State Dept Ends Policy Denying Citizenship To Children Born Abroad To Gay Parents

Gays dads with their daughter
Gays dads with their daughter
(image via Depositphotos)

The U.S. State Department has reversed a Trump-era policy of denying U.S. citizenship to children born abroad to gay parents via assisted reproductive technologies.

From Axios:

The Trump administration had denied citizenship to children born abroad to same-sex parents in several cases.

The State Department under Trump defended a long-standing policy that categorized children born abroad via surrogate as “out of wedlock” even when a couple was married.

Several same-sex couples sued the agency for their children’s citizenship, but the State Department continued to enforce the policy.

Under the new policy, children born abroad to parents, at least one of whom is a U.S. citizen and who are married to each other at the time of the birth, will be U.S. citizens from birth if they have a genetic or gestational tie to at least one of their parents and meet the INA’s other requirements.

I reported on several lawsuits by gay parents during the Trump years whose children were denied citizenship.

Indiana AG To SCOTUS: 2 Gay Parents Shouldn’t Be On Child’s Birth Certificate

a lesbian couple with their child
(image via iStock Photo)

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill (R) has filed a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court asking that a federal appeals court ruling which held both members of a same-sex couple can be listed as parents on their children’s birth certificates be overturned.

The case was brought by parents Ruby and Ashlee Henderson in 2015 as a challenge to Indiana’s birth records law. The couple sued when county officials refused to list both on the birth certificate of their son, who was conceived via artificial insemination.

A federal judge found in favor of the Hendersons in 2016, but Indiana appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld the lower court’s ruling. By that point, seven couples had joined the Hendersons in the lawsuit.

NBC News reports that in its January 2020 decision, the appellate court noted, under Indiana law, “a husband is presumed to be a child’s biological father, so that both spouses are listed as parents on the birth certificate and the child is deemed to be born in wedlock.”

“There’s no similar presumption with respect to an all-female married couple — or for that matter an all-male married couple,” the judges wrote, adding that requiring both women in a same-sex marriage to be listed as parents would prevent any discrimination.

Karen Celestino-Horseman, the attorney representing the Hendersons, told NBC News the Supreme Court should follow the legal precedent set in its own 2017 ruling for Pavan v. Smith. That case involved married couples in Arkansas who conceive via artificial insemination.

The high court’s decision held that the “constellation of benefits that the states have linked to marriage” included having the names of same-sex parents on a birth certificate.

(stock photo via Depositphotos)

The Hendersons argued in their original suit that a number of legal issues could arise regarding who could enroll their son in school, ensure he was covered by health insurance, or even speak on the child’s behalf during a medical appointment. Without the legal status conferred by a birth certificate, one of the women would need to formally adopt their son which could cost up to $5,000 in legal fees.

But Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill argued in his SCOTUS brief that upholding the ruling in the Hendersons’ case would “violate common sense.”

Hill also maintained that allowing both parents in a same-sex couple to be on a child’s birth certificate could jeopardize parental rights based on biology.

“A birth mother’s wife will never be the biological father of the child, meaning that, whenever a birth-mother’s wife gains presumptive ‘parentage’ status, a biological father’s rights and obligations to the child have necessarily been undermined without proper adjudication,” Hill wrote in his brief.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hold a conference regarding the case on December 11. It will be the first dealing with same-sex marriage rights since Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the high court.

Hill last made national headlines in May when he had his law license suspended for a month after being accused of groping a state lawmaker and three other women in a bar in 2018. Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) and other state GOP leaders called for Hill’s resignation at the time.

Anderson Cooper Opens Up On Why His Ex Will Co-Parent New Son

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper (via Instagram)

Out CNN anchor Anderson Cooper Zoomed into Howard Sterns’ radio show this week to chat on the news of Cooper’s new son, Wyatt, who was born on April 27.

Along with the ‘proud dad’ announcement, Cooper has publicly shared that his ex-boyfriend, Benjamin Maisani, will co-parent Wyatt.

Since the couple broke up over two years ago, the news surprised some folks.

So, Howard went right to it asking: “Don’t you want a clean break from this guy?”

Anderson Cooper and Benjamin Maisani (via Instagram)

Cooper’s response was both moving and disarmingly candid.

“I don’t really have a family, so my friends become my family,” said the 52-year-old journalist. “And this is somebody that I was involved with for 10 years. He’s a great guy.”

“We didn’t work out as a couple, but when I was a little kid, it was just my mom and my brother,” he continued. “But it was my mom and she was not the most parental person.”

Cooper’s mother was acclaimed artist, fashion designer and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, who passed away last summer at the age of 95. His father, Wyatt Emory Cooper, died in 1978 when Anderson was just 10-years-old.

His brother, Carter, died after committing suicide ten years later in 1988.

