Showing posts with label Gay Families. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Families. Show all posts

September 3, 2016

The Bond of Gay Sons to their Accepting Fathers

IF fathers are the heroes in every man’s life, they are the superheroes for gay men who have feared losing their love and support just for being themselves.
When former St Kilda footballer Nicky Winmar announced recently that he regretted not always being supportive of his son, Tynan, after he came out many years ago, he also revealed he is now unrestrained in his praise and pride in his son’s achievements.
The head of beyondblue, Georgie Harman, says there can be a stigma around coming out and fear of negative consequences can make it particularly stressful.
“Research shows that most young men know they are attracted to the same sex at the age of 13.7,” she says. “This is also an incredibly risky time in a young man’s life when he is feeling vulnerable and forming an identity anyway so it’s a really crucial time.”
But Harman also says a study from 2010 shows half of all people came out to their fathers first and half of those reported a supportive response.
“It’s moving in the right direction because support from fathers is incredibly important to young men who are grappling with their sexuality,” she says. “Coming out is a really complex issue because it’s very personal and depends on the environment in which they are disclosing and how ready they are to potentially lose their family. That’s how serious it is for some people.”
The head of young gay support group Minus 18, Micah Scott, says negativity around coming out is based on fear of rejection. It can take time for fathers to educate themselves and accept that it can be a process of discovery or that acceptance can be instantaneous.
“It’s reformatting a relationship, rediscovering what that means for the dad and learning that just because their son is gay, it doesn’t change the fundamental things,” Scott says. “We’re noting a lot more dads getting in touch with us and years ago it was only mums or no one at all, so there is a much higher level of acceptance from parents now and dads in particular. It’s also more common for boys to come out younger.”
Weekend has spoken to a group of gay men who all say the love that is the basis of their relationships with their fathers is crucial to their wellbeing, stability and successful relationships.
Their fathers are their role models, advisers and definitely their heroes.
catherine.lambert@news.com.au


Tristan and his dad Finlay. Picture: Norm Oorloff






TRISTAN AND FINLAY SINCLAIR

WHEN Tristan Sinclair told his parents he was gay, their relationship immediately improved. While it might have been an anticlimax for Tristan, 28, it was the clarification his father Finlay, 64, needed.

“I remember thinking that at least now we can just get on with life and he can get back to his studies,” Finlay says. “He was struggling at school and I was a bit frustrated with him not progressing because I’m an electrician and I wanted more for him than to be a tradesman, but once he came out it was like we cleared a hurdle. He started to do better at school and we fully supported his more arty direction at school.”

Tristan, who is a dancer and runs a dance school, clearly remembers coming out. He knew he was gay at 16 and his mother, who had been raised a Mormon, found out before he had a chance to tell her.

His father had been raised in a strict Protestant household with a Scottish father who was a disciplinarian, adding to Tristan’s concern he may not understand that the younger of his two sons was gay.

“My mother held the knowledge as a terrible burden for four months without telling my father because she was worried he wouldn’t deal with it and maybe thought it was a phase I was going through or just experimenting,” Tristan says. “It was weighing on her mind so it got to the point where I decided to tell him but even then I kept putting it off until it got to the time when I thought he was going to bed.

“He was having a bath so I stood behind the bathroom door and told him I was gay. His response was, ‘Oh, I think your (great) uncle might have been, too.’ He wasn’t shocked or disappointed at all and it’s quite funny looking back on it now.

“I remember him driving me to see my first boyfriend and he was so great. I only had heterosexual sex education at school and no one ever talked to me about all that stuff. He said, ‘I don’t want you to say anything and I don’t need to know about it Tris but I hope you know you should use condoms if anything develops tonight’.

“He has just always been so supportive and I couldn’t ever say anything negative about him.”

Finlay often visits his son and partner Ash in their Coburg North home. He has helped plant their fernery in the large garden and is always on hand for a chat or to mend something in the house.

The family is looking forward to travelling to New Zealand next year to attend Tristan and Ash’s wedding.

“They are great together and we’re very happy about it,” Finlay says. “I just want Tristan to be successful in life and happy. You’ll never be happy if you’re not yourself and parents who have trouble accepting they have a gay child need to remember they’re there to support their kid’s aims in life and they should just get on and live their own lives.”

