Updated: Rep. Matt Gaetz Suddenly Reveals He Has A Cuban Son?

R-L Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and ‘son’ Nestor (image via Twitter)

UPDATE: Rep. Matt Gaetz confirmed to PEOPLE today that he’s never ‘formally’ adopted Nestor Galban.

I admit, in many cases, “family” can be defined in many ways and what counts is in the heart.

But in this case, Gaetz defended his ‘outrage’ for his over-the-top reaction in a congressional committee hearing by announcing the “local student” or “helper” (his own words) is suddenly his “son,” it sure sounds like he’s using someone’s ethnicity to justify his own woeful voting record on immigration and racial issues.


From The Daily Beast:

Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on police reform blew up when Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) took offense at remarks made by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) about race, asking the Black congressman “who the hell” he thought he was.

The Democrat noted that he was aware that there are GOP congressmen who have Black grandchildren before pointing out that “it is not about the color of your kids” but instead about “Black males, Black people in the streets getting killed.”

“And if one of them happens to be your kid, I’m concerned about him too, and clearly I’m more concerned about him than you are,” Richmond added, causing Gaetz to become irate. (Gaetz is not married and has no children.)

“You’re claiming you have more concern about my family than I do,” the pro-Trump congressman shouted. “Who in the hell do you think you are?” After Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) called on Gaetz to cease, Richmond coolly asked Gaetz, “Was that a nerve?”

The reason the story is interesting is…apparently, Gaetz (who is single) has an adopted Cuban-born son named Nestor, but no one knew this…? There’s no mention of Nestor on Gaetz’s campaign website.

Now, I don’t believe in pimping out kids for political points, but usually, on a politician’s “About” section on their website, there’s a mention of spouse and children. Nope. Not on Gaetz’s website.

Gaetz tweeted a photo with Nestor today explaining Nestor is his son, although he makes a point to say they ‘share no blood’ and Nestor came to the U.S. from Cuba (with the notation ‘legally, of course’).

But then, folks clicked back through the congressman’s Twitter feed and it turns out Nestor has made a couple of appearances in the past, but Gaetz referred to him as his “helper” in a video and in other tweets listed him as a “local student Nestor Galban” or “House page Nestor Galban.”

But never identified his son as his son?

I think that’s, umm, weird. So did some other folks.

As Boy Culture writes, “People are understandably shocked that Gaetz — who has a DUI record — was able to adopt (?) a 12-year-old boy from another country, and that he chose to keep this arrangement a secret until he felt it was politically expedient to come out of the closet … as a dad. Or a father figure. Or a ward.”

By the way, to be clear, I think adoption ROCKS. It’s just odd that Gaetz suddenly reveals this after a shouting match over non-white children…

NYC Pet Shelters See Surge In Dog/Cat Adoption Rates

Bloomberg News reports animal shelters in New York City have suddenly seen a surge in adoption rates during the coronavirus threat.

That’s right, in the New York City area, the epicenter of the disease, there is suddenly a run on pets. At least of the adopted or fostered kind. Muddy Paws Rescue and Best Friends Animal Society are reporting shelters they work with are either all out of or almost out of cats and dogs after a surge in applications of as much as 10-fold in the past two weeks.

Ordered to shelter in place at home, and both a little bored and a lot anxious, New Yorkers apparently see the four-legged friends as way to calm frayed nerves.

“For the moment we definitely don’t have any dogs left to match” with foster volunteers, said Anna Lai, the marketing director at Muddy Paws. “Which is a great problem to have.”

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Trump’s HHS Department To Allow LGBTQ Discrimination Due To ‘Religious Beliefs’

President Trump and Vice President Pence (image via Flickr/White House – public domain)

As we begin National Adoption Month, the Trump administration has proposed a change in regulations aimed at allowing tax-payer funded adoption agencies to refuse to place children with LGBTQ families due to religious objections.

The new policy, proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services, would reverse an Obama-era rule that prohibited organizations with contracts with the federal government, including adoption agencies, from discriminating based on sexual orientation.

By removing sexual orientation and gender identity from the current list of factors that violate the HHS rules, religious-based adoption, and foster care agencies would be able to accept federal taxpayer money while treating same-sex marriages differently from opposite-sex marriages.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration issued a waiver that permits adoption agencies in South Carolina to receive tax dollars while refusing to follow the current non-discrimination policies.

The proposed change would go further, however, allowing all recipients of HHS grants to turn away LGBTQ people under the guise of ‘religious freedom.’