“I wish some adult, after my dad died, had stepped in, and just been like, you know what? I’ll take you to a ball game, or let’s go out to lunch every now and then, and let’s just talk,” he shared. “No one ever did that.”

“And so I thought, if something happens to me – or even if something doesn’t happen to me –  if more people love my son and are in his life, I’m all for that,” he said. “My ex is a great guy and it’s good to have two parents if you can.”

Considering the two-parent status, Sterns asked, “Are you both going to be ‘dad?’”

“Well, my ex is French, his name is Benjamin, so he’s going to speak to him in French and he’s going to be like, ‘papa,’” explained Cooper. “And I think I’ll be ‘dad’ or ‘daddy.’”

“He’s already speaking French to him, I have no idea what he’s saying,” he added before joking, “He could be turning the kid against me, I don’t know.”

I’ll say I completely understand Anderson’s thinking, and he knows he can trust Benjamin. Good on him.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I want to share with you some joyful news. On Monday, I became a father. This is Wyatt Cooper. He is three days old. He is named after my father, who died when I was ten. I hope I can be as good a dad as he was. My son’s middle name is Morgan. It’s a family name on my mom’s side. I know my mom and dad liked the name morgan because I recently found a list they made 52 years ago when they were trying to think of names for me. Wyatt Morgan Cooper. My son. He was 7.2 lbs at birth, and he is sweet, and soft, and healthy and I am beyond happy. As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son’s birth. Most of all, I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him. It is an extraordinary blessing – what she, and all surrogates give to families who cant have children. My surrogate has a beautiful family of her own, a wonderfully supportive husband, and kids, and I am incredibly thankful for all the support they have given Wyatt and me. My family is blessed to have this family in our lives I do wish my mom and dad and my brother, Carter, were alive to meet Wyatt, but I like to believe they can see him. I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues.

A post shared by andersoncooper (@andersoncooper) on

Anti-LGBTQ Activist Scolds Anderson Cooper For Having A Child

Michael Brown (screen capture via YouTube)

Anti-LGBTQ activist Michael Brown scolds Anderson Cooper for having a child in an op-ed on CharismaNews.

Dear Anderson,

Isn’t it an amazing feeling to be a father? To know that the precious little baby that you hold in your arms is, in a real sense, your own flesh and blood? That in a unique way, he carries part of you in his very life and soul? Yet when I saw the announcement of his birth, I felt sadness more than happiness. Sadness for him and for you.

Anderson, a boy deserves his mother, yet if I understand your plan correctly, your son will not be raised together by her and by you. That’s what saddens me the most.

To be clear, I don’t believe that you simply chose to be gay one day. I don’t believe that any more than I “chose” to be straight.

And I don’t mean that you won’t try to be an amazing dad. And a devoted dad. And a caring dad.

[snip]

In many ways, you are a private person, and I’m not trying to intrude in your life. And you may simply write me off as a hateful gay basher.

But it is love that compels me to write. What is best for Wyatt Morgan Cooper?

Brown has a longtime antagonistic history with the LGBTQ community.

From railing at Netflix because the streaming company wouldn’t let a so-called ‘straight pride’ organization use their logo for advertising, to calming evangelicals that Donald Trump still hates gays even though he tweeted about Pride Month, to leading a hate march during Charlotte, North Carolina’s Pride Parade.

So, yeah, I’m definitely writing him off as “a hateful gay basher.” Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

(h/t JoeMyGod)

CNN’s Anderson Cooper Becomes A Dad

CNN’s Anderson Cooper welcomes his son Wyatt Morgan Cooper to the world (images via Instagram)

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper shared with his audience at the end of his show last night that he became a dad Monday night.

“I’m a dad” he proudly said. “I have a son and I want you to meet him.”

In an Instagram post featuring Wyatt Morgan Cooper, Anderson wrote, “I want to share with you some joyful news. On Monday, I became a father. This is Wyatt Cooper. He is three days old. He is named after my father, who died when I was ten. I hope I can be as good a dad as he was.”

Cooper goes on to share that Wyatt’s middle name is Morgan, which he chose because he recently found a list his parents made 52 years ago when thinking up names for Anderson.

“Wyatt Morgan Cooper. My son. He was 7.2 lbs at birth, and he is sweet, and soft, and healthy and I am beyond happy.”

He adds that, growing up knowing he was gay, he “never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son’s birth.”

Anderson also thanked the surrogate who carried Wyatt and watched over him during those months.

“I do wish my mom and dad and my brother, Carter, were alive to meet Wyatt, but I like to believe they can see him,” Anderson said in closing. “I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues.”

Congratulations to Anderson and his entire family as they welcome Wyatt to the world.

