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Why Marriage Equality Does and Doesn’t Matter

Photo credit: Michael Prudhomme

My further thoughts on some of the latest marriage equality rulings, originally published in my Mombian newspaper column.


“Heather Has Two Mommies” Author Pens New Children’s Book of Jewish Holidays


Just in time for the Jewish New Year comes a new picture book by Lesléa Newman, author of Heather Has Two Mommies, taking us on a year-long journey through the Jewish holidays.


Texas Candidate Touts His Two Moms in Campaign Video


David Rosen is running for treasurer of the most populous county in Texas. In his latest campaign video, he explains how his two moms, retired public schoolteachers, inspired him to serve his community.


Lesbian Teacher Says Catholic School Fired Her for “Nontraditional” Pregnancy


A lesbian teacher at an all-girls Catholic school in Michigan says she was fired because her pregnancy is “nontraditional.” Thousands have rallied to her cause — but she is not the only lesbian teacher to be fired recently by the Catholic Church over a pregnancy. Funny for a church founded on a nontraditional pregnancy.


Poetry and Hope on 9/11


Once again, it’s 9/11. Somehow, the observance seems dampened this year, with yet another spin around the sun between us and the tragedy. Yet the currents that led to the event still swirl through our world. I’ve written in past years about working next door to the World Trade Center until two business days before the tragedy. This year, I turn to others’ words — words of poets.


See the Amazing Response to Church Pride Flag Theft

UCC Rochester - front

Sometimes, the world renews my faith in it. Back in July, I wrote about the First Church Congregational in Rochester, New Hampshire, which had two Pride flags stolen within a week. Here’s what happened when the pastor then asked people to send in rainbow flags to cover the building.


Judge Continues Acerbic Defense of Same-Sex Parents in Marriage Decision

Wisconsin State Seal

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that same-sex couples in Wisconsin and Indiana have the right to marry. My spouse and I met in Wisconsin (although we don’t live there anymore), so I’m especially pleased by this win. Making it even better was reading the ruling of Judge Richard Posner, who had grilled marriage equality opponents mercilessly during the hearing. Read on for highlights of his delightfully snarky decision.


Judge Is Scathing to Marriage Equality Opponents on Matter of Children


As a general rule of life, I try not to gloat. But yesterday’s arguments in the federal marriage equality case in Indiana and Wisconsin were so overwhelmingly on the side of same-sex couples and our children that I can’t help but feel a little smug. One judge was particularly scathing in his questions to marriage equality opponents.


Virginia Aunts Still Waiting to Become Moms


Two Virginia women who want to be moms are practicing by being awesome aunts. Why aren’t they taking steps to become parents? They’re waiting until both can be legal mothers to their child in their state. The U.S. Supreme Court is (so far) not helping.


Injustice Anywhere: Thinking of Michael Brown


Many of us who have any sense of social justice — nay, of humanity — are angry, outraged, and saddened by the shooting death of Michael Brown, a Black teenager in Missouri. I find myself once again scared for my son’s friends who are Black. I find myself hoping I can raise my son, who is White, to be a strong ally and help continue to erase the racism in our world. I hope I can be a good role model in that regard.


The Power of Matthew Shepard’s Story — and All Our Stories


Most of you likely know the story of Matthew Shepard, the University of Wyoming student brutally murdered in 1998 for being gay. Cathy Renna was working for GLAAD at the time, and was asked by the LGBT student group at the University to help manage the overwhelming media attention in the wake of the attack. She recently gave a TEDx talk on her experience, the impact of Matthew’s death, and the power of stories.


Over 18,300 Children Could Feel Impact of Today’s Marriage Equality Hearings


It’s a big day for marriage equality cases as the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments in five cases covering the constitutionality of bans on marriage for same-sex couples in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Approximately 18,300 children of same-sex couples and nearly 52,400 same-sex couples could be impacted by the outcome, according to UCLA’s Williams Institute.


