Tag: Parents

Kids with Same-Sex Parents Do Better Academically? That Doesn’t Mean Same-Sex Parents Are “Better”

Kids with Same-Sex Parents Do Better Academically? That Doesn't Mean

A new study has found that children with same-sex parents do better academically than those with different-sex ones. This is yet another study among dozens that show our children do as well as—or better than—those with different-sex parents, based on various metrics of well-being. Such studies have been vital in fighting for our rights in courts and legislatures—but often the “better than” results lead to a flurry of headlines asking if same-sex parents are better than different-sex ones. Sure, I’d like to believe in my family’s superpowers—but there’s a danger in jumping to that conclusion.

Classroom desk - Element5 Digital on Unsplash

The latest study, by Australian researchers Jan Kabátek and Francisco Perales, published in the journal Demography, used data from the Netherlands, one of the few countries where researchers can link anonymous data from many administrative sources covering the entire population, and not have to rely on a possibly skewed “convenience sample” of volunteer participants. Also, because the Netherlands has had a long-standing acceptance of same-sex relationships (in 2001 it became the first country to enact marriage equality), the country offered a “best case scenario” for looking at the impact of same-sex vs. different-sex parents, without the muddying influence of factors like stigma and discrimination.

The researchers looked at 13 consecutive cohorts of primary school students, which included more than 1.4 million children raised by different-sex couples and more than 3,000 raised by same-sex couples. They statistically eliminated factors like the higher average education and lower average incomes of same-sex parents, in order to focus solely on the effects of parental structure.

The results? In a nationwide standardized test of language, mathematics, and general learning ability, given to all eighth-grade students, children in same-sex-parented families scored higher by 13 percent of a standard deviation (SD). This difference is “comparable to the advantage of children whose parents are both employed as opposed to being out of work,” they say in an article on their study at theconversation.com. Children with same-sex parents were also on average 21.6 percent more likely to enter an academic high school track, 1.5 percent more likely to graduate from high school, and 11.2 percent more likely to enroll in a university.

The researchers also looked specifically at children who lived part of their lives with different-sex parents and part with same-sex ones, and found that “Children who had some exposure to same-sex parenting attain higher test scores than children who had none,” an association that “grows stronger among children who have more exposure to same-sex parenting.”

Why the differences? The current study did not allow the authors to identify specific reasons, but they hypothesize that overcoming greater obstacles to parenthood may strengthen [same-sex parents’] commitment to parental roles.” Additionally, they say, because same-sex couples are less likely to become parents through accidental pregnancies, “this can result in more positive parenting practices.”

The authors conclude that their results “support the idea that in sociopolitical environments characterized by high levels of legislative or public support, children in same-sex-parented families fare at least as well as children in different-sex-parented families.” The Netherlands “provides robust legislative support structures for same-sex couples, such as the right to adopt children, equal access to IVF treatments and formal recognition of both parents,” they say. Countries that are currently without such support could also see such successful outcomes, “should they direct comparable efforts towards the inclusion of sexual minorities.” (This is yet another reason for the U.S. to pass the Equality Act and for more states to update their parentage laws.)

Can we go further and say that same-sex parents are better than different-sex ones? No. The authors’ judicious “at least as well as” is key. Their study has several limitations, they admit, including that they only looked at standardized testing at one point in time. Additionally, because there are few male same-sex parents in the Netherlands, the results for their children are less precise.

Also, I would add, academic outcomes aren’t everything. And although more than 70 previous studies of children with same-sex parents also show them doing as well or better on various academic and psychological measures of well-being (according to the What We Know project at Cornell University), we should not conclude that we are categorically “better.” Nor should we want to. As I’ve written before, that’s unfair to us as individuals—and more importantly, to our kids—as it sets a standard that any given person may or may not achieve. Not only that, but saying that same-sex parents are better means we must discredit bisexual and transgender parents who are in different-sex relationships. The most we can and should say is that as parents, same-sex couples are no worse than any others and perhaps have strengths in certain areas, generally speaking (and different-sex couples and single parents may have strengths in others, without any type being “better” overall).

I understand why we’ve needed studies to show that children with same-sex parents do at least as well—but we shouldn’t fall into a game of “Who’s better?” Not only does that set unreasonable expectations, but it can lead to the conclusion that certain parents should be favored (say, in foster care and adoption), simply because of the category they belong to, and not on their individual merits. We LGBTQ parents have been on the negative end of that approach. Let’s not propagate it forward.