Homeless youth shelters, HIV and STI prevention programs, opioid programs, substance-use recovery programs and more would all be allowed to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

LGBTQ advocacy groups were outraged at the news.

Julie Kruse of Family Equality issued a statement that read, in part, “The American public overwhelmingly opposes allowing taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away qualified parents simply because they are in a same-sex relationship.”

“Children should never be denied the opportunity to join a stable, loving family – even if that means the family is LGBTQ,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “Research has shown LGBTQ families provide the same kind of love, protection, and support as other families and no child should be denied that kind of environment.”

“The Trump Administration has once again demonstrated how they prefer to prioritize the gross work of anti-LGBTQ activists over the safety and well-being of our children,” she added.

From Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality:

“This rule is an abuse of taxpayer dollars in the name of empowering hatred and bigotry towards society’s most vulnerable members. Stigma and prejudice are fueling a public health crisis among transgender people across the country, one that manifests itself as suicide, addiction, intimate partner violence, and HIV. Enabling providers of life-saving services to worsen these crises by rejecting transgender people is a moral crime and a severe abdication of HHS’s mission to preserve public health.”

More from Lambda Legal and the Human Rights Campaign’s Charlotte Clymer:

Anti-LGBTQ Christian conservatives, however, were thrilled.

Tony Perkins, of the anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council, announced, “Thanks to President Trump, charities will be free to care for needy children and operate according to their religious beliefs and the reality that children do best in a home with a married mom and dad.”

Baby Alba Was Rejected By 20 Families, And Then Along Came The Perfect Dad

Single dad Luca Trapanese and daughter Alba (image via Instagram)

Luca Trapanese has always wanted to be a father.

But as a gay single man living in Italy, the laws regarding adoption are very stringent.

Married heterosexual couples between the ages of 18 – 45 are the primary candidates to adopt, although single parents may apply under certain circumstances.

Luca shared with the BBC, “They told me that they would only give me children with illnesses, severe disabilities, or behavioral problems.”

And along came Alba.

Alba was only 30 days old and had been rejected by 20 families, including her biological mother because she had Down syndrome.

But Luca, who has volunteered and worked with disabled people since he was a teen, didn’t hesitate. After receiving a call about the infant, he rushed to the hospital to sign the adoption documents.

“When I held her in my arms, I was filled with joy,” said Luca. “I felt that she was my daughter straight away. I knew I was ready to be her father.”

Being gay, single and Catholic, Luca feels he’s challenging the stereotypes regarding fatherhood and traditional families.

Today, Alba is 18 months old and thriving.

Like all children, she loves to play and dance around the house, explore new places like parks and museums, and go to work with her dad.

Luca shares that she can be a bit stubborn at times, but that’s life with a toddler.

“She’s brought me happiness and a sense of fulfillment,” says the 41-year-old dad. “I’m proud to be her father.”

“I’ll spend the rest of my life with a child that I love, and we’ll do so many amazing things together.”

Fortunately, Luca likes to share his life with Alba on Instagram. Check out some photos of this awesome dad and daughter duo.

News Round-Up: May 21, 2018

(via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• Model Nick Sandell spent time at the beach; I was stuck in my office watching the sun go by. By the time I got done with work, the dang clouds had rolled in 🙁

• Andy Warhol’s iconic Interview Magazine has shuttered. Employees were told today at an “all-hands meeting” that the magazine had folded.

• A proposal to include discussions on the topics of transgender, sexual orientation and sexual identity in Fort Worth, Texas, public schools has found it’s protesters.

• As other states are trying to limit LGBTs ability to adopt or foster homeless children, Connecticut is actively trying to recruit members of the community to participate in adoption/fostering.

• Pope Francis told a gay man that God made him exactly as he is, and that God loves him just as he is.

• GLAAD and Bonnier Publishing USA have teamed up to release a children’s book series featuring LGBT stories (see below).

Kansas & Oklahoma Legislatures Approve Anti-LGBTQ Adoption Bills

We were looking good there, America.

Four months into 2018 and no new anti-LGBTQ legislation on the state level. Until this week.

Both Oklahoma and Kansas have passed bills that will allow faith-based adoption and foster care services to legally discriminate against LGBT folks while using public funds.

In Oklahoma, the House approved the measure by a vote of 56-21 on Thursday this week after the state Senate had previously voted to advance the bill.

