Posts Tagged ‘ gay marriage ’

The End of DOMA: What Families Need to Know

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

courthouse

The Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act earlier today, 17 years after the law blocked the federal recognition of gay marriage. A separate case was also declined, making it legal for same-sex couples to marry again in California.

Before today’s landmark decision, gay couples faced many obstacles in terms of marriage equality. They didn’t receive Family Medical Leave Act benefits, Social Security survivor benefits, veteran benefits, benefits for spouses of federal employees, and spousal impoverishment protection for Medicaid long-term care. In addition, gay couples paid almost $1,000 more in yearly taxes and dealt with higher estate taxes.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote for the majority of the decision, said, “Striking down DOMA would give dignity to same-sex families and help end suffering of children caused by the current law.”

Children of same-sex parents will benefit from an increased income in the household because they can now be covered under the same health insurance policy as their parents. These families will also have access to Social Security benefits.

Cheers could be heard outside the Supreme Court, but the loudest cheers were coming from same-sex parents. These couples have the same rights as any other husband and wife. Children are realizing that they’re as good as everyone else, regardless of who their parents love.

Image: Courthouse via Shutterstock

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

First Vaccine to Help Control Some Autism Symptoms 
A first-ever vaccine created by University of Guelph researchers for gut bacteria common in autistic children may also help control some autism symptoms. (via Science Daily)

CPS Student Boycott: High Schoolers Skip Required State Exam To Protest School Closures
On a day they were slated to take a state-required test that directly affects their graduation eligibility, around 100 Chicago Public School students boycotted exams to protest the district’s plan to close 54 schools.(via Huffington Post)

Sugary drinks can raise diabetes risk by 22 percent: study
Drinking just one can of sugar-laced soda drink a day increases the risk of developing diabetes by more than a fifth, according to a large European study published on Wednesday.(via Reuters)

Fourth Grader’s Gay Marriage Essay Goes Viral
A fourth grader’s poignant plea for gay marriage is making the blogosphere rounds.(via Huffington Post)

Shire settles with Actavis, Watson Pharma on ADHD drug
Drugmaker Shire Plc said it settled all litigation with Actavis Inc and Watson Pharma, allowing the two companies to sell a generic version of Shire’s drug, Intuniv, to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.(via Reuters)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Adam Lanza’s Father, Peter Lanza, Meets With Newtown Victim’s Parents
The parents of one of the 20 first-graders killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre met with the gunman’s father for more than an hour in an effort to bring some closure to the tragedy, asking him about his son’s mental health and other issues. (via Huffington Post)

Humanoid Robot Helps Train Children With Autism
“Aiden, look!” piped NAO, a two-foot tall humanoid robot, as it pointed to a flat-panel display on a far wall. As the cartoon dog Scooby Doo flashed on the screen, Aiden, a young boy with an unruly thatch of straw-colored hair, looked in the direction the robot was pointing. (via Science Daily)

Study: Women Abused As Kids More Likely To Have Children With Autism
The study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, is the first to examine the potential legacy that a mother’s experience with childhood abuse could have on the health of her own children. (via Yahoo News)

UK: Public OK With Creating Babies From 3 People
Britain’s fertility regulator says it has found broad public support for in vitro fertilization techniques that allow babies to be created with DNA from three people for couples at risk of passing on potentially fatal genetic diseases. (via Yahoo News)

Pediatricians’ Group Supports Gay Marriage, Adoption Rights
Children’s health and well-being are better off when parents who want to marry are allowed to do so regardless of their sexual orientation, a leading pediatricians’ group said today. (via Fox News)

Older Fathers More Likely to Have Autistic Grandchildren
Men who have children when they are older are more likely to have grandchildren with autism, according to a study which shows for the first time that risk factors for autism may build up over generations. (via Reuters)

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Did You Read “We Found Our Son In a Subway?”

