Top 10 Off-Kilter Things Said To Gay Dads

Two gay dads and their son
Two gay dads and their son
(stock photo via Depositphotos)

Ah, the things said to gay dads…

Robin Morgan-Bentley, a senior manager at Audible, and his husband became parents this past year. He shared via his Twitter account some of the somewhat awkward comments they’ve received as gay dads.

“Top 10 things actual people have said to me and my husband this year, as new gay dads,” writes the proud dad.

Some of the remarks are harmless but show a cluelessness: “Oh it’s lads’ day out today! So cute. Is mummy having the day off?”

There’s the eternal “Which of you is the real dad?”

Umm, they are both ‘real dads…’

Many folks seem to wonder about the absence of the child’s mother: “Is the mum still involved? It must be so hard for her”

Some people seem to think the year that was 2020 along with the pandemic might have a lasting effect on the boy.

There were those who apparently offered to help with the little guy:

But the oddest remark the dads encountered was a woman whose offer to help raised some eyebrows:

Clearly the men took it all in stride, and like good dads let their adorable little guy have the last word.

Folks in the Twitterverse acknowledged the awkwardness of the remarks but for the most part focused on the happiness being parents can bring.

Related – Teacher rants to student: Why would you be thankful for being adopted by gay dads?

SCOTUS Turns Away Attempt To Undermine LGBTQ Parents’ Rights

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

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case that could have undercut marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Even with a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court, SCOTUS refused to roll back same-sex marriage rights.

The case, Box v. Henderson, 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.

The state of Indiana regularly lists the male spouse on birth certificates in opposite-sex marriages that conceive via anonymous sperm donors even though the husband has no biological link to the child.

But in the case of the Hendersons, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill argued “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.”

In his brief to the Supreme Court, Hill wrote that it’s just “common sense” that while “the husband of a birth mother is usually the biological father, the wife of a birth mother is never the biological father.”

But in its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which made marriage equality the law of the land, the high court was specific that same-sex couples are entitled to the same “constellation of benefits” of marriage that opposite-sex married couples are afforded. And that includes birth certificates for their children.

(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.

The couple won in federal court in 2016 but Indiana appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld the lower court’s ruling ten months ago. In its unanimous decision, the 7th Circuit cited due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment.

In other words, just because someone’s a wife, not a husband, doesn’t mean you can deny them marriage rights.

In 2017, the Supreme Court had ruled on the issue of same-sex parents and birth certificates in Pavan v. Smith, in which SCOTUS found in favor of a same-sex couple who had also conceived through assisted reproduction.

Since that time, SCOTUS refused to hear a similar case in 2018 from Arizona where a lesbian couple sued for legal recognition of the birth mother’s wife as a parent after using an anonymous sperm donor to conceive.

With the Supreme Court’s refusal to review the case today, the lower court rulings will stand.

Karen Celestino-Horseman, the attorney for the Hendersons, told The Indianapolis Star they were “delighted” about the Supreme Court’s decision.

“It’s a major victory that is going to keep the same-sex families together, and the children born to these marriages will have two parents to love and protect them,” added Celestino-Horseman.

Cathy Sakimura, Deputy Director and Family Law Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), said in a statement today, “The Supreme Court rightly denied this case because it has already clearly decided that same-sex spouses and different-sex spouses must be treated equally.”

Solicitor General Tom Fisher, speaking for the Indiana Attorney General’s office, issued a lame “We are disappointed the Court declined to take up the case.”

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.

News Round-Up: August 21, 2020

L-R Jim Parsons and Matt Bomer in ‘The Boys in the Band’ (image via Netflix)

Some news items you might have missed:

EW: Netflix has released the first look photos (above) of the upcoming movie version of the acclaimed Broadway revival of The Boys in the Band set to premiere September 30. The cast of the Tony Award-winning production is reuniting for the film including The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons, The Sinner’s Matt Bomer, NOS4A2’s Zachary Quinto, Black Monday’s Andrew Rannells and Tuc Watkins, Teen Wolf’s Charlie Carver, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Michael Benjamin Washington.

Washington Blade: The State Department has stubbornly appealed a federal judge’s ruling that said it must recognize the U.S. citizenship of a gay Maryland couple’s daughter who was born in Canada via surrogate. Section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act that states “a baby born abroad to married parents is a U.S. citizen at birth when both parents are U.S. citizens and one of them has resided in the United States at any point prior to the baby’s birth.” Both parents are citizens, both had resided in the U.S.

Vice: A member of a Facebook group dedicated to taking pictures of loaded weapons pointed at their d*cks finally shot himself in the balls, according to photos and video he posted on social media. The apparent point of the private group Facebook group “Loaded Guns Pointed at [B]enis” is to somehow ‘trigger the libs.’ I’m not sure how shooting your own junk ‘owns the libs,’ but you do you, boo.

Journal Sentinel: Vandals burned a Joe Biden yard sign, a Pride flag and an American flag at a home in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. “I think it was (a) hate crime ‘cuz someone started the pride flag on fire,” the owner said. “We felt targeted.”

KIT212: Check out Kenneth’s round-up of the latest in local LGBTQ publications.

Washington Post: Trump’s latest attempt to shield his tax records from the Manhattan district attorney was rejected Thursday by a federal judge, who said Trump’s legal team failed to show the subpoena was issued “in bad faith.”

CNN: Anderson Cooper spoke with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell about his campaign for an herbal “cure” for COVID-19 called oleandrin based on the oleander plant. Lindell has no background in medicine or science, but he does donate big bucks to the GOP and is a member of Donald Trump’s inner circle. Oh, and Lindell was added to the board of (and received a financial stake in) Phoenix Biotechnology, which produces the supplement. Trump is now touting the supplement as well.