The study is “Academic Achievement of Children in Same- and Different-Sex-Parented Families: A Population-Level Analysis of Linked Administrative Data from the Netherlands,” in Demography, 2/15/2021.

“Serving children should not be controversial” – Evangelical Adoption Agency Opens to LGBTQ Parents Nationwide

"Serving children should not be controversial” - Evangelical Adoption Agency

Bethany Christian Services, the largest Protestant adoption and foster care agency in the U.S., announced yesterday that it will begin placing children with LGBTQ parents nationwide, reports the New York Times.

Child - heart - silhouette

Image by marcisim from Pixabay

Correspondent Ruth Graham writes that Bethany had an informal policy of referring LGBTQ people to other agencies, but individual branches of the agency, which has offices in 32 states, sometimes chose to serve them. In Philadelphia, where a different Christian agency’s refusal to work with LGBTQ people has taken them to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case (Fulton v. City of Philadelphia) whose outcome is pending, the local Bethany branch changed its policy to comply with city nondiscrimination statutes. Because the agency took taxpayer money for its services, it was bound by the city’s statutes. Now, Bethany’s national board has unanimously enacted a policy of inclusion for all of its branches.

Graham reports that President and CEO Chris Palusky said in an e-mail to the organization’s 1500 staff members, “We will now offer services with the love and compassion of Jesus to the many types of families who exist in our world today. We’re taking an all hands on deck’ approach where all are welcome.”

And board member Susanne Jordan told Graham that while she recognizes they may lose some donors because of the new policy, “Serving children should not be controversial.”

This is terrific news that will make more homes and parents available to children in care. And as the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) showed in a report released last December, more than 1,200 child placement agencies contract with city, county, and/or state governments to care for children. Of those, 39.8 percent agencies are religiously affiliated, mostly (88 percent) with mainstream Christian denominations. MAP noted that even if the Supreme Court rules in favor of discrimination, not all religiously affiliated agencies would choose to do so—and Bethany’s move reinforces that claim.

At the same time, MAP warned, “The risk is not merely hypothetical. There are already clear examples of agencies seeking the ability to discriminate. And a June 2020 survey by the Center for American Progress and NORC at the University of Chicago found that two in five LGBTQ people said it would be “very difficult” or “not possible” to find another child placement agency if they were turned away by one.

So: Good news, but not a reason to take our eyes off the ball. Want to know how you can help fight religiously based discrimination against LGBTQ parents and ensure that all children, including LGBTQ youth and youth of color, get culturally competent, safe, and supportive care? Visit the Every Child Deserves a Family campaign to learn more.

Here’s What the Two LGBTQ Parents in Congress Said About the Equality Act

Here's What the Two LGBTQ Parents in Congress Said About

The Equality Act, a comprehensive, federal, LGBTQ civil rights bill, passed the U.S. House yesterday in a bipartisan vote—and in their speeches before the vote, the two LGBTQ parents in Congress both spoke about their kids and about the wider impact of the legislation.

Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY)

Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY)

First, let’s recap the Equality Act itself, which would extend several existing federal civil rights laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. It would also prohibit discrimination in federally funded programs and public spaces and services on the basis of sex. Its coverage would extend to employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, foster care, adoption, and more, better protecting LGBTQ people, women, and the families so many of us support—and this would strengthen our communities and our nation as a whole.

Rep. Angie Craig  (D-MN), a co-chair of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus and an original cosponsor of the Act, said in her speech before the vote (my bold): “As the first openly lesbian wife and mother in Congress … I know this legislation is the culmination of a lifetime of work for so many. My wife Cheryl and I have built a beautiful life together, raising four sons who we dearly love.” Their home state of Minnesota, she said, already offers many of the protections of the Act, but in other states, “it would be entirely legal for Cheryl and I to be discriminated against based on our love and commitment to one another.” Watch her full speech below:

Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), the highest-ranking out LGBTQ member of the House, a co-chair of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus, and an original cosponsor of the Act, is the father of three children with his husband, Randy Florke. “I was thinking about my kids as I walked onto the floor today,” he said in his speech to the House ahead of the vote, before asserting that the argument of those who oppose the Act is that LGBT people are morally inferior and that discrimination against them must be permitted. “Let history record the vote today,” he concluded. “One side votes for love.” Here are his full words:

The Act passed the House 224-206, with all Democrats voting for, along with only three Republicans: Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), John Katko (NY), and Tom Reed (NY). It now moves on to the Senate, where it will likely face an uphill battle. Call or e-mail your senators today and urge them to support it.

