A Good Day: Support Growing for Same-Sex Parents; Moms Challenge in New Mexico

New Mexico Plaintiffs Kim Kiel and Rose Griego, and Miriam Rand and Ona Porter. Photo credit: ACLU of New Mexico

New Mexico plaintiffs Kim Kiel and Rose Griego, and Miriam Rand and Ona Porter. Photo credit: ACLU of New Mexico

Yesterday was a day of good news, with a new study showing growing support for same-sex parents, a major medical organization stating that marriage equality benefits children, and three moms (two of whom are also grandmothers) and a stepmom filing a suit for marriage equality in New Mexico.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, which has long supported adoption by same-sex partners, announced its support for “civil marriage for same-gender couples; adoption by single parents, co-parents or second parents regardless of sexual orientation; and foster care placement regardless of sexual orientation.”

The Pew Research Center released a study showing increasing support in the U.S. for marriage equality as well as for parenting by same-sex couples. Sixty-four percent of Americans now agree that “same-sex couples can be as good parents as heterosexual couples,” while only 54 percent felt that way in 2003. Seventy-one percent of women agree, versus 57 percent of men.

I wish they’d asked about attitudes towards LGBT parents generally, including single and trans parents, rather than just same-sex couples—but as this was in the context of a larger study on marriage equality, I suppose that focus is understandable. Still, I hope more studies are forthcoming.

Finally, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the ACLU filed a marriage equality lawsuit on behalf of two New Mexico same-sex couples. (New Mexico has no law explicitly permitting it, but none banning it, either.) The couples, Rose Griego and Kim Kiel, and Miriam Rand and Ona Porter, were refused licenses by the Bernalillo County Clerk.

NCLR tells us a little about their lives:

Rose and Kim have been together for eight years and live in Santa Fe. Kim is a financial advisor with an independent private practice. Rose is an accountant by trade and owns her own accounting business. Kim has two children from a previous relationship, who are now in college. Her children call Rose their stepmother. The couple has experienced firsthand the harms that same-sex couples face when they lack the protections of marriage. A few years ago, Rose was hospitalized. Even though Kim had taken her to the emergency room, the hospital refused to provide Kim with any information about Rose’s condition or treatment. It was only after Rose’s family arrived that Kim was able to learn Rose’s prognosis. Rose and Kim want to get married so that everyone will recognize the couple’s love for and commitment to one another.

Miriam and Ona have been together for 25 years and live in Albuquerque. Miriam is the director of an organization that assists families through the process of adoption, and Ona is the president and CEO of a statewide nonprofit organization that focuses on eliminating poverty, building assets for the poor, and challenging racial, gender and class inequities. When they first started dating, Miriam had one daughter from a previous relationship and Ona had two, all of whom are now adults. Miriam and Ona have always loved each other’s children as if they were their own. Together they are caring for their middle daughter, who has multiple sclerosis, and their granddaughter, who has cerebral palsy. Although Miriam, Ona, and their children are a family to all that know them, Miriam and Ona do not have automatic legal authority to make important decisions for one another or their family, as married couples do, and they have faced restrictive policies that made it more difficult for them to visit, care for, and make decisions for parents and siblings who were ill.

Best of luck to all of them and all the same-sex couples in New Mexico.