 NATHAN AND BOB MILLER

WHEN Nathan Miller realised it was time to tell the world he was gay, there was only one reaction he feared.

“My dad is ex-navy and a real man’s man so I was worried,” Nathan says.

“But the day I told him, he said, ‘And your problem is?’ When I told him, I almost regretted not telling him sooner, knowing the support I have with my dad and stepmum and the immediate family, which has just been amazing.”

Nathan, 40, works as a chef on the oil rigs in Bass Strait and his father, Bob Miller, 64, used to be a chef in the navy as well as working as a publican. He now works as a part-time swimming teacher.

Nathan has two children, Llewellyn, 20, and Summar, 9.

He came out just as his wife announced she was pregnant, adding to the complexities, but also freeing everyone from the knowledge something was troubling Nathan.

His father has been a constant support, but Nathan says their relationship is stronger since he

came out.

“It’s stronger because I’m being honest about who I am, I’m not trying to hide anything and I’m more open to my dad than I was before,” he says.

Bob agrees and has nothing but admiration for his son.

“It’s been such a good journey for me to see him develop into the man he is today, which I would describe as more stable, sure of himself and happy, which is all any parent should want for their children,” Bob says.

“It must have been very hard for him to lock it up all those years because when you lock things up, you’re fighting against yourself. He was trying to please too many people other than himself.”

When Bob’s wife, Kerry, announced one day 10 years ago that Nathan had something to tell him, Bob thought it would be that Nathan’s marriage was in trouble.

“I knew there were problems and I knew his marriage wasn’t good but I didn’t have any idea he was gay,” he says. “It didn’t change anything for me.

“He’s still my son and you can’t tell your kids what to be. It’s no use arguing or alienating them, just give them full support. Nathan had to be true to himself.

“The only thing I’ve ever insisted on with my kids is that they support Melbourne Football Club.”

Acceptance is not a new experience for Bob, who lives near Maffra in Gippsland.

Bob says he has five children. He is keen to not distinguish between his wife’s children and his own three.

He was happy to attend the commitment ceremony of Nathan and his partner Peter last year.

“Pete is a great bloke,” he says. “He has provided a great, stable environment for Nathan and my grandchildren. I met all Pete’s brothers and sisters at the ceremony and they’re all wags.

“His friends are lovely, terrific people. It was a very happy day and I’d happily vote for gay rights and let everyone get married.” 




 
Three out of four of the Ivanov siblings are gay. Picture: Jay Town

SEBASTIAN AND SIMON IVANOV

SIMON Ivanov has four children and three of them are gay.

“That is God’s gift,” Simon says. “Whether you have one, two, three or four children who are gay, it is a great gift to have children.”

Born in Macedonia, Simon says he lives for his family and they mean everything to him, which is a message that has been clearly communicated to his children.

Sebastian, 33, came out when he was 23, soon followed by twin sister Rebecca. Their brother Chris, 36, was the first to tell his parents he was gay. Brother Julian, 40, is straight, soon to be married to his partner, and they have three children.

“Coming out really wasn’t difficult because we just knew he would stick by us,” Sebastian says.

“We weren’t sure how Dad would take it when Chris came out because he is very European but it’s just never been an issue.”

Simon believes the sexual choices of his children are their private matters and he has only ever wanted them to pursue their own path.

He took great pride in the success of Sebastian and Bec on season two of The Voice, reaching

the Battle Rounds, and Sebastian says he is a regular in their studio to listen to their music.

“He’s so passionate about wanting the world to hear what we are doing and he inspires me a lot,” Sebastian says.

“I’ve written at least one song about him. My family put me on a path of self-discovery, especially my dad. We’re all just friends really.”

Sebastian takes delight in the family meals that take place twice a month at his parents’ Bulleen home. The entire family attends to enjoy their mother’s adventurous, much-appreciated, cooking. Problems are raised, positive developments are shared and it is an openly communicative environment.

That could never be changed by the children’s sexuality.

“Sexuality would never push me away from my kids and actually it brought me closer to them,” Simon says. “I live for my family.

