County commissioners have asked the county prosecutor to review the new rule. Here's the perspective from the two gay dads whose adoption led to the policy.
  • A lawyer for a lesbian couple argued before the West Virginia Supreme Court that the women should be allowed to adopt the 15-month-old girl they had been fostering. A lower court judge had refused the adoption, saying the child would be better off with an opposite-sex married couple. The girl is staying with the couple for the moment.

Other News:

  • Say what you will about Lisa Miller, but she's persistent. Even after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear her custody case, the "ex-lesbian" mom has filed another appeal with the state of Virginia, arguing that the state cannot enforce the federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, which requires custody orders of one state to be upheld by other states.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is suing the Lebanon Community School District on behalf of lesbian student after she was told she could not wear a tuxedo to the school's prom. The district says the prom is still six weeks away and they can reach an agreement without going to court. Bil has more about the local right-wing response.
  • More than 30 students were pulled out of classes at a school in East London over lessons about LGBT history month. 365gay.com notes that the area contains mostly immigrant families, many of them Muslim. Parents who removed their children could face prosecution, officials say, although no decision has been made.

    That's a tough one. I've always been against requiring parental notification when LGBT issues are discussed. Still, prosecution seems harsh. What say you?

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Regarding the East London story:
"365gay.com notes that the area contains mostly immigrant families, many of them Muslim. Parents who removed their children could face prosecution, officials say, although no decision has been made."

The fact that the area consists of mostly immigrant families doesn't automatically mean that all/most of the families who pulled their kids are immigrants. And, it's interesting that people of colour who might be in fact be British citizens (London's full of British citizens who are, horrors, people of colour) are immediately marked as immigrants. A person of colour is not automatically an immigrant just because he/she lives in a predominantly white country (less so than ever before). This is not to say that a)a number of people who pulled their kids out of the program were not immigrants b)that the people of colour were not immigrants. And the names of the parents noted so far are, yes, Muslim in origin.

But the article insinuates, without any numbers, that the parents who pulled their kids out of the program were both Muslim and immigrants. Even if this turns out to be the case, 365gay.com has no business disseminating such shoddy "journalism." And I can't even begin to discuss the fact that the to pull your kid out of a class about LGBTQ issues is not automatically homophobia.

I just love, love, love the way the gay community (which automatically marks itself as white) loves to jump on the idea that immigrants/people of colour are just automatically homophobic. Because, as we all know, white people are absolutely incapable of homophobia.

In the US, the preponderance of rabid homophobes are white, Yasmin. They are in Ireland as well.

In my view, shaped by living on two continents, colour or ethnicity has far less to do with homophobia than does religious extremism, be it Orthodoxy as in Serbia, Russia, or Sacremento, California; various evangelical forms of Christianity as well as Mormonism and Conservative Roman Catholicism, Orthodox Judaism, and the more radical or overtly patriarchial forms of Islam.

One of my favourite Lesbian activists in the US is a Muslimah and an immigrant. To tar her with homophobia because she is an Islamic immigrant would be ludicrous

By the way, has Boris said anything about the event?

Gerri Ladene | March 14, 2009 4:47 PM

I agree that prosecution is a severe way of dealing with this. If anything the children should be given a choice of attending this for extra credit or doing a study hall for regular credits if they choose not to attend. Something that should be considered would be making it a policy to review these concerns in a parent/teacher conference first and educating the parents.

That one from Florida about the GSA gets me. How many lawsuits need to be filed to have schools allow students to form GSAs?