Friday, March 1st, 2013

If you haven’t, grab the tissues. Published in yesterday’s New York Times Opinionator column, We Found Our Son in a Subway tells the story of a man who found a baby in a subway station, and was given the chance to adopt him by a kindly judge. When the man and his partner married, they could think of no one more appropriate to pronounce them a family.

We first shared this family’s story here at Parents nearly a decade ago, not long after their adoption became final.

It’s a powerful story. For families created by adoption, it often feels as if fate may have played a hand in bringing you together – whether you are chosen by the birth family, matched with your child by bureaucrats  half a world away who you will never meet, or you find a baby in the corner of a subway station. Somehow, by luck or chance or happenstance, you find each other, and you find love and you find family. And the judge in the story obviously saw the perfect family waiting for this little boy in the kind couple who found him and fought for him.

It’s an incredibly touching tale, and one that’s definitely worth the read. But what’s even more beautiful, at least in my eyes, is that the comment section is overwhelmingly filled with positive and loving messages toward this family. I think even a decade ago, this heartwarming story would’ve been met with a lot of hatred and homophobia – and to me, that’s almost as powerful as the story itself.

Let me know what you think after you read it! I’d love to hear your take on the update – and on our original story.

Image: Drawing from Matthew Jacques/Shutterstock.com

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Forget Chicken Chains. Here’s a Child’s Take On Gay Marriage

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Same-sex marriage has been on my mind, but not because of a certain chicken restaurant. On Sunday I’m going to the wedding of a cherished friend, who is marrying his boyfriend of nine years. When the dress I’d ordered for it arrived last week, I tried it on, explaining to my daughter Julia (who turns 7 at the end of the month) where I planned to wear it.

Julia: Who’s getting married?

Me: My friend Glenn.

Julia: Who’s he marrying?

Me: A man named Jeffrey.

She stopped chewing her bagel and was immediately puzzled.

Julia: A man?

Me: Yes. Men can marry men if they want to, and women can marry women. I don’t think you know anyone who’s done that, but I do…

Then her face got red and I could see that she was almost going to cry.

Julia: I am very confused.

Me: I know, honey. I can understand that. But what’s the matter?

Julia: If they have babies, then they won’t have a mommy, just two daddies.

Me: Aw, but that’s okay. You only need one parent who loves you, and many kids have two if they’re lucky.

She was still totally flustered and actually had tears in her eyes.

Julia: But how do they have a baby if they’re two men?

Me: Well, they can adopt a baby. Remember we talked about adopting?

And that was pretty much that. The topic hasn’t come up since, but I wondered if I’d handled it correctly. Did I say the right things?

I turned to Deborah Roffman, a sex educator in Baltimore who’s been teaching children and counseling families for more than 30 years. I thought she’d be an ideal person to ask since she just came out with a very helpful book called Talk to Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids’ “Go-To” Person About Sex. “I think you did great. My guess is that you might have been unnerved by her reaction,” she ventured. Yep, I said–honestly, I feared that it revealed some underlying prejudice. “This subject makes us feel insecure, and we worry that we have to be so very careful with it, but we really don’t,” said Roffman. She believes Julia had a pretty basic assumption about the world–men only marry women–and it was scary to her that she was wrong, that she didn’t understand something so fundamental to her. “Her reaction was more about the confusion than the topic.”

Then she gently suggested that with subjects like this, I consider being more proactive going forward. In this case, I could’ve prepared Julia by saying something like, “Listen, I’m going to a wedding next weekend and it’s going to be interesting, and I want to tell you about it. Most couples you know, like me and Daddy, are women and men. But it’s also possible for men to marry men, and for women to marry women. My friend Glenn is marrying a man named Jeffrey.”

Her advice really made sense to me. “A lot of parents hesitate with stuff like this, thinking, I have to wait until my child asks. No, you don’t,” she explained. “It’s a little easier, sometimes, if they ask questions, but with the important things in life, you want to front-load, so your point of view can get there first.”

Have you had tricky conversations like this with your child? How’d it go?

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