“The most important thing to me is that my kids are doing the right things in life. They

are well-educated, good people and their sexuality is private. It’s not been a matter of me adjusting, it’s just accepting.

“We’re not very conservative people and though we probably wanted our own children to have the pleasure of having their own children, life has taken us in a different direction and we accept that. We taught them the right things in life and they are paying us back now with their own success and happiness.”


Catherine Lambert, Weekend, Herald Sun

May 26, 2015

Gays in Russia:> Victimization,Repression and with a Version of Pflag: Hope



 
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 The Vykhod activist group’s offices in St Petersburg, where parents’ club meets each month. Photograph: Aleksei Tikhonov/Meduza
The parents’ club has a few rules: you can only speak if you’re holding the navy dragon, a soft toy that has grown shabby in the club’s four-year existence; no interrupting is allowed; and phones must be switched off.
In an unassuming building in the centre of St Petersburg, families of Russian gay men and women gather each month, hoping for understanding and reconciliation. 
Although the group is ostensibly for parents, they are far outnumbered by sons and daughters who have faced the difficulties of coming out in a homophobic country. Not one father is present.
“Mum fell seriously ill recently and she allowed me to care for her,” says Sergei. “At least she didn’t yell at me, like before: ‘Stop that, [you] gay, get away from me, don’t touch my things!’”
Seventeen people sit in the circle listening to him, wearing badges with handwritten names. “Now that mum is no longer rejecting me, it means that she [has started to] care again,” Sergei continues. For now though, he doesn’t speak to his mother often. 
Nina, a club veteran, asks for the dragon. She believes that, whatever the circumstances, talking helps: “You have to explain to [your parents] that homosexuals are not the people they [are made out to be] on television. It will take them a long time to grasp what is going on. Everyone loves their kids, they will all understand.”
Others immediately pipe up, recounting stories of parents who drove their children out of the house and sent them to be “cured” of their sexuality. “Ok, not all, most,” Nina corrects herself. 
At these meetings, parents are encouraged to ask questions. A few people recommend films on LGBT themes, others yet to come out to their families ask the mothers in the group how best to go about it, and whether, in fact, it is worth it. 
Only towards the end of the meeting does the toy dragon arrive in the hands of Sasha, a new arrival in St Petersburg. 
“I lived for a long time in a small village. There, the word ‘gay’ is horrific, you can be grabbed on the street and killed for it,” he said. “All my relatives are old-fashioned types. I fear that if I tell my mum, she will blame herself. Did you go through this?”The group tells him that coming out in a small town is often more difficult.Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1993 after the fall of the Soviet Union, but rights groups say the situation for Russia’s gay population has become more dangerous. In 2014 Human Rights Watch released a report documenting a rise in homophobic rhetoric and violence in Russia. It blamed a law passed in 2013 banning the promotion of “non-traditional lifestyles” among minors.
It’s in this climate of fear that the mothers and their children meet. After two-and-a-half hours, they wrap up. One woman looks out of the window onto the street and says quietly: “I don’t want to go back out there.”

Elena: ‘It’s not a death sentence’


Elena became an activist out of the belief that the parents of LGBT children can find it helpful to talk to people who have been in the same boat. 
Five years ago her son Dmitry came back from Japan, where he had been living for the past decade. She sensed instantly that he was troubled, but put it down to the difficulties of adapting to life back in Russia.
When Dmitry began his coming out talk with the words “I want you to listen to me but this might frighten you”, she says the possibility that her son might be gay had never occurred to her.
“After our conversation, it was horrible,” recalls Elena. “It seemed that I was the only mother this had happened to. I tried not to show him how upset I was.”
“But I was brought to my senses and comforted by something Dmitry said: ‘Now I feel much happier than when I was pretending’.”
Dmitry took her to a meeting of the parents’ club a year after coming out. She expected her son to lead her into a basement where “gays live”, she says, and “when I saw that no one was dancing in tights, just decent people sitting around, I was quite surprised,” she adds. Elena quickly became a club activist and she now helps other parents to accept their LGBT children.
“They usually come to us with horror in their eyes. They look as if a tragedy has befallen their family. We ask them to relax and take a look at us: do we look downtrodden? Being a parent of an LGBT child – it’s not a death sentence, you can live with it quite happily.”
Acceptance can take months, if not years, she says. But if parents keep coming to the club, they always make progress. “You see mothers picking themselves up, smiling, being prepared to discuss the situation – that is already a good sign.” 
The mothers from the club believe that the problems with acceptance lie not with them, but with Russian society as a whole: if gay people are constantly being abused on television, why should someone suddenly believe a handful of people who take a different view?