New York’s New Law on Gestational Surrogacy and Legal Recognition for Nonbiological Parents Goes Into Effect

New York's New Law on Gestational Surrogacy and Legal Recognition

A new law is now in effect in the state of New York that not only legalizes gestational surrogacy but also simplifies and strengthens the legal recognition of nonbiological parents and single parents in families formed through assisted reproduction. Easy forms? No home study? Yes, please!

New York Flag

The Child-Parent Security Act, which was sponsored by New York State Senator Brad Hoylman (D) and Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D), was signed into law last year and is now in effect, as Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced yesterday.

The new law:

  • Legalizes gestational surrogacy (where the surrogate is not genetically connected to the child because she did not contribute her egg), provided that the arrangement follows “best practices” that protect the interests of the surrogate, intended parents, and child. Gov. Cuomo’s office called these “the strongest protections in the nation for parents and surrogates, ensuring all parties provide informed consent at every step of the process.” The legislation is also notable for using gender-inclusive language to refer to surrogates.
  • Establishes a Surrogate’s Bill of Rights, “to ensure the unfettered right of surrogates to make their own healthcare decisions, including whether to terminate or continue a pregnancy, and that surrogates have access to comprehensive health insurance and independent legal counsel of their choosing, all paid for by the intended parents,” as Gov. Cuomo’s office describes it.
  • Streamlines the process for legally recognizing a nonbiological parent, allowing intended parents who use a sperm or egg donor to have a secure legal relationship with the child from the moment of birth. The new law will also help end legal uncertainty for single parents who use a sperm donor.

Let’s dig into that last point a little more. In cases where there are two intended same-sex parents, as I hope you all know by now, having both parents’ names on the birth certificate is not enough. That’s why LGBTQ legal experts still recommend that non-gestational parents do second-parent adoptions. Such adoptions, however, are often expensive, take several months to happen after the child’s birth (leaving the child legally vulnerable, should something happen to the gestational parent), and involve lots of paperwork and an intrusive home study.

The new law, however, offers nonbiological parents two new options:

  1. A free Acknowledgment of Parentage (AoP) form that may be filed at the hospital right after the child’s birth, with no home study needed. This is “a voluntary document to add parental rights to the non-birthing parent,” per the state Department of Health.
  2. A court-issued Order of Parentage that requires a single court visit, which can be completed before the child is born, and no home study.

As I’ve explained before, AoPs (or VAPs, Voluntary Acknowledgements of Parentage, as they are called in some states), are an exciting new option in a few states that offer an exceptionally easy way to legal parenthood for nonbiological parents. The New York form (PDF) states specifically that it “will establish parentage of our child with the same force and effect as an Order of Parentage entered after a court hearing.” At the same time, however, as GLAD Senior Staff Attorney Patience Crozier told me last year, while AoPs/VAPs should be equivalent to a court decree of parentage, they are as yet untested in courts and not broadly available in many states. Court decrees of parentage, like New York’s Order of Parentage (or second-parent adoptions) may therefore still be the more secure option for the time being. Nevertheless, as she said, “I think it’s really important for people to be able to have access to both. Every family situation is different. You want everybody to feel that they have the level of protection appropriate for them.”

Outside of New York, coalitions in both Massachusetts and Connecticut are pushing for similar updates to those states’ parentage laws that would also offer simpler and more secure paths to legal parenthood for nonbiological parents. Follow those links to learn more and see how you can get involved.

Have questions? The New York Department of Health has posted guidelines about Gestational Surrogacy Agreements, Acknowledgments of Parentage, and Orders of Parentage, and has more on gestational surrogacy here. Beyond that, I recommend talking with a lawyer (I’m not one) to see how the law might apply to your situation and what your personal best path forward is.

