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Children Play Role in Georgia and Virginia Marriage Equality Suits

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Georgia yesterday became the latest state to have an active marriage equality lawsuit — and as in so many states, parents and prospective parents are among the plaintiffs.

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Lesbian and Gay Parents and Bias in Child Custody Cases

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A new academic review has surveyed the legal landscape for lesbian and gay parents in child custody cases, both with same-sex former partners and different-sex ones. It found that courts have not always taken into consideration the social science research that has found children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as well-adjusted as their peers […]

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How Gay Dads and Their Kids Triggered Administration Shift on Marriage Equality

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Two gay dads and their kids played a small but significant role in the evolution of President Obama and his administration on marriage equality.

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New Campaign Aims for Tax Equity for Same-Sex Couples, Parents

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April 15 has come and gone, and even though many same-sex couples can now pay as “Married,” many others, especially parents, still do not get the family tax benefits of different-sex married couples. A new campaign from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hopes to change that.

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Even Utah Backs Away from Discredited Same-Sex Family Study

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Remember Mark Regnerus, the University of Texas at Austin Sociology professor whose work showing children don’t do as well with same-sex parents has been widely discredited? Even the State of Utah, which is defending its ban on marriage for same-sex couples today in court, has backed away from his findings.

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Watch: Utah Moms Share Their Love Story

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Here’s your daily dose of adorable. Candice and Megan are a couple living in Utah with their baby daughter, who just radiates cuteness. In the video below, they share their feelings for each other, how they got married during the brief window for same-sex couples in Utah, and what marriage means to them as moms.

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Love and Taxes

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My spouse and I just sent in our first federal tax form as a married couple. It might be the happiest I’ve ever been turning in a tax form.

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Joyous Photos of Michigan Families Waiting to Marry

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Grab your tissues and be ready for the tears of joy when you see these couples and their kids waiting for marriage licenses in Ann Arbor, Michigan today.

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Judge Rules Michigan Marriage Ban Unconstitutional; Says Defendants’ Expert “Entirely Unbelievable”

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Great news to end the week: A federal judge just struck down Michigan’s ban on the marriage of same-sex couples! This was a particularly meaningful win for same-sex couples with children because the plaintiffs were two moms, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who began their legal trek seeking adoption rights, adding marriage later. The judge, Bernard Friedman, was particularly harsh in his criticism of the defendants’ argument that children fare better with a married mom and dad.

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Oregon AG Slams “Family Stability” Argument Against Marriage Equality

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This week, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a response in the federal case to determine whether same-sex couples can marry in the Beaver State. She supports equality for many reasons, but her remarks on the children-related arguments of equality opponents are particularly scathing.

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Melissa Harris-Perry on Motherhood, Marriage Equality

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MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, who has a new baby, spoke recently with ThinkProgress about motherhood and the need for better policies for working parents. As usual, she says a lot of on-target, sensible things — but I have to amend her on one point.

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Lesbian Mom, Partner Murdered in Texas

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A Houston lesbian couple was found murdered in Galveston, Texas on Friday morning, reports ABC affiliate KTRK-TV (via Elixher). That’s awful news in any case, but it’s made worse because one of the women has a young daughter.

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Discredited Researcher Testifies Against Same-Sex Parents

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Sociologist Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin testified this week in a federal case to determine whether same-sex couples can adopt and/or marry in Michigan. The bad news? He’s a thoroughly discredited researcher whose work was backed by money from religious conservatives. Or maybe that’s the good news.

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A Winning Week for Fairness

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Yesterday saw not one, but two major wins for fairness and equality. Arizona’s Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed a bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse service or employment based on “sincerely held” religious beliefs — designed to target LGBT people, but with much wider potential impact. And a federal judge in Texas ruled that the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples was unconstitutional.

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Take Action Against Arizona Bill Legislating Discrimination

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The Arizona legislature passed a bill last Thursday that would allow businesses to refuse to serve or hire people based on “sincerely held” religious beliefs. The bill doesn’t mention LGBT people, but since its introduction, it has been clear that it was meant to target us. The bill could also be used to refuse services or employment to people of different genders, faiths, or other characteristics. Gov. Jan Brewer (R), a staunch conservative, has until Friday to decide whether to sign it. Here’s what you can do to try and stop her, regardless of where you live.

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Scientific Studies of Same-Sex Parents Have Long and Legally Tested History

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Yesterday in the Detroit Free Press (and picked up in USA Today), Tresa Baldas wrote about the federal case beginning today in Michigan that will determine whether same-sex couples can marry and adopt there. She states, “now, for the first time, scientific studies on same-sex parenting will undergo legal scrutiny.” Really? The first time? REALLY?

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Study: Children from Intact Two-Mom Families Have Higher Self-esteem, Fewer Conduct Problems than Those from Intact Mom-Dad ones

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A new study has found that adolescents with lesbian moms had higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of conduct problems compared with peers in families that have a mom and a dad. Importantly, this is the first study to compare adolescent–parent relationships and well-being in families where the parents — both lesbian and straight — were all continuously coupled. This is key to combating some of the apples-to-oranges comparisons that have plagued right-wing analyses of lesbian and gay parenting — and seems perfectly timed to help fight a federal case that starts today.

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Watching the Olympics as a Lesbian Mom

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I love the Olympics. I was a varsity fencer in college and have done serious stints with a few other sports. I love the life lessons sports teach, including dedication, leadership, teamwork, and dealing with both success and failure — all values I’d like to convey to my son. I get choked up during recap montages and medal ceremonies. Normally, then, the start of the Olympics is a time of celebration around my house. And then there’s Sochi.

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Russia Bans Adoption by Single People from Countries that Allow Same-Sex Couples to Marry

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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last week signed a bill into law that bans foreign same-sex couples — and single people of any sexual orientation from countries that allow same-sex couples to wed — from adopting Russian children.

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Celebrating Love, in Virginia and Beyond

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Today is a day to celebrate love. How appropriate, then, that late yesterday, Federal District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen struck down Virginia’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, and in her ruling, quoted Mildred Loving of Loving v. Virginia, the case that struck down that state’s and the country’s anti-miscegenation laws.

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Marriage Equality Heads South

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[Updated again: Now with Alabama and Virginia!] Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, and Texas all had positive news about marriage equality yesterday. Let’s round it all up. (I know: Nevada isn’t really part of the south, but it’s south of where I am, so grant me some poetic license here.)

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Croatian Lesbians Sing For Sochi

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Le Zbor, the first lesbian and feminist choir in southeastern Europe, has created a charming video “expressing its solidarity with the LGBT citizens of Russia and worldwide.” Watch the Croatian singers here:

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Second-Parent Adoptions Ruled Legal in Idaho

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Great news from Idaho this morning: The state Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a person can petition to do a second-parent adoption of another’s child, even if the two adults are not married.

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Vancouver Baby First in Province to Have Three Legal Parents

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A baby born in Vancouver, British Columbia, is the first to have three legal parents on her birth certificate under the province’s new law.

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Meet Another Russian-Born Lesbian Mom Fighting for LGBT Russians

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Yelena Goltsman is founder and co-president of RUSA LGBT, the association for Russian-speaking LGBT people in the U.S., and a leading voice speaking out for LGBT Russians. She didn’t plan to be an LGBT activist, though — and in fact came to the U.S. in 1990 because of anti-Jewish, not anti-LGBT, persecution, when she was still married to a man.

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