Marina: ‘The shock lasted 10 days’

“After the coming out blows your mind, the world as it was crumbles away, together with your plans for your child’s future,” says Marina Melnik, the founder of parents’ club: her son Roman told her he was gay six years ago. Every parent in that position goes through five stages of acceptance, she explains. In her case “the shock lasted 10 days. Then came denial. That’s when you try to change their mind and prove that it’s all in their head.”
She says it was painful process: “I blamed myself for a long time. Did I not love him enough or did I love him too much? When he was a kid, maybe I bought him the wrong toy, an animal, not a car.”
Six months after her son’s admission, Marina became an activist. She founded the club with other mothers she met at an LGBT film festival, Side by Side. Four people came to the first meeting, she remembers, and none of them knew how to deal with their feelings of guilt.
“After talking to other mothers, it finally came to me,” Marina says. That’s when she went through the last stage, acceptance, followed by her own coming out of sorts: “I was scared to tell the people around me [that my son was gay],” she remembers. “It was like that for almost a year.”
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 Parents’ club activists Elena Musolina and Marina Melnik hold a sign reading: “Parental love does not depend on a child’s orientation!!!” Photograph: Sergei Chernov/Meduza

Igor: ‘No one talked about gay people’


Igor finally managed to bring his mother to the club two years after coming out. Until then, talking to her about anything LGBT-related was difficult, he says.
“No one talked about ‘gay people’ in our family. Mum used the word ‘blues’ (Russian slang for homosexual) and dad, ‘fags’,” Igor recalls. He describes his parents as people with differing views: his dad is an orthodox patriot whose favourite political writer is Gregory Klimov, author of the aphorism: “If all is not right between the legs, all is not right between the ears.” His mother, on the other hand, isuninterested in politics and “more liberal, in a cultural sense”, he says. 
“When I was little, I asked my mum what sexual orientation was. ‘Who’s blue and who’s not’, she replied.” At 11, he picked up from family conversations that “gays were perverts who practise anal sex.”
In September 2007, Igor left his native village in the Pskov region to go and study in St Petersburg and in October, he returned to visit his parents. “You’re nervous about something, have you fallen in love?” his mother asked him. “Yes” Igor answered, truthfully. “With a man or a woman?” she probed. With a man, as it turned out. Both of them cried but they soon calmed down and a week later, Igor went back to St Petersburg. It was not long before his father heard the news.
“Dad was breaking dishes, slamming doors,” Igor says. 
Igor told a priest in confession that he was in love with a young man and was advised to “cure the sickness in his soul” and repent: but Igor argued back. “Officially, he absolved me of my sins but we were both clearly dissatisfied with the outcome. It was after this I lost faith in the church. That was my last communion and confession and I am feeling all right,” he laughs.
Igor is convinced that if his mother watched less television, lived with him in St Petersburg and talked to other parents from the club, she would soon accept him fully. No precise statistics exist, but the club’s activists believe that for every LGBT person accepted by their family, another five are rejected.

Dmitry: ‘Sorry mum, but I’m still gay’ 

