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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.


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.


Children Play Big Role in Indiana, Utah Marriage Equality Decisions


It just keeps getting better. Yesterday saw marriage equality victories in Indiana and Utah (and hopeful news out of Louisiana). Once again, the well-being of children played a large part in the rulings.


New Federal Benefits Extended to Same-Sex Couples, with Limits


A proposed new federal rule would extend protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to all eligible employees married to same-sex spouses, regardless of where they live. And announcements from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) extend other benefits to same-sex couples — up to a point.


Birth Certificates for Kids of Same-Sex Parents: All Over the Map


Three recent stories about same-sex parents trying to obtain accurate birth certificates for their children underscore the obstacles and confusion we often face in trying to protect our families.


Wisconsin Spice Company Celebrates Marriage Equality


Wisconsin-based spice company Penzeys is celebrating the state’s marriage equality win by sharing the stories of four of the plaintiff couples (several of whom have children), including “their lives, their cooking and their love.” Lest you think they’re just jumping on the bandwagon, they also reposted an article about gay dads Pat and Dennis and their four kids that ran in their newsletter way back in 2005. It lost them customers at the time — but they stuck with their beliefs.


From Coast to Coast, Changing Laws to Protect Our Families


A new law in Washington, D.C. is drawing lesbian couples from other jurisdictions to give birth there — and a bill making its way through the California legislature could simplify the paperwork and clarify parenting arrangements for same-sex couples in that state.


Two Days, Two States, To the Altar


Not one, but two states have gained marriage equality this week, as Pennsylvania today joined Oregon. And lest anyone feel that U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane’s ruling in the Oregon case was influenced by the fact that he is a gay dad, consider that straight U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III, who ruled in Pennsylvania, was appointed by President George W. Bush and backed by anti-LGBT Senator Rick Santorum (R).


Gay Dad Issues Stirring Marriage Equality Ruling in Oregon


U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane yesterday struck down Oregon’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, issuing a ruling that draws on his own experience as a dad, and ends with one of the most poetic passages I’ve ever seen in a legal document. McShane is also openly gay.


10 Years of Marriage Equality in Massachusetts — Still No Locusts


I’m pleased to report that a day before the 10th anniversary of the ruling that brought marriage equality to Massachusetts, there are still no swarms of locusts, plagues, or other signs of heavenly disfavor. In fact, in 2004, the same year that marriage equality was enacted, the Red Sox won the World Series after an 86-year gap, breaking the infamous “Curse of the Bambino.” Just saying.


What Arkansas and Idaho Marriage Rulings Say About Children


It’s been a great few days for marriage equality, with an Arkansas state judge and a federal judge in Idaho striking down those states’ bans on marriage for same-sex couples. As with similar rulings in other states, the welfare of children weighed heavily in the judges’ decisions.


Why Are So Many Marriage Equality Plaintiffs Parents?


Same-sex couples seeking marriage equality in both Florida and Idaho were in court recently to make their cases. As in California, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, among other states, parents were among the majority of the plaintiffs. Why? Some of the plaintiffs and an organizational leader behind one of the cases offer complementary perspectives.


Children Play Role in Georgia and Virginia Marriage Equality Suits


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.


Lesbian and Gay Parents and Bias in Child Custody Cases


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 […]


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


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


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


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.


Even Utah Backs Away from Discredited Same-Sex Family Study


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.


Watch: Utah Moms Share Their Love Story


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.


Love and Taxes


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.


Joyous Photos of Michigan Families Waiting to Marry


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.


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


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.