Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-06-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

MOMBIAN 2017: Good news, bad news for LGBTQ families
by Dana Rudolph
2018-01-03

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Was 2017 a good year for LGBTQ parents and our children? The political situation in the United States was grim, but we also saw progress in some areas.

In perhaps the biggest win for LGBTQ parents this year, the U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned the Arkansas Supreme Court in Pavan v. Smith, a case involving two married, two-mom couples who had children with the help of anonymous sperm donors. The Arkansas court had argued that nonbiological mothers have no right to be on birth certificates, which are purely about biological connections; the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed.

The Pavan decision then impacted a September ruling of the Arizona Supreme Court, McLaughlin v. Jones ( McLaughlin ), where a biological mother was trying to claim that her ex, the nonbiological mother, was not a parent and had no right to seek custody of the child they conceived through assisted reproduction. The court cited Pavan in ruling for the nonbiological mother's parenthood.

Two similar cases are pending decisions in their respective state supreme courts, Turner v. Steiner in Arizona and Strickland v. Day in Mississippi. Cathy Sakimura, family law director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ), told me in July that "Pavan requires states to apply all the benefits of marriage equally to same-sex spouses, including questions about parental rights, so it has a huge impact on these pending cases." Here's hoping.

In a win that didn't cite Pavan, though, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled in December in favor of Sarah Sinnott, a mom whose former partner sought to stop her from seeing their daughter. The girl had only been legally adopted by the partner, although they had planned for and were raising her together. The couple was not married, and a lower court had said Vermont law only recognized parentage by married parents or those with a genetic connection to the child. Luckily, the state's highest court disagreed.

Three same-sex couples also finally won a case in the Nebraska Supreme Court, in April, that they had brought in 2013 against the state's ban on "homosexuals" becoming foster parents. The ruling meant that gay men and lesbians could in theory now be treated equally in foster care placements in all 50 states—but read on.

The biggest setback this year was the continued advance of so-called "religious freedom" laws that allow child-placement agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ prospective parents and others if serving them conflicts with the agencies' religious beliefs or moral convictions. Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Virginia had such laws already; in 2017, similar bills passed in Alabama, South Dakota and Texas. Some of these laws also allow agencies to refuse to serve certain children, to deny children services to which the agency objects ( like hormone therapy, contraceptives, or affirming mental health care ) or force them to undergo discredited "conversion therapy," as the Human Rights Campaign detailed in a recent report.

Additionally, a bill introduced in the U.S. Congress in April, the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, would enshrine such laws on the federal level. An opposing bill, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, would block them, but it likely stands no chance in this Congress, despite being an important sign of support for our families.

This year's election also saw big wins for queer candidates—including several who are also parents and/or grandparents. They include Jenny Durkan, mayor of Seattle; Danica Roem, elected to the Virginia House of Delegates and the first transgender elected official in Virginia; and several others elected to city councils and school boards. Kudos to them for showing us how to balance parenting and service.

And another lesbian mom showing service to our country, U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Kristin Goodwin, became the new commandant of cadets at the Air Force Academy in May.

Representation of LGBTQ families in the media also continued to move forward. In August, the cable channel Disney Junior featured its first two-mom family, on the award-winning show Doc McStuffins. Creator and Executive Producer Chris Nee, herself a lesbian mom, named the moms after Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer, the women at the heart of the U.S. Supreme Court Windsor decision that revoked part of the Defense of Marriage Act ( DOMA ). Their ( fictional ) kids were named for queer icons Gertrude Stein and Brandon Teena. This wasn't the first time a Disney show has depicted a two-mom family ( that honor goes to Disney Channel show Good Luck Charlie in 2014 ), but it was the first for the younger age range.

LGBTQ parents also were represented in several advertisements and catalogs from major brands this year, including Target and the Gap, with two moms; Google Home, with two dads; and Vicks India and Baby Dove, with transgender moms. Campbell's V8 +Energy Drink also sponsored a video on Pop Sugar from the two-mom family behind the video blog Team2Moms.

There were also more than 30 books published this year that included LGBTQ families—mostly for kids, with a few parenting guides and memoirs as well. ( Visit Mombian.com for the list. )

In other media coverage, spouses and dads Ben and Daniel Bowman were part of PeopleTV's Family Portrait video series on "the diversity of modern families" this November. And in December, the Good Housekeeping website ran a profile of Casey Brown, a gender nonbinary blogger and parent. If this venerable publication ( which my grandmother read ) is publishing such content, I think that queer parents are definitely making strides in visibility and acceptance.

Will these steps forward in representation be enough to counterbalance the efforts of those who oppose us? Stay tuned for 2018.

Dana Rudolph is the founder and publisher of Mombian ( Mombian.com ), a GLAAD Media Award-winning blog and resource directory for LGBTQ parents.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Money bond, pretrial incarceration hurting Chicago's LGBTQ Communities 2018-06-20 - On any given day, more than 90% of people in Cook County Jail ( "CCJ" ) are presumed innocent and yet are locked ...


Gay News

What's happening to Pride? 2018-06-20 - I like to say there was something in the air that made Pride 2017—here and abroad—one of the most contentious events in its ...


Gay News

Cakeshop ruling doesn't crumple our opponents 2018-06-13 - A pall hung over me June 4. The Supreme Court ruled in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission in favor of ...


Gay News

Trigger warning, mental health, suicide prevention and survivor guilt 2018-06-13 - Trigger warning: mental health. Simply put, suicide can kiss my ASS. If you're a fellow family/friend survivor, I'm sending you tons of ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Still a Cis World After All 2018-06-06 - A tragic, drug-addicted hooker ( Dallas Buyers Club ). A slasher-transvestite ( Dressed to Kill ) and a slasher-transvestite dressing as his dead ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Two new picture books tell story of the rainbow flag 2018-06-06 - Pride season is here, and so are two new picture books that tell the story of the rainbow flag and the individuals who ...


Gay News

THEATER VIEWPOINT Don't just stand there 2018-06-06 - In the wake of an attack, non-binary actor urges allies to act Also see theater feature at http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/THEATER-Trap-Door-transcends-with-binary-breaking-French-patriot/63097.html . I ...


Gay News

Can the LGBTQ community trust Pope Francis? 2018-05-30 - Once again, Pope Francis is rocking the world. "God made you like this and loves you like this and I don't care. ...


Gay News

VIEWS Pimping King 2018-05-23 - With 2018 being the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, commemorations honoring the man will be taking place across ...


Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL The six-foot table solution 2018-05-16 - Yes, we can solve all our problems with six-foot tables—even world peace. I'm surprised no one thought of it before. It was my ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.