Dmitry is one of these five. He first came out when he was 18. Assuming that everything would go smoothly, he didn’t prepare for the conversation. At first, his mother reacted calmly but a few hours later, she started to cry. 
“She shouted about HIV and how I would never have children,” he remembers. From then on, Dmitry decided not to talk to his mother about his personal life. Gradually, she seemed to forget about her son’s sexuality and their relationship improved.
But Dmitry couldn’t rid himself of the feeling that his mother didn’t understand him. So three years later, he decided to try again. He prepared better this time, taking brochures from the LGBT group. But his opening gambit – “Sorry mum, but I’m still gay” – set off another argument.
Unsure of what to do next, he went to the parents’ club, where he was advised to show his mother the film Prayers for Bobby, about a gay man who kills himself because his religious parents refused to accept him. 
“I watched it myself first and cried, it was so painful,” Dmitry says. “Then I watched it with mum but I didn’t understand her reaction. The parents lost their son, she said, because they didn’t believe in God or pray enough.”
LGBT in Russia
 Opponents of gay rights protest on the Field of Mars in St Petersburg in 2013.
Photograph: Artem Sokolov/Trend/TASS
Religious icons soon started appearing in their flat, together with images of the Virgin Mary, Orthodox magazines and brochures about monasteries. They hadn’t spoken to each other for a long time, Dmitry says, and it was clear his mother had decided the Church was the only way to save him. 
“I arrived home one day and could already smell burning incense from the hallway,” he says. “What was the point, I asked her. In reply, she talked of evil influences, clouding of souls and false paths. Our flat started to resemble a church gift shop.” The arguments grew more frequent and after one such bust-up, his mother decided to move to a friend’s. 

 Dmitry will not try his luck a third time. He tells his mother that he has a girlfriend, despite seeing his partner Grigory for over two years now. 
It takes a lot of energy to live a double life: when Dmitry’s mother calls him and asks him about his personal life, he answers truthfully – but substitutes the name Grigory with Irina. 
“Parents’ club don’t approve of stories like mine. They suggested I bring my mother along but I’m scared of what her reaction would be,” says Dmitry. “If she believes that religion helped me, so be it. The main thing is that mum is happy.”
A version of this article first appeared on Meduza. Translation by Cameron Johnston

March 3, 2015

Putin Tries to Block UN Gay Employees Families from Getting Benefits


                                                                              

Last June, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a far-reaching administrative ruling that offered marital benefits for the first time to all of the United Nations’ lesbian and gay employees, as well as to other U.N. workers who had entered legally recognized domestic partnerships. On Monday, March 2, Russia gave the plan a resounding nyet.

Speaking Monday morning at a meeting of the U.N.’s main budget committee, a Russian diplomat demanded that Ban reverse his decision on the matter, saying the U.N. chief’s action violated a U.N. General Assembly resolution that left it to U.N. employees’ governments to determine whether are eligible for spousal benefits. Moscow has been weighing whether to force a vote in the budget committee, known as the Fifth Committee, to halt funding such benefits, a vote that it likely could win. Unlike the U.N. Security Council, the United States and other big powers don’t have the power to veto votes in the Fifth Committee. While its decisions are generally made by consensus, states can call for a vote.
                                                                           
“We will insist that the secretary-general urgently revoke the administrative bulletin” expanding benefits to same-sex couples, the Russian diplomat told the committee.“We will insist that the secretary-general urgently revoke the administrative bulletin” expanding benefits to same-sex couples, the Russian diplomat told the committee.

Russia’s critics characterized the gambit as a cynical political maneuver aimed at checking the authority of a U.N. leader who has clashed with Moscow over its policies from Syria to Ukraine. Russia has transformed what is by all accounts a low-priority administrative dispute into a high-profile power struggle with the U.N. leader.

Russia “is looking for any excuse to curtail the U.N. secretary-general’s authority,” said Jessica Stern, the executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. “It’s no secret that the secretary-general and Russia have been at cross-purposes over Ukraine and Syria, and the Russians have found the perfect political vehicle for attacking him.”

Philippe Bolopion, the U.N. representative for Human Rights Watch, said U.N. member states “should push back hard against Russia’s backwards efforts to impose on the U.N. the same kind of homophobic attitudes Moscow promotes at home.”

The Russian move comes several weeks after its diplomats distributed a memo, known as an aide-mémoire, to all U.N. members arguing that Ban’s action “violates the sovereign rights of members states to determine the legal framework of [the] life of their citizens.” Moscow said the move would make U.N. states that do not recognize same-sex marriages liable for the costs of some of those additional benefits and increase the likelihood of fraud. Under the new arrangement, according to the Russian memo, “each staff member who is not married can easily register sham traditional or same-sex marriage and can get additional dependency allowances.”