Need a lawyer? The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (LeGaL) has an online platform where you can have their team connect you with attorneys in their Lawyer Referral Network, and the LGBT Family Law Institute offers a Family Law Attorney Directory. Or try the brand-new “connecting rainbows” service to find a lawyer in their directory.

New Service Offers Legal and Fertility Resources for LGBTQ Parents and Parents-to-Be

New Service Offers Legal and Fertility Resources for LGBTQ Parents

A new service, founded by a queer mom and attorney, aims to provide LGBTQ parents and prospective parents with family building resources and a personally vetted directory of family lawyers.

Gena Jaffe (L), wife Jordana (R) and their two children. Used with permission.

Gena Jaffe (L), wife Jordana (R) and their two children. Used with permission.

Gena Jaffe, a Philadelphia-based lawyer and mom, founded connecting rainbows after posting on social media about her and her spouse’s own journey to parenthood and receiving lots of questions. She told me via e-mail, “My wife and I have openly shared our fertility journeys on Instagram, as well as the second parent adoption process we had to go through. As a result, I have received a ton of questions over the years. While I am a practicing attorney, I do not specialize in estate planning or adoption, so I could never help anyone who came to me. Further, fertility is near and dear to my heart, and I feel a special connection to all those going through the treatments.”

After Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court last October, too, Jaffe said, “I started to talk more on my Instagram about the things same sex families should consider putting into place, God forbid same sex marriage was overturned.” She realized many prospective LGBTQ parents were encountering both a lack of information and misinformation. “I cannot even tell you how many people told me that lawyers either (1) would not work with them because they were a same sex couple or (2) gave them completely false information,” such as telling them that being on the birth certificate is enough to grant full legal rights to both same-sex parents. (As I’ve said myself many times, it’s not.) Jaffe then got the idea “to create a directory of attorneys across the US and Canada who specialize in working with LGBTQ+ couples on fertility law, adoption and estate planning.”

The LGBTQ Law Association already maintains a Family Law Attorney Directory and Family Equality has an LGBTQ+ Family Building Directory of fertility clinics, cryobanks, midwives, doulas, surrogacy clinics, and more who have completed one or more of the organization’s Open Door Professional Training Courses, but Jaffe says her directory will be different in having both legal and fertility resources in one place. In addition, she said, “My database will be unique in that it will be personal. I am limiting how many attorneys I recommend so that I can ensure that the people listed are (1) well-versed in working with the LGBTQ+ community and (2) it’s not overwhelming for people to decide who to call. I have garnered trust with my audience over the years, so they can feel confident in whom I am recommending.”

She explained further:

I will be capping it around five lawyers per state (in the larger states)—closer to three in the smaller states. I want to take the stress, overwhelm + research out of the equation for the individuals who are coming to the site. I am personally speaking to every lawyer who is listed on the site. I want to get a good sense of who they are, how they operate and how they will care for my community. I don’t need someone who has the most experience. I want someone who is not only competent but also compassionate. Someone who gets the younger generation.

The new website will include not only a directory of lawyers and fertility resources, but also expert interviews and a blog where “families can share their own fertility or adoption journeys, coming out stories and transition experiences.” She asserted, “I believe education is empowering, and I want to help people understand the journey and what to expect. My vision is that this space will help people feel less alone in whatever it is they are going through; a space where they can find comfort and hope.”

Informative and trustworthy resources are vital for us LGBTQ parents and parents-to-be. That’s why for years I’ve also maintained my own Mombian Resource Directory—which is in some ways a meta-directory of resources like connecting rainbows and the other directories mentioned above—on LGBTQ family building, legal issues, raising kids, caring for ourselves, and more. I appreciate that Jaffe is bringing her professional expertise to bear in offering LGBTQ folks a more focused approach to finding legal and family creation help, and I look forward to seeing how her site evolves.

Board Book with Same-Sex Parents, Gender Creative Kids, and Pregnant Trans Man Wins Prestigious Stonewall Book Award

Stonewall Book Award Winners for LGBTQ Kids’ and Young Adult

The American Library Association (ALA) today announced its 2021 Stonewall Book Awards for LGBTQ-inclusive children’s and young adult books, part of the Youth Media Awards that also include the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott Medals. The winner was a board book that includes not only same-sex parents, but also gender creative kids and a pregnant transgender man.

