Our blog is focused on sharing knowledge and thoughtful analysis of issues and topics relevant to LGBTQ families and prospective parents.
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  • Friday, February 01, 2019 12:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The SMYAL Youth Leadership Awards is a scholarship of up to $5,000 open to all out LGBTQ youth leaders entering their first year of college or vocational school.

    Youth must have a GED, or have received their high school diplomas prior to the summer of 2019.

    There are no other GPA or other academic requirements. For more information, or to apply, please go to www.smyal.org/scholarship.  Applications are due by April 15, 2019.

  • Wednesday, January 02, 2019 6:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Monthly Update from Michele Zavos:

    "Many people have been asking me what the ramifications are for our community now that Brett Kavanaugh has been appointed to the Supreme Court.  Given Kavanaugh’s ultra conservative legal positions, the easiest answer is that issues previously decided by the Court by 5 to 4 (with Anthony Kennedy casting the winning vote in our favor) will now almost certainly be 5 to 4 with Kavanaugh casting the deciding vote against us.

    Actually, the implications of Kavanaugh's appointment are even more far-reaching. The right wing has already begun to file cases in lower federal courts cases that it hopes will get to the Supreme Court. Chris Johnson, a reporter for the Washington Blade, discussed a number of these cases in a terrific article on October 19, 2018. The information in the article is extremely distressing, noting challenges to anti-discrimination statutes and supporting protections to religious freedoms over LGBT protections.

    At the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh will almost certainly provide the deciding vote to narrow or even overturn previous cases like Obergefell v. Hodges, where the Supreme Court found that marriage equality was required by the U.S. Constitution. Justice Kennedy cast the deciding vote in that case. Now, Brett Kavanaugh will cast the deciding vote in similar cases.

    There are a number of cases out of Texas which will adversely affect our entire community if they reach the Supreme Court. One such case is Pidgeon v. Turner. Petitioners in that case challenged the City of Houston’s provision of benefits to the same-sex spouses of city employees. The original case was decided before Obergefell but rather than dismiss the case, the Texas Supreme Court has allowed the case to continue post-Obergefell. Petitioners’ argument is that Obergefell only requires the issuance of a marriage certificate, it does not require that the rights and responsibilities of marriage be given to same-sex couples on the same basis of opposite-sex couples. I think this is the kind of argument the right wing will make in order to narrow marriage equality almost to the point of extinction."

    Note:  The Rainbow Families Legal Blog posts are submitted by Rainbow Families' member Michele Zavos, and are entirely her opinion.  Michele, a long-time LGBTQ+ advocate, is a partner at Zavos-Juncker law firm, and has fought for LGBTQ+ rights for decades.   She may be reached HERE

  • Monday, December 10, 2018 11:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    LISTEN HERE

    No matter how tech savvy you are, your kids likely have you beat. Digital natives see the world in a fundamentally different way than all previous generations. This makes 21st century parenting an unprecedented challenge. Join Marc Groman, an Obama White House tech and privacy adviser, and David Reitman, an adolescent medical doctor, for candid discussions and helpful tips about screen time, social media, sexting, privacy, online gaming, and other challenges facing parents today. Marc and David aren't just experts – they're also married, and raising a teenage son of their own

    On 12/13/18 they publish their 5th episode. It's about cyber bullying and is  particularly relevant for the LGBTQ+ community. If people only choose to listen to one episode, it will be this one! The story is both tragic and inspiring.

  • Sunday, November 25, 2018 8:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Separation and divorce is a reality in our community as in the non-LGBTQ world.   However we have some aspects wholly unique to us.   Rainbow Families has begun a networking/support group called DSRF (Divorced and Separated Rainbow Families).  If you are interested in learning more, please email us.

    Here is an interesting article from KT Hawbaker from the Chicago Tribune, Queer Divorce in the time of Pride.  

     


  • Thursday, November 08, 2018 11:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Marc Groman and David Reitman have launched a new podcast called Their Own Devices.

    The podcast series is about parenting in the digital age, but takes a unique and entertaining approach to the topic. The target audience is parents and the goal is help families develop a beneficial, healthy, and productive relationship with technology and digital media. The first episode will be released on November 15th.

    Preview Here

  • Tuesday, October 09, 2018 9:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Supreme Court of Hawaii has ruled that a lesbian nonbiological parent must pay child support to her former partner in order to take care of the child the couple had previously planned to raise together.

    The woman in question, known only by her initials L.C., met her former partner, M.G., in 2010 and the two married in 2013.

    From the beginning of their relationship, the two women talked about starting a family together. M.G. became pregnant in early 2015 through assisted reproductive technology using an anonymous donor’s sperm, but when she reached the seventh month of pregnancy, the couple broke up.

    In 2016, L.C. sought a court ruling that she is not a legal parent to the child and thus not responsible for paying child support because she has no biological ties to the child. Under Hawaii’s presumption of paternity statute, a man married to the biological mother of a child is considered the father of that child — even if he has no biological connection to that child.

    Read More  -  full article

    Reposted from Metro Weekly - By John Riley on October 8, 2018 @JohnAndresRiley


  • Friday, September 28, 2018 11:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    An insightful Tedx talk on family diversity and representation.  While not specifically LGBTQ focused, multiculturalism is beautifully represented in so many of our families.  

    Naomi also has a new book coming out  which we'll feature on our store    The story is about Lee.  He is multi-heritage, adopted, and has two dads.   This book explores different types of families and provides the reader with some examples of how families can be different, while also having some things in common. Lee and his classmates learn to accept that every family deserves respect.