Kansas followed just hours later as the Senate approved the bill 24-15 at 1:51 a.m. Friday after the House passed it Thursday night, 63-58.

The legislation had been sitting for weeks before lawmakers revived and passed it in a matter of hours.

Both bills now head to their respective governors’ desks to be signed into law.

More from The Advocate:

The bills could allow discrimination against many types of prospective parents who offend an agency’s religious beliefs — single parents, divorced and remarried parents, interfaith couples, and more, in addition to LGBT individuals and same-sex couples, Winterhof pointed out. But Oklahoma Senate Majority Leader Greg Treat, who authored his state’s legislation, mentioned that when agencies express objections to certain placements, they often cite opposition to same-sex marriage, the Family Equality Council noted.

Opponents of both states’ measures said the legislation would make the already-overloaded child welfare system even more so by making fewer people eligible to become foster or adoptive parents. But supporters said the religious protections would encourage more faith-based agencies to work with the states.

Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, Virginia, and Michigan have similar laws in place, NBC reports. Michigan’s is being challenged in court by the American Civil Liberties Union.

What’s truly sad is this reduces the number of possible adoptive homes for children who really need loving parents.

Bigotry at the expense of children.

Republicans Hope To Legalize Anti-LGBT Discrimination

Look out for more anti-LGBT action in Congress as the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act (CWPIA) has been introduced in both chambers of Congress.

Currently pending in the House as H.R. 1881, and in the Senate as S. 811, the legislation seeks to legalize LGBQ discrimination by allowing adoption providers to use “sincerely held religious beliefs” as a basis for denying gays or lesbians adoption services.

“Prohibits the federal government, and any state or local government that receives federal funding for any program that provides child welfare services under part B (Child and Family Services) or part E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of title IV of the Social Security Act (SSAct), from discriminating or taking an adverse action against a child welfare service provider that declines to provide, facilitate, or refer for a child welfare service that conflicts with the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

The bill would require the Health and Human Services department to withhold 15% of federal funds from state or local governments that take action against folks who would exercise their right to discriminate against LGBTs.


Of course, the haters love the hateful bill:

Georgia Senate Committee Approves Anti-LGBTQ Adoption Bill

A Georgia state Senate committee has approved an anti-LGBTQ bill that would allow adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples based on “sincerely-held religious beliefs.”

The legislation would also keep the Georgia Department of Human Services from taking any “adverse action” against such agencies who chose to discriminate against LGBTs.

Senate Bill 375, also known as the “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act,” passed in the Georgia Senate Judiciary Committee this morning on a party line vote. Only the two Democrats voted against the measure.

There were no public comments allowed during the committee meeting and the bill now head to the Senate floor for a vote.

Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality’s Executive Director, issued this statement:

“There are no winners with SB 375. This bill does not help the thousands of young people in our state’s adoption and foster care system. It does not help loving parents who are looking to open their homes to children in need, either through fostering or adoption.

“It does not help our state’s economic image – particularly at this crucial juncture in our bid to bring up to 50,000 new and high-paying jobs to our state through Amazon.

“There are only losers with this bill: children denied permanent and loving homes, and potential parents coldly turned away simply because of who they are.”


Uplifting: Homeless Teen Finds His Sister And More

Put up for adoption as a toddler, eventually the victim of a failed adoption, Seth Miller was phased out of “the system” at the age of 18.

Homeless and living in his car, he felt “Everything around me was pretty much empty.”

And then, thanks to a news report, something amazing happened. He found his birth sister, and even more.

Watch the report below by WFAA in Texas as Seth Miller becomes Logan Hunt.

p.s. Grab a tissue – you’ll need it.

Russia stops all adoptions to Sweden due to marriage equality

Russian officials have decided that, due to same-sex marriage in Sweden, they will no longer allow ANY adoptions by any couples in Sweden to take place:

“It’s terrible. We have 13 children in Russian orphanages today who have been offered to parents in Sweden who they have actually met,” said Jonas Friberg at the Adoptioncentrum agency in Sweden to Sveriges Television (SVT).

Russian politician Vitaly Milonov meanwhile called homosexuals “perverts” in an interview with SVT broadcast on Thursday, arguing that children would be better off staying in Russian orphanages.

“The perverts? No, it is unacceptable. Homosexuals are ‘perverts’ and should absolutely not be allowed to adopt children,” he said. “Children who grow up in that kind of environment are destroyed psychologically.”

(via The Local)