Mississippi Supreme Court Acknowledges Parental Rights For Non-Biological Mother

A Mississippi woman has regained her parental rights to the child born during her marriage to her ex-wife in a new ruling by the Mississippi Supreme Court.

From the AP:

Mississippi’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a woman has parental rights to a 6-year-old boy born to her ex-wife when the two were married, in a case watched by gay rights activists and groups aiding in vitro fertilization.

Christina “Chris” Strickland brought the appeal, challenging a lower court decision that an anonymous sperm donor still had parental rights and that Strickland did not. Strickland ultimately hopes to win 50-50 custody of Zayden Strickland, who bears her last name and was born by Kimberly Day through artificial means when Day and Strickland were married.

All nine state Supreme Court justices found problems with the original, lower court ruling by Rankin County Chancery Judge John Grant III.

It’s difficult to rationalize how a judge gives an anonymous donor (who is unknown to the child and probably always will be) equal rights to a birth mother but cuts out the other woman who has been a mother to the child since birth.

If Strickland had been a man in a heterosexual marriage that had a child through use of an anonymous sperm donor, I’m certain he would have still been treated like the father he was and been given parental rights without question.

Chief Justice William Waller Jr. acknowledged the Mississippi legislature needed to clarify state law:

“The Legislature should speak directly to the recognition of the legal status of children born during a marriage as the result of assisted reproductive technology,” Waller wrote.

Quote of the day: Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton speaking at the Chicago Harris Theater regarding the march for LGBT equality:

“We have a long way to go, I don’t want to mislead anybody.

“This is going to be an ongoing struggle and the United States must be on the front lines.”

You’ll recall that in 2011, Hillary famously announced “gay rights are human rights.”

Run, Hillary, Run!

(via Gay Star News)

HBO and Adam Shankman to develop new series focusing on the gay rights movement in the 1960s

Director and Executive Producer Adam Shankman

Hot on the heels of the premiere of HBO’s The Normal Heart comes the news that the subscription network has picked up a new series about gay life in New York City’s West Village in the 1960s to be directed by Adam Shankman:

Open City is about the gay rights movement and cultural revolution of the 1960s. Set in New York City, the show will explore the relationship between the gay community and the Mafia as it opens a West Village nightclub.

The show will be written by David Kajganich, who penned the upcoming James Franco film, True Story, and directed by Shankman, whose last feature was the film adaptation of Rock of Ages. The series has also recruited Ronnie Lorenzo, one of the original owners of Stonewall Inn, to serve as a consulting producer.

Also in the HBO pipeline are a documentary about Prop 8 (The Case Against 8) and Open, a series that promises to be a “modern exploration of human sexuality.”

Mike Huckabee questions if President Obama has religious convictions

Mike Huckabee recently defended his position on gay marriage by saying it’s not homophobia to be on “the right side of the Bible.”

Huckabee explained those remarks on The O’Reilly Factor Friday night, telling Laura Ingraham that his position is no different from what President Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton professed to believe in 2008.

Much of America held the same opinion back in 2008 and have now evolved. What I guess Huckabee is trying to say is that he’s years behind where a majority of Americans are now.

Huckabee called out Obama specifically for saying in 2008 he supported traditional marriage because of his Christian convictions. Huckabee said that either Obama lied then or is lying now, and wondered of those convictions, “Does he have them or does he not?”

(via NewsFeedsNow)

President Lyndon B. Johnson’s daughters believe he would support gay rights today

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.

And in light of that, Katie Couric spoke with the daughters of President Lyndon B. Johnson about the issue of civil rights, and the idea that marriage equality has become the current civil rights fight of today.

Lynda Bird Johnson Robb says that while she doesn’t know what her father would think of gay rights today since they weren’t on the political landscape at the time, she does know “he really wanted everybody to be able to live up to the best that God gave them.”

Luci Baines Johnson says that she believes he would stand in support of gay rights because he wanted everyone to be treated fairly. “I think my father felt very strongly that when there was bigotry anywhere, prejudice anywhere, all of us lose out,” Johnson said. “Because it’s just one more expression of hate.”

Both women share that they personally support the freedom to marry. “I certainly think that, if God made you a homosexual, that you should have love and affection with somebody,” Robb said. “And I would not want to deny anybody that opportunity to be happy.”

Watch the interview below:

George Takei: Russian Olympics is “situation of good vs evil”

Original Star Trek star and LGBT activist George Takei guested The Last Word to discuss with Lawrence O’Donnell the current issues involving LGBT athletes participating in the Sochi Olympics given the new anti-gay laws passed in Russia.

“This is a situation of good vs. evil,” said the 76-year-old married activist on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. “It is evil that is happening there, and we must not play into Putin’s game.”

Calling the antigay climate in Russia “a terrible situation,” Takei urged athletes, corporations, and everyday citizens to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, scheduled to take place in Sochi, Russia. Alternately, Takei suggested that the 2014 Olympics “must get out of Russia,” suggesting Vancouver, Canada, as a friendly location that already contains the infrastructure to support the Olympics, as it hosted the 2010 Winter Games.

“There are athletes that are gay or lesbian and their supporters are gay or lesbian too, and they are being put in danger and if something horrific happens — and it’s very likely given the kind of history of what’s been happening there — the responsibility is great,” said Takei. “The [International Olympic Committee] can move the Olympics out. There is enough time to do that yet… [But] the clock is ticking.”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

(via Advocate)

Boy Scouts of America prepare to vote tomorrow on possible gay inclusion

As the Boy Scouts of America prepares to vote tomorrow on a proposal that would change its long-standing policy of excluding gay boys from Scout units, the executive director of Scouts for Equality, a gay rights advocacy group, is hopeful that the proposal will pass–but says this is just the first step.

“This is a good step in the right direction, we want youth protection throughout the entire program, and it looks we’ll be able to see that on the 23rd,” executive director Zach Wahls tells Top Line. “But after that, we have to make sure that we are telling Scouts that when you turn 18 you are still welcome in the program.”

The proposal up for vote will not change the BSA’s policy of banning gay adult leaders. To Wahls, changing that policy is not just political, it’s personal.

“As the straight Eagle Scout son of a lesbian couple, I know exactly how important lifting the ban on adults is,” he says. “I got to see first-hand when I was growing up in Iowa the impact that great, wise, loving parents could have in the lives of my Scouters.”

(via ABC News/Yahoo! News “Top Line”)