View this post on Instagram

I want to share with you some joyful news. On Monday, I became a father. This is Wyatt Cooper. He is three days old. He is named after my father, who died when I was ten. I hope I can be as good a dad as he was. My son's middle name is Morgan. It's a family name on my mom's side. I know my mom and dad liked the name morgan because I recently found a list they made 52 years ago when they were trying to think of names for me. Wyatt Morgan Cooper. My son. He was 7.2 lbs at birth, and he is sweet, and soft, and healthy and I am beyond happy. As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son's birth. Most of all, I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him. It is an extraordinary blessing – what she, and all surrogates give to families who cant have children. My surrogate has a beautiful family of her own, a wonderfully supportive husband, and kids, and I am incredibly thankful for all the support they have given Wyatt and me. My family is blessed to have this family in our lives I do wish my mom and dad and my brother, Carter, were alive to meet Wyatt, but I like to believe they can see him. I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues.

A post shared by andersoncooper (@andersoncooper) on

Ricky Martin Announces 4th Child Is On The Way

International pop star Ricky Martin announces he and hubby are expecting 4th child (screen capture)

International pop star and actor Ricky Martin announced last night that he and husband Jwan Yosef are ‘pregnant’ expecting their fourth child.

The announcement came as Martin was honored at the Human Rights Campaign’s National Dinner in Washington, D.C.

“My family is here,” said Martin from the stage. “Jwan, I don’t see you but my husband Jwan, I love you.”

“My beautiful twins Matteo and Valentino – I love you with all my heart, you’re my strength,” he continued as he pointed to his two 10-year-old sons. “You inspire me every day, you motivate me to keep doing what I’m doing and you guys are amazing. I love you.”

After explaining that his youngest, Lucia, who was born at the end of last year, was home with grandma, Martin paused before sharing, “And by the way, I have to announce that we are pregnant. We are waiting!”

With a sheepish grin, the ‘Come With Me’ singer added, “I love big families.’

Here’s Ricky’s full speech at the HRC National Dinner:

As actress Ana Ortiz presented Martin with the 2019 Visibility Award, she noted “his bold voice that changes the world.”

That was referencing, in part, Martin’s pilgrimage to Puerto Rico earlier this year during great political upheaval. Standing with protestors for days, Martin led the charge demanding the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosello Nevares.

After a week of unprecedented protests, Rosello resigned.

Accepting the honor, Martin dedicated the honor to “the refugees, to members of the LGBT community that are…leaving their countries because they feel threatened.”

“This award is for [the asylum seekers],” he continued. “I will make sure that I lend my voice for them: Ladies and gentlemen, the only thing I’m asking for is to go out and vote.”

Fatherhood has been very good to the Latin heartthrob as a visit to his social media constantly reveals.

Here’s the latest post from Ricky’s Instagram:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

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New Study Indicates Children Raised By Same-Sex Parents Perform Better In School

A new study indicates children raised by same-sex couples perform better in school than those of opposite-sex parents, reports The Washington Post.
(image via Depositphotos)

A new study indicates children raised by same-sex couples perform better in school than those of opposite-sex parents, reports The Washington Post.

Using government data tracking all children born between 1995 to 2005 in the Netherlands, researchers found children with same-sex parents scored higher on tests in elementary and secondary school, and had a seven percent higher likelihood of graduating from high school than children reared by a mom and dad.

A team of economists at research university KU Leuven in Belgium crunched the data which followed the children’s progress through primary school through high school.

The research was presented at the American Economic Association conference in Atlanta last month.

Educational performance, family income and more was utilized in the massive study which followed over 1 million children, including 1,200 children raised by same-sex parents.

The researchers noted that same-sex parents tended to be more financially well off, more educated, and older.

Because same-sex couples often have to access to pricey fertility treatments, higher wealth and a deep motivation to have children can play a big part in same-sex parenting.

As we all know, gay and lesbian couples don’t have children ‘by accident.’

(image via iStockphoto)

“It is difficult for same-sex couples to obtain children so they have to have a high socioeconomic status,” said economist Deni Mazrekaj. “Research shows that socio-economic status positively influences the school outcome of children.”

Sometimes children become part of a same-sex family due to divorce between straight and gay parents. But that doesn’t necessarily mean those children were raised in same-sex family households.

Even when looking at children specifically born and raised in same-sex families, researchers noted higher educational performance when compared to heterosexual families.

Earlier studies have shown no real differences between children raised by heterosexual versus homosexual parents, although a 2014 study from the University of Melbourne in Australia indicated children of same-sex couples often exhibit happier and healthier behavior than those of opposite-sex parents.

In that study, researchers suggested same-sex couples sharing more equal household responsibilities may have contributed to “greater social cohesion.”

That same report showed one of the biggest issues children of same-sex parents face is stigma.

(h/t The Washington Post)