Two Gay Dads Are Both American, But Daughter Is Denied Citizenship

(stock photo via Depositphotos)

Two gay men are married.

They are both U.S. citizens.

They have a child born from the sperm of one of the men using a donor egg.

They are the only parents listed on the child’s birth certificate.

But when they return home from Britain, where the child was born, to the U.S. and apply for the child’s American passport, they are denied.

A State Department policy, under the Trump administration, allows children to be treated as born “out of wedlock” if the egg and sperm don’t match married parents regarding transmitting citizenship.

“Out of wedlock” means a higher threshold comes into play for citizenship to transmit to the child.

One of the men, James Derek Mize, was born and raised in the United States.

The other, Jonathan Gregg, was born in the UK to an American mother making him a U.S. citizen as well.

The two married in 2015 and in 2017 Gregg moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to be with his husband.

In 2018, their daughter Simone was born via surrogate in London using a British friend’s donor egg and Gregg’s sperm.

But since the egg donor is not listed as a parent, under the “out of wedlock” clause, the Trump administration says Gregg – as the genetic father – needed to be a resident of the U.S. for five years.

He was not.

The couple is suing the State Department, with the help of Lambda Legal and Immigration Equality, for discrimination and violating their constitutional rights.

State officials say the policy is not discriminatory because it could apply to opposite-sex couples as well as same-sex couples.

Earlier this year, I reported for Instinct on a ruling by U.S. District Judge John F. Walter in a similar case of a married gay couple which said there is no federal law that requires a child’s biological parents to be married to transmit citizenship.

Mr. Mize and Mr. Gregg point out that when they went to the U.S. embassy to obtain a passport for Simone, they watched as some 20 opposite-sex couples presented the same documents as they had and were given passports for their children.

They note that none of the opposite-sex couples were questioned concerning how their children were conceived or to their biological relations.

Since Simone was born in London, the U.S. currently views her as a British citizen, and the only way her parents could bring her back home to the U.S. was through a tourist visa. But the visa expires soon, leaving Simone with no legal status to remain in Atlanta with her parents.

Mize recently told HuffPost that when the embassy applied a different standard to his marriage and child, “Every anxiety I’ve ever had in my life about being gay and different came into my body and I just wanted to cry.”

(source: HuffPost)

New Preschool Video Series Features Love & Diversity Of LGBTQ Families

(screen capture from Rainbow Stories)

Preschool entertainment learning app Hopster teamed up with Diversity Role Models to produce a series of videos showing LGBTQ families called ‘Rainbow Stories.’

The video series focuses on teaching preschool kids about diversity among families.

“Our role models are at the heart of our work,” shared Adam McCann, CEO of Diversity Role Models. “To see their stories of embracing difference and diverse, loving families come to life and amplified to young children will encourage acceptance around the world.”

Miki Chojnacka, Chief Creative and Content Officer at Hopster, shared: “Rainbow Stories focusses on love, family, acceptance, friendship and trust. Finding real life stories and translating them into animated short films for preschoolers has been a hugely powerful experience.”

Noting that LGBTQ community is underrepresented in preschool content, Chojnacka added, “We are so proud to have formed this partnership with Diversity Role Models and make the much needed change.”

One of the animated videos shares the story of a married gay couple, Mark and Peter, who adopt a young boy, James. The video shows the happiness James finds in his new home with his adopted parents and their cat Einstein.

Check out the short video below as James comes to meet and love his ‘forever family.’

(h/t Gay Star News)

Stranger To LGBT Parents Of Toddler With Cancer: ‘I Was Going To Donate But Found Out Parents Are Lesbians’

The parents of a one-year-old girl diagnosed with advanced cancer were shocked to receive a hateful message on social media from a stranger.
Tiffany and Albree Shaffer with their children (image via Facebook)

The parents of a one-year-old girl diagnosed with advanced cancer were shocked to receive a hateful message on social media from a stranger.

Diagnosed in January with stage four Neuroblastoma, little Callie Shaffer has already spent more than 100 days in the hospital undergoing rounds of chemotherapy as well as surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.

Her parents, Tiffany and Albree Shaffer, have created a Facebook page titled “Callie Strong, Tiny But Mighty” to share Callie’s progress with friends and family. They say the support has been overwhelming, and helped them through this difficult time.

But amid all the good wishes being sent Callie’s way, the lesbian couple were shocked to find a hateful, homophobic message from someone they don’t even know.

“My prayers for Callie. I was going to donate $7600.00 to her fund, but I found out her parents are lesbian. I’ve chosen to donate to St. Jude due to that fact. Sorry. I’ll still pray for her though, but maybe it’s God’s way of getting your attention that she needs a mommy and a daddy, not two mommies.”

Callie’s parents shared a screen capture of the comment on their Facebook page.

“This is a very sick little girl, who’s life is on the line,” read the parents’ caption.

“For someone to actually send this and speak to my family in this way is utterly DISGUSTING,” they continued.

“Regardless of how you feel, don’t say a word,” added the couple. “What Callie needs is love and support…..not hate and misery.”

Speaking with local NBC News affiliate WNDU, Albree admitted she was “shocked” and “disgusted.”

“That’s mainly what it was — shock and hurt at the same time,” said the mother.

“She’s loved. She’s being taken care of. Why does it matter?,” added Callie’s aunt, Trisha Lamb. “Why would you want to hurt someone who is already hurting?”

With a stage four diagnosis, Callie has a long road ahead of her. In addition to chemo and surgery, she will need radiation treatments and a bone marrow transplant.

Albree has had to stop working to be with