    Link to the Tedx Talk:   Tedx Talk

    Naomi Kissiedu




  • Friday, July 20, 2018 4:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Article:  https://www.law.com/njlawjournal/2018/07/20/the-expanding-nature-of-legal-recognition-of-families/?slreturn=20180620160919\

    Changes in society necessitated that the law and the courts evolve past the heteronormative concept of a “traditional family” and adapt to the many different ways that people form families.

    By Matthew S. Coleman  | https://www.law.com/njlawjournal/   | July 20, 2018 at 10:00 AM


  • Friday, July 20, 2018 3:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Article:  Justice Kennedy's departure could have significant consequences.

    “I think there’s very little mystery here about how he (Kavanaugh) is likely to view (LGBTQ) issues,” said Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “He has an extremely conservative judicial record, and it’s highly likely he would be a consistently negative vote on any issue affecting LGBT people.”


  • Monday, June 26, 2017 10:13 PM | Anonymous

    Exciting news from the Supreme Court today, June 26 - the two-year anniversary of their marriage equality ruling! The justices ruled today that gay couples are entitled to equal treatment on birth certificates reversing the Arkansas Supreme Court ruling in Pavan v. Smith.

    Holding: Having chosen to make its birth certificates more than mere markers of biological relationships and to use them to give married parents a form of legal recognition that is not available to unmarried parents, Arkansas may not, consistent with Obergefell v. Hodges, deny married same-sex couples that recognition.

    See the press release from the National Center for Lesbian Rights below. The National Center for Lesbian Rights was one of three legal firms in the case.

    https://meltwater-apps-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/images/56a01bbde61d28e19968c15a/NCLR%20press%20release%20logo_1498485004121.png

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Contact: 
    Lauren Gray
    Director of Communications
    National Center for Lesbian Rights 
    Office: 415.365.1324 
    Mobile: 215.983.3099
    LGray@nclrights.org 

    On the two year anniversary of marriage equality decision, Supreme Court reverses Arkansas' attempt to defy Obergefell
    Arkansas couples challenged Arkansas' "blatant refusal" to list same-sex spouses on their children's birth certificates

    (San Francisco, CA, June 26, 2017)-Today, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Arkansas Supreme Court's decision in Pavan v. Smith which denied same-sex married couples' right to be named on their children's birth certificates just as other married parents are. The Arkansas decision caused these families serious harms, complicating parents' ability to consent to emergency medical care, enroll children in school or recreational sports, travel abroad, and generally care for their children. By treating these families differently the decision also subjected them to official stigma and bias, sending a message that they are unworthy of equal recognition by the state. The families in this case were represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Arkansas attorney Cheryl Maples, and Ropes & Gray LLP.

    In a decisive victory for these families, the Supreme Court summarily reversed the Arkansas Supreme Court decision without requiring oral argument or additional briefing. The Court said: "The Arkansas Supreme Court's decision, we conclude, denied married same-sex couples access to the 'constellation of benefits that the Stat[e] ha[s] linked to marriage.'"

    "We are grateful to the Court for sending a clear message that it will not tolerate attempts to flout the Court's clear holding in Obergefell that married same-sex couples must be given the full panoply of protections tied to marriage under state law," said NCLR Family Law Director Catherine Sakimura. "Today's decision means that millions of married same-sex couples across the country can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that this type of blatant discrimination against their families will not stand. Marriage equality is settled law and protects same-sex parents and their children from discrimination. Arkansas' blatant refusal to follow Obergefell could not stand."

    In Pavan, married couple Marisa and Terrah Pavan, like many couples, used an anonymous sperm donor to conceive their child. And in 2015, the Pavan Family gave birth to their daughter in their home state of Arkansas. At the hospital, the Pavans completed an application for their child's birth certificate, listing both spouses as parents. But the Arkansas Department of Health unilaterally decided to omit Marisa's name on the birth certificate, listing Terrah as the only parent. The state treated these married parents' marriage as though it did not exist.

    Another Arkansas married couple, Leigh and Jana Jacobs, experienced the same type of discrimination when Leigh gave birth to their son in 2015.  They were issued an Arkansas birth certificate naming only Leigh as a parent despite listing both parents on the application.

    "Today's Supreme Court decision protects same-sex married couples and their children from discrimination and strengthens the rule of law," said Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, partner at Ropes & Gray LLP and co-counsel in the case with NCLR. "Marriage equality is the law of the land, and this decision sends a clear message that states must follow the law and treat all married couples equally."

    Under Arkansas law, when a married couple has a child, the spouse of the birth mother is automatically listed on the birth certificate as the child's parent, regardless of how the couple conceived the child or whether the spouse is genetically related to the child. Both the Pavan and Jacobs families were denied this right. Today's ruling reiterates that Obergefell requires different-sex and same-sex married couples to be treated equally under the law. The ruling comes on the two-year anniversary of the Court's June 26, 2015 decision in Obergefell.

    "Arkansas is our home. We are rooted there. Our families are there. Today's decision guarantees that the family we love will be respected and protected in the home we love," said plaintiff Marisa Pavan.

    "My wife, Leigh, and I just welcomed our new baby daughter, Willa Fern, into the world," said plaintiff Jana Jacobs. "Today's decision gives me comfort that my growing family, and other Arkansas families, will receive the respect and protections we deserve." 

     ###

    The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. www.NCLRights.org


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