The European Union and the United States challenged the Russian position, saying the U.N. secretary-general had the authority to extend benefits for employees in domestic partnerships without seeking the approval of U.N. member states. “The secretary-general, as the head of this organization, has broad authority to manage U.N. staff under his authority, and we will protect his prerogatives in this manner,” Isobel Coleman, the U.S. representative to the United Nations for management and reform, told the U.N. budget committee Monday. “This should not be a forum for member states to undermine essential rights with respect to race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”

U.N. officials say the Russian initiative, were it to succeed, could have an impact well beyond same-sex marriages, risking benefits for children adopted in a foreign country.

The U.N. first tackled benefits for same-sex couples in January 2004, when then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued an administrative order, known as a bulletin, that extended benefits to spouses in “domestic partnerships” as long as the union was considered legal in the staff member’s country.

The decision drew protests from conservative states, including the Vatican, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (now called the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), a bloc consisting of 56 Islamic countries. They pressured the U.N. to reissue a new bulletin, stripping out any references to domestic partnerships and reinforcing the need for a U.N. employee to secure his or her government’s approval to receive spousal benefits.

The new bulletin, adopted in September 2004, still allowed U.N. employees from countries where same-sex marriage was legal to receive benefits for their spouses. But it gave conservative countries a virtual veto over their nationals’ ability to receive such benefits, even if they were married in a place like New York or Paris, where same-sex marriage is recognized by the state.

The arrangement, according to U.N. officials, proved inherently discriminatory, denying benefits to U.N. employees who had the misfortune of being born in countries where same-sex marriage is outlawed. U.N. lawyers also feared it would set the stage for legal challenges within the organization. In June, Ban sought to rectify the situation, issuing a new bulletin that took the exclusive power to determine an employee’s eligibility for benefits out of the hands of his or her government. Instead, the U.N. will now look to the “competent authority” — that is, the city, country, or church or synagogue — that recognized the domestic partnership in the first place.

Russia, which has taken a harsher stance on gay rights under President Vladimir Putin, has only recently joined the fight, according to U.N. officials and human rights groups. In its memo, Russia raised concern about the “financial and legal implications” of the U.N.’s policy. But an internal U.N. review turned up only one case since Ban issued his administrative ruling last June in which a U.N. employee claimed benefits for a same-sex marriage, according to a senior U.N. official.

July 23, 2014

Gay Marriage Not Civil Rights Because an Anus in not a Vagina


                                                                             

The tittle of this post comes from an anti gay catholic writer by the name of Stephen H. Webb. When I saw that Mark J. Stern had written about it, I was pleased because he makes a better case than I would being I would strike back at the Catholic Church about its history and their many sins regarding families. This is the church with a dirty history of how nuns came to be and how catholic priests have destroyed many families, ether by archaic non biblical rules as to who gets buried where if they are illicit or for those poor souls that have taken their life and then how the families are mistreated afterwords. How priests have abused children while the bishops kept quiet and never contacted the authorities about all these pedophiles in the church.

I would talk about the exceptions made to all rules in behalf of the very wealthy families on divorce for instance, including the Kennedy’s to the Rockefeller’s, etc.,
But I will leave that alone and just write what this catholic wrote about comparing an anus to a vagina as objects of what a family is and makes it as a completely sexual argument. He most not know there is a difference between conceiving to bring up a boy or girl.

He also ignores that those sexual organs are made for other things besides sex and they have never put a family together or kept it together. The civil rights that the gay community is asking for has nothing to do with sex but with the rights of marriage and other governments laws and benefits. Wether you have one vagina or two or no sex organs at all, you can have a family and should be treated as a whole human being.  As for the anus, well he should know most people have one. He should take his mind out of there and read on the dictionary of what a family is.

You could have two people very much into straight sex but that does not say how well they will keep their children, wether they will care for them, give them up for adoption or abandon them.
  
To say or imply that sex organs is what makes up the family and keeps it together is to show a pathological ignorance of sex and humanity. I feel sorry for this person that goes so deep down to a vagina or anus to try to connect it to young human beings being kept together by care and love. Not everyone carrying a vagina a family makes.

                                                                              *
First Things is one of my absolute favorite magazines, largely because its writers make such an admirable effort to come up with fresh, fun ways to justify their religious-based prejudices. Remember when they took over 4,000 words to say that gay people don’t exist at all? If that didn’t convince you, try this bit o’ logic: Because anuses aren’t vaginas, gay marriage is not a civil right.


