Kudos to a Senator and an Author

July 31, 2009

Two recent quotes caught our attention — one, from Senator Christopher Dodd, and one, from author Nora Roberts — that we thought should get your attention as well.

In an editorial published last month in the Meridien Record-Journal, Dodd talked about his evolving position on gay marriage. While formerly supporting a distinction between civil union and marriage, he now supports gay marriage, based on a better understanding of the legal protections necessary for all Americans. In the editorial, he stated:

“My young daughters are growing up in a different reality than I did. Our family knows many same-sex couples – our neighbors in Connecticut, members of my staff, parents of their schoolmates. Some are now married because the Connecticut Supreme Court and our state legislature have made same-sex marriage legal in our state.

But to my daughters, these couples are married simply because they love each other and want to build a life together. That’s what we’ve taught them. The things that make those families different from their own pale in comparison to the commitments that bind those couples together.

And, really, that’s what marriage should be. It’s about rights and responsibilities and, most of all, love.

I believe that, when my daughters grow up, barriers to marriage equality for same-sex couples will seem as archaic, and as unfair, as the laws we once had against inter-racial marriage.

And I want them to know that, even if he was a little late, their dad came down on the right side of history.”

Author Nora Roberts, in a statement of support for gay marriage for Equality Maryland, created a simple and elegant articulation of the essence of the pro-gay marriage position:

“Love is a gift. Marriage is a celebration of and commitment to that gift — a promise between two people. The right to legally marry should never be denied based on the gender of those who love, but instead honored, respected and protected for all.”

These statements are affirmations from two of the millions of people across the country who support LGBT rights — but the statements are particularly powerful and inspirational, and we’re lucky to have supporters like Sen. Dodd and Ms. Roberts within our ranks.

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Join Us for Summer Love Tonight!

July 22, 2009

If you’re in Austin (or can make it here quickly), we’re throwing a fun event with our friends at Soulforce called Summer Love. If you can’t make it, but want to help us fight the good fight for LGBT equality, please consider buying a ticket online, as we have a generous donor who will match donations made this week, up to $3,000. Just click on the Summer Love link in this paragraph to be magically transported to the event page (and the donate button).

And if you’re in town, we hope you can join us!


DOMA Enters the Sotomayor Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

July 16, 2009

Certainly, it was to be expected. With the Defense of Marriage Act one of the more high-profile and controversial matters the Supreme Court might be enlisted to rule on, it’s no surprise that DOMA entered Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, via a question from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) yesterday. Metro Weekly offers a transcript and video of the exchange.

As Hillary Sorin noted in her San Francisco Chronicle politics blog last week, the cracks in DOMA are widening, in part due to Massachusetts’s bold decision to sue the United States over DOMA. Whether or not this will expose DOMA as unconstitutional remains to be seen, but a number of legal and political observers in the media, including Wall Street Journal Law Blog and Politico’s Ben Smith, are taking notice and are intrigued by the possibilities. Those on both side of the issue seem aware of the possibility that a confirmed Justice Sotomayor might be one of nine people with a critical role in determining DOMA’s fate in the not-so-distant future.


Truth to Power: Children of LGBT Parents Coming Out

July 1, 2009

At Atticus Circle, one of our priorities is fighting for the family rights of LGBT people, including their right to have and raise children. Public dialogue regarding marriage equality tends to ignore the fact that many LGBT couples already have children, and that the lack of equal rights for LGBT parents leads to direct discrimination for their children as well. Furthermore, we live in a culture where LGBT parents are discouraged from having children at all. At least six states currently ban adoptions by gays and lesbians.

Why is this? What do people fear will result from gay parenting? There are many who believe that LGBT families will somehow result in sexually confused children, that gay parents will “make” their children gay. Some believe that children will have a natural desire for one mom and one dad; their flawed logic leading them to ban LGBT adoption of children so that said children do not suffer. And then there’s the ubiquitous, and extremely untrue, argument that LGBT parents are more likely to sexually abuse their children than straight parents. All of these arguments are backed by flawed logic, not reality, and are simply smokescreens to allow active discrimination against LGBT families. The CNN web site has come out with a great article, here, regarding the children of LGBT parents, a few of whom are now beginning to speak out about their experiences and are also seeking each other out.

First of all, LGBT parents do not somehow “turn” their children gay any more than straight parents can make their children straight. The American Psychological Association confirms that many studies show “most kids of same-sex households describe themselves as heterosexual in roughly the same proportion as conventional families.” Will children naturally desire parents of both sexes, and will it harm them if they don’t have that? No and no. Not according to the people raised by LGBT parents in the above article. It’s our culture that’s the problem, not nature. There are many healthy, well-adjusted children of single-parent households who prove we don’t necessarily need a father and mother to be well loved and cared for. LGBT parents are equally capable of providing the love and stability that children need as straight parents are, or as single parents are.

It is important that we fight these many ugly untruths by speaking out and letting people get to know us. These now-grown children are doing it, and we must do it as well. If you are an ally who knows a family headed by LGBT parents and you hear others spouting these kinds of arguments, speak out. If you are the child of LGBT parents, you can share your experiences with others. Once people see our families, it will become harder to contradict the love that is so obviously before them.