We Are Little Feminists: Families

The Stonewall Book Awards — Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award (to distinguish them from the Stonewall Book Awards for adult books) are chosen by a committee of the ALA’s Rainbow Round Table, “the oldest professional association for LGBTQIA+ people in the United States.” This year’s winner is:

  • We Are Little Feminists: Families, by Archaa Shrivastav (Little Feminist), a board book that uses simply rhymes to celebrate many types of families as it shows photos of real families around the world engaged in everyday activities. While other books may have similar themes, this one is notable for the photos of actual families and the broad LGBTQ inclusion. Several of the families include two moms and two dads; there are also children who seem nonbinary or gender creative, and one image of a transgender man who is pregnant. (Readers may recognize him as trans advocate Trystan Reese, who posts about his family on Instagram at @biffandi.) Some images are below; note the publisher has not made the one with Reese available to the media, but it’s very similar to this one on his Instagram. This is truly a joyous book that belongs in any library or bookshelf for young children.

Four honor books were also selected:

  • Beetle & The Hollowbones, written and illustrated by Aliza Layne (Atheneum Books for Young Readers): In this middle grade graphic novel, 12-year-old goblin-witch Beetle, who lives in the eerie town of ‘Allows, fits in neither as a sorceress nor as a ghost whose spirit is trapped in the mall, like her nonbinary best friend Blob Ghost. When Beetle’s old best friend, Kat Hollowbone, returns to town for a sorcery apprenticeship with her Aunt Hollowbone, Beetle is reminded of her inadequacy. Yet plans are afoot that endanger Blob Ghost and force Beetle to act, confronting her fears and her feelings for Kat. A fun and clever story that is surprisingly human despite the fantastical characters.
  • You Should See Me in a Crown, by Leah Johnson (Scholastic): In this middle grade novel, Liz Lighty is a Black, nerdy, poor, wallflower, which sets her apart in her small, rich, Midwestern town. But when a scholarship to an elite college falls through, she unexpectedly finds herself in the social spotlight, running for prom queen and the prize money that brings. As if that’s not hard enough, she may also be falling for one of her competitors. Full review.
  • Darius the Great Deserves Better, by Adib Khorram (Dial Books): This sequel to Khorram’s young adult novel Darius the Great Is Not Okay, continues the story of Darius, an out gay Iranian American teen navigating romantic relationships and family as well as bullying, racism, and his family’s financial struggles. He also has queer grandmothers.
  • Felix Ever After, by Kacen Callender (Balzer + Bray): A young adult novel about a Black, transgender teen whose plan to foil transphobic harassment lands him in an unexpected love triangle—but also leads him to redefine how he feels about himself.

In addition to the above, Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail, by Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Susan Gal (Charlesbridge) won the Sydney Taylor Book Award, presented annually to “outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.” While the LGBTQ content is slight (one pair of visiting relatives to the Passover seder is a two-dad couple), I’m still going to mention it. Newman, author of Heather Has Two Mommies and many other LGBTQ-inclusive works, arguably brought LGBTQ picture books into mainstream awareness, so I’m happy to celebrate any recognition of her work. Full review.

And queer mom Jacqueline Woodson won the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award for her middle grade novel Before the Ever After (Nancy Paulsen Books) about a 12-year-old whose father, a retired football player, is grappling with traumatic brain injury.

The full list of ALA Youth Media Award winners is here.

Congratulations to them all!


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Parents buy closeted teen Ellen merch to let her know it’s ‘OK to be gay’

Ellen DeGeneres smile while wearing a grey suit jacket

Ellen DeGeneres. (Steve Granitz/WireImage)

In what might be the purest and most wholesome thing to occur during this well and truly cursed year, a closeted teen was gifted Ellen DeGeneres merchandise by her parents to let her know “it’s OK to be lesbian.”

Sophie opened up her presents Friday (25 December) to find her parents had bought her The Ellen DeGeneres Show wares, which included a festive-themed t-shirt and a pair of socks threaded with the words “be kind” on them.

Yes, what you’re feeling right now is called serotonin. You have just been reunited with it. It has been a while.

“What the f**k?” the 19-year-old tweeted. “My parents got me Ellen merch because I’m a lesbian?”

As the tweet immediately went viral – drawing more than 676,000 likes and 42,600 retweets at the time of writing – she added: “I’m not out of the closet and they got me this because they know I haven’t said anything.”