Mark Joseph SternMARK JOSEPH STERN
Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.    Slate.com

That’s the thrust of a new piece out by Stephen H. Webb, best known for his work on “Mormons obsessed with Christ” and intelligent design. Webb’s article begins with an attempt to illustrate why the gay rights movement is distinct from the black civil rights movement. “Gay marriage advocates,” Webb argues, “have convinced millions of Americans that gay marriage is just the same as straight marriage.” But “[i]f the argument of sameness works for gay rights, could it have worked for Civil Rights?”
To answer this fundamentally misconceived question, Webb embarks on a strange thought experiment, imagining how the black civil rights movement would’ve gone had it “followed the gay rights strategy.” Here’s Webb weaving his counter-history:
It is the early sixties, and … white political leaders most sympathetic to the plight of African Americans decide to make the case for this moral sameness by arguing that black people are really white. “Look past their skin,” they say, “and you will find that they are just as white as we are.”
At the risk of stating the exceedingly obvious, this is not “the argument of sameness [that] works for gay rights.” That argument is that gay people’s marriages are essentially the same as the straight sort—based on the same notions of love and commitment, support and affection. Gay rights advocates are not trying to convince America that gay people are really straight, as Webb implies. Yet this is the absurd analogy upon which the bulk of Webb’s argument hangs.
It only gets worse from there. Perhaps realizing that his central analogy is pretty bizarre, Webb switches course in his final paragraph, allowing the façade of his flawed comparison to drop away completely. He isn’t, it turns out, really talking about civil rights, or gay rights, or even marriage. He’s talking about that favorite obsession of the Catholic Church, sex—gay sex in particular. “Gay sex should not be treated as if it were really straight sex,” Webb exclaims rather randomly. Yet “the entire gay marriage appeal rests upon” the single, faulty argument that:
The anus is the same as the vagina. The most intimate act of self-giving, of penetration, in homosexuality is just as sacred, just as physically and psychologically healthy, just as fecund, just as spiritually uplifting, just as mutually pleasurable, and just as tenderly beautiful as the sexual intercourse of a heterosexual couple.
So there we have it. To Webb, marriage isn’t really about compassion and commitment and affection. It’s about a penis “tenderly” entering a “sacred,” “fecund” vagina. And without that act of “uplifting” penile-vaginal intercourse, Webb suggests, a loving union between two people cannot be a real marriage.
 We’ve heard this primitivist, coitus-fixated argument before, of course; anti-gay crusader Robert P. George memorably deployed it to a similarly disturbing effect. The problem with this logic, aside from reducing the marriage bond to an act of genital penetration, is that it surely finds no support outside of orthodox Catholic circles. Very few married couples view penile-vaginal intercourse as the core of their relationship, the physical, spiritual, emotional connection without which their entire marriage would be a sham. Marriage is, and has always been, about so much more than just sex. Yet Webb and his ilk continue to insist that vaginal intercourse is the true basis of any marriage, the font from which all other forms of affection and commitment must spring.
In 2014, this argument finds few takers. Those who seek marriage are fully actualized human adults hoping to create an enduring, lifelong bond of love—not a pair of smitten genitals with bodies attached. I understand that Webb’s sex-obsessed theory is based on an anti-gay interpretation of Catholic theology, and he has every right to promulgate it. But his creepy, graphic rant has likely done little more than reveal his cause as the intellectual fraud that it is.

July 7, 2014

World’s Ever, LARgEsT Study on Gay Parents


                                                                         