Bill to Allow Adoption Discrimination Introduced as Inclusive Bill Picks Up Steam


Republican lawmakers, with the urging of anti-LGBT groups the Family Research Council and the Heritage Foundation, have introduced a bill last week that would allow adoption providers and other child welfare service agencies to refuse to provide services that conflict with their “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.” Think it’s a thinly veiled attempt to stop LGBT people from adopting or fostering? You’re right. But an opposing bill that would withhold federal funds from adoption providers that discriminate against LGBT people now has record support — although it is far from passage.


Degrees of Freedom


Reading the international headlines recently, I was reminded how LGBT rights around the world are at vastly different points of development.


The Homophone: A New Device for Communicating the Gay Agenda


A social-media specialist for a Utah-based English language learning center was fired after he wrote a blog post about homophones — words that sound the same but differ in meaning and often spelling — because the school owner thought it implied that the school was “associated with homosexuality.” (I’m guessing the fact that a language school is full of cunning linguists probably never occurred to them — though one probably can’t get homogenized milk in the cafeteria there.) Lucky for us, however, a new electronics company has come out with the Homophone™, a device specifically designed for communicating the Gay Agenda.


Yes, Virginia, There Is an Equality Clause


Yesterday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Virginia’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples violates the 14th Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. That paves the way for Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina to allow same-sex couples to marry.


Help Pastor and Lesbian Mom Cover Church with Pride Flags in Response to Theft

Photo credit: Ludovic Bertron

The First Church Congregational in Rochester, New Hampshire, part of the United Church of Christ (UCC), has had two rainbow Pride flags stolen in the past week. In response, Pastor Eliza Buchakjian-Tweedy, who is raising two children with her spouse Marcey, is asking for people to send them rainbow flags so they can cover the church building and lawn with them.


Australian Senate Opposition Leader (and a Lesbian Mom) Speaks Against Homophobia


Australian Senator for South Australia and Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Penny Wong, last week gave a pointed Senate speech against homophobia in sports, schools, and elsewhere.


Workplace Nondiscrimination Executive Order Brings Protections to More, But Not All


I didn’t want to let the day pass without an acknowledgment of the historic signing by President Obama of an executive order to ban federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The order also added “gender identity” to an executive order of President Clinton that banned discrimination against federal employees on the basis of sexual orientation. Today’s order will directly benefit many LGBTQ people and their families — but it isn’t enough.


Yes, Children Are Making their Mark on Marriage Equality


Last month, I wrote, “It used to be that ‘Think of the children!’ was an argument against marriage equality. Now that’s an argument for it,” as ruling after ruling after ruling for marriage equality has heavily weighed the interests of children. A Reuters article yesterday covered the same theme.


Watch: Lesbian Moms 1st Same-Sex Couple to Marry in Denver

The Simons testifying in support of civil unions in 2012 (Courtesy of One Colorado)

Here’s a bit of good news to start your week. Colorado lesbian moms Fran and Anna Simon, whom NPR called “the de facto face of the civil unions debate” back when the state was trying to pass civil unions, have now gotten married.


New Dungeons & Dragons Rules Embrace Diverse Gender Identities, Sexual Orientation


Yep, I’m that kind of geek. I first played Dungeons & Dragons — the original edition — back in high school in the early 80s. Now my son plays. I was thrilled, therefore, to discover that the new version of D&D, which officially launches next week, is clearly and deliberately inclusive of a diverse range of gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations.


Judge Rejects “Procreation” Argument in Colorado Marriage Equality Ruling


Yesterday, Colorado became the latest in a string of states to rule in favor of marriage equality. As in every other state that has seen a marriage equality ruling lately, parents were among the plaintiffs, and once again, the judge rejected the argument that marriage should be limited to different-sex couples because they can procreate.


New Hampshire Mom Wins Legal Right to Her Daughter


A nonbiological mother is the legal parent of her daughter, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled last week, in yet another unfortunate instance of a biological mother trying to claim otherwise.


Why This Straight Mom Brings Her Kids to Pride


As Pride Month winds down, I want to give a nod to our allies, who play a vital role in building bridges as we move towards equality. One example is mom Emily Rosenbaum, who writes at Kveller about walking in Boston’s Pride Parade with her kids and their synagogue. They go to Pride, she says, […]