‘Ellen DeGeneres is probably the only lesbian they know’, says gay teen whose parents bought her Ellen Show merch 

“I was really shocked when I opened the Ellen merch because I’m not an Ellen fan,” Sophie told PinkNews.

“So it was very unexpected. I laughed really hard to myself because I realised it was almost like a bridge to be like ‘it’s okay to be a lesbian’.

“It’s just funny to me because I also realised Ellen is probably the only lesbian they know.”

Thousands of LGBT+ Twitter users shared their own stories of supportive parents and guardians buying them stereotypically queer presents that have the same energy as the mum from Mean Girls, while others joked that buying a lesbian Ellen merch is both aggressively gay and relentlessly homophobic all at the same time.

Sophie added that her tweet has received a laundry bag of reactions and didn’t even expect her tweet to get blasted across peoples’ timelines. “I’ve received a lot of support, but also a lot of hate in my DMs from random trolls,” she said.

“I assume that’s what happens if anything goes viral so I just try to ignore the negative messages and appreciate those who are being nice and supporting me.”

What Queer Parents Can Teach All Families

What Queer Parents Can Teach All Families

In an article for the Boston Globe this past weekend, a queer mom reflects on talking with her daughter about her family structure and donor siblings, as well as the lessons this holds not only for her but for families of all types.

Children in Silhouette

In “A lesson in queer parenting that’s good for any family,” Stephanie Fairyington writes about introducing her 4-year-old daughter to her donor siblings—something she and her spouse were happy to do, but struggled to find the words to explain. “The topic was far too complicated for her language and understanding — and ours…. The way we laid it out was spectacularly idiotic from beginning to end,” she admits.

They sought help by connecting with other queer families and by reading children’s books that included families like theirs. Despite their earlier bumbling, though, their daughter came to take pride in her extended family. The moms ultimately realized the value in discussing their family’s difference and “in the way that her lived reality challenges social norms,” which may help their daughter foster a compassion for other marginalized people. More broadly, too, Fairyington says, queer families challenge traditional conceptions of family, making room for new possibilities that can help make the world kinder and more inclusive. All parents, she says, can learn a lesson here.

For me to say more would be to recreate her piece, which I don’t want to do. Go read it. Then, if you want some further related reading for yourself or your kids, try these books:

  • Random Families: Genetic Strangers, Sperm Donor Siblings, and the Creation of New Kin, by Rosanna Hertz and Margaret K. Nelson, the result of interviews with 212 parents (two-mom couples, different-sex couples, and single parents) and 154 of their donor-conceived children. The authors explore how parents chose donors, how they and/or their children chose to connect with donor siblings, and how the children within a donor network made sense of their donor and each other. Grounded in academic research, Random Families is nevertheless an accessible and informative read for anyone who has or is considering donor conception. Full review.
  • Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction, by Kim Bergman (Conari Press), offers a detailed look at assisted reproductive technology, including assisted insemination, in vitro fertilization, and surrogacy, written in a way that doesn’t take a medical degree to understand. Bergman, a licensed psychologist and senior partner at Growing Generations, the first surrogacy and egg donation agency dedicated to the queer community, devotes a whole chapter, too, to ways of talking about their creation to your child(ren) and to the outside world. Full review.
  •  You Began as a Wish, also by Bergman, is a simple and melodic picture book appropriate for even the very youngest children, based on what she’s been advising parents for 30 years to tell their kids and what she told her own kids about their creation. Full review and author interview.
  • Zak’s Safari: A Story about Donor-Conceived Kids of Two-Mom Families, by Christy Tyner, is told from the perspective of a young child with two moms. Buy it at the link, or read it free online in English, Spanish, or French at the book’s website. Full review.
  • What Makes a Baby? by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth, remains a gem of all-gender-inclusive explanation for young children about reproduction. Full review.
  • Picture books that specifically talk about donor siblings include Your Family: A Donor Kid’s Story, by Wendy Kramer, co-founder and director of the Donor Sibling Registry (also available in Spanish); Jennifer Dukoff’s Meeting My Brother (watch the author read it here), and I’ve Got Dibs!: A Donor Sibling Story, by Amy Dorfman.