A cross-sectional study of children raised by gay couples, the largest of its kind, found that the kids are all right — and are, by some measures, doing even better than their peers. Conducted by University of Melbourne researchers, the survey followed 315 same-sex couples, mostly lesbians, and their 500 children, using a variety of standardized measures to compare their health and well-being to the general Australian population.
“We found that children from same-sex families scored, on average, 6 percent better on two key measures, general health and family cohesion, even when controlling for a number sociodemographic factors such as parent education and household income,” wrotelead researcher Simon Crouch. “But on most health measures, including emotional behaviour and physical functioning, there was no difference when compared with children from the general population.”
The finding same-sex couples make perfectly fine parents echoes plenty of other researchto that effect. That their children appear in some ways to be at an advantage, the authors suggest, could have something to do with the way their parents don’t default to gender stereotypes, creating a “more harmonious family unit and therefore feeding on to better health and well being.”  Those benefits were somewhat undercut, however, by the continued experience of stigma, which negatively impacted their mental and emotional well-being.
But the real take-away from the study, according to its authors, isn’t that one type of family is necessarily better than another. ”Quite often, people talk about marriage equality in the context of family and that marriage is necessary to raise children in the right environment, and that you need a mother and a father to be able to do that, and therefore marriage should be restricted to male and female couples,” Crouch told ABC News.
“I think what the study suggests in that context is that actually children can be brought up in many different family contexts, and it shouldn’t be a barrier to marriage equality.”
Lindsay Abrams
Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on all things sustainable.

June 20, 2014

Two babies and their two gay fathers,Texas denies the right to have them-“they are gay”


                                                                             


There’s a story of incredible hatred towards gays at any price, including children’s future. In Dallas, you which is part of Texas and you know Texas!! A couple, Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs. A loving couple proven by their marriage to each other and the fight for their children. Let me see if I can explain what’s making them sick with pain. Hanna and Riggs got hitched in D.C., where gay marriages are legal. They came back to Dallas. They wanted kids.  They find an egg donor. They find a surrogate mother, who in April bears them twins, Lucas and Ethan. And — this is the real interesting part of this story — each of the men is a biological father to one of the babies, meaning, that two embryos were implanted. Amazing times!

But here’s where rubberl hits the asphalt because Texas doesn’t recognize Hanna and Riggs’ marriage, neither of the men’s names appears on either of the kid’s birth certificates. Only the surrogate mother’s name appears on the birth certificates, and, remember, she has no biological relationship to the babies (well, except for that nine months of gestation, which I wont minimize but she was approving of this). To recap you have 2 babies 2 fathers, no mothers. Who should have the kids if the fathers are married, responsible, financially stable men?

This is the description GLAAD gives to the fathers: "In many ways, Jason and Joe have the makings of a picture-perfect family. A couple of six years based in Dallas, the two married last year in Washington DC. Since then, they took further steps to make their dream family a reality by connecting with CharLynn, the woman who would become their surrogate. This was her fourth surrogacy, but her first time working with a gay couple, and the three were thrilled to join together.
“This case clearly illustrates the concrete harms that LGBTQ families face on a daily basis in states like Texas, which have few protections in place for them," said Family Equality CouncilExecutive Director, Gabriel Blau. “This judge was wrong on moral, ethical, and legal grounds.  It is time for judges and others in positions of authority to put the best interests of children first. Judges and lawmakers should stop denying loving, committed families the protections they need to take care of one another. As the patchwork of laws affecting LGBTQ families across this country continue to cause uncertainty, we will continue to push for both legal and lived equality for all families, and we are grateful to Jason and Joe for standing up and telling their story.”

As this maligned community of millions obtains overdue human and civil rights denied to them for an unknown piece of history and centuries, here in this country in which pride itself in Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation and amendment to the constitution that says”all man are created equal” which we and most of the courts including the Supreme Court up to now, interprets as every human being, be a woman, child, citizen or not, belongs to any liquid sexuality which could be straight, gay, lesbian, transexual or bisexual. 

Treated equal is the last thing that happens in most of Texas. This case which might seem unusual because you have technology playing a role, still the babies are not technology and neither are the parents, they are human beings, they are two fathers and their DNA and genes which are in these two babies. The t woman involved is not the biological mother, she agreed to serve as the means to have the eggs implanted and have them born through her. Yet she has been asked by the fathers to be part of the family. The babies’ posses not her DNA but the fathers. She was agreeable to this like thousands of women do every year to mainly straight couples in which they cannot have children because of his low sperm count or a number of other reasons.

What do you think? Two biological fathers married to each other legally as couple and two babies which biologically belongs to them and the state of Texas. Should they go to an institution of the state of Texas if the non biological mother can not have them? I think this is not an Einstein question. The two kids, married father and non biological mother should be a family as intended.

Adam Gonzalez, Publisher

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