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Pastor wants kids taken to Drag Queen Story Hour removed from their parents / Queerty

Pastor wants kids taken to Drag Queen Story Hour removed

Pastor E.W. Jackson
Pastor E.W. Jackson (Photo: Vimeo)

A high-profile, right-wing pastor with a history of anti-LGBTQ statements has done it again.

Virginia’s E.W. Jackson runs his own radio show and streams via Facebook to his followers. On his Facebook show, “The Wisdom Meditation” last week, he discussed the Bible, but then went off on a tangent about Drag Queen Story Hour, which occurs in libraries around the country.

“This is child abuse to take these children to be entertained by these perverse individuals whose lives are a moral sewer,” Jackson, 68, said.

Related: Gay people can’t be judges as they can’t be ‘fair and objective’ says pastor

“You want to live that way, it’s a free country, live that way. If adults want to be a part of such gross, disgusting entertainment, you have a right to do that. But child abuse is what I would call taking children to see one of these freaks go through a whole lot of sexual garbage trying to instill this mess in the minds of toddlers and kindergartners.

“I have no patience with this mess,” the Protestant Minister continued. “That person needs God, that person needs to be saved, that person needs to be delivered. God wants that person to be a normal human being. A drag queen is not a normal human being.”

“And the stupid parents who take their children into this mess need to be dope slapped. They need to have their children taken away from them.

“Do you think toddlers and kindergartners are [asking] to go to Drag Queen Story Hour?,” Jackson asked.

“Taking your children to church is not abuse. It’s what God commands us to do. But taking your children to Drag Queen Story Hour is abuse of a magnitude that is hard to overstate. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the equivalent of pedophilia, and it should be treated the same way.”

Jackson has previously asserted that homosexuality is “unnatural” and “gross”. Earlier this year, he said that besides concerns over the coronavirus, families should worry about the spread of the “homovirus”: Or what he regards as the militant LGBTQ movement to destroy the traditional family unit.

Related: Beware the “homovirus” warns right-wing pastor in unhinged coronavirus rant 

In 2019, Jackson claimed that the United States would become a “homocracy” if Mayor Pete Buttigieg won the Presidency.

Jackson was the Republican Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in the 2013 election and a Republican primary candidate for the United States Senate in Virginia in the 2012 and 2018 elections. Although he commands a sizeable, grassroots following within the state, he failed in each of these election bids.

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses Case Challenging Right of Same-Sex Parents to Both Be Recognized as Legal Parents

Indiana Continues Pressure on U.S. Supreme Court to Deny Same-Sex

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take a case in which Indiana was trying to deny the right of married nonbiological mothers in same-sex couples to be recognized as legal parents by being put on their children’s birth certificates. An appeals court had ruled in January that both mothers must be allowed on the birth certificates; because the Supreme Court has refused to take the case, that decision stands.

U.S. Supreme Court

Indiana had been appealing a January 2020 ruling of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Box v. Henderson that said Indiana must put both same-sex spouses on the birth certificate of a child born to one of them. This right is crucial for giving children with same-sex parents the legal protection of both parents from the moment of birth. In an order (PDF) posted this morning, the Supreme Court “denied certiorari,” meaning they will not hear the case.

I wrote at length about the case in June, when Indiana asked the Supreme Court to take it, and just a few weeks ago, when it filed an additional brief. Please go read those posts if you want to try and understand the convoluted logic by which Indiana was trying to say that only biology, not marital status, matters for birth certificates and that while it does allow a husband’s name to go on a child’s birth certificate even if another man is really the biological father (say, if he and his wife have fertility issues and use a sperm donor), it can treat same-sex couples differently.

Not buying it? Neither, apparently, was the U.S. Supreme Court. The court may also have been reluctant to issue a ruling in opposition to its 2017 decision in Pavan v. Smith, which said that married same-sex couples in Arkansas have the right to both be on their children’s birth certificates. That decision itself rested on the landmark 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which said same- and different-sex couples must be treated equally. This case thus threatened not only the rights of same-sex parents, but also the solidity of Obergefell to protect all same-sex couples. The Supreme Court’s refusal to take it is a very good thing.

Congratulations to all of the eight plaintiff couples and their families, to the attorneys from the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Ropes & Gray who worked on the case, and all of the families in Indiana and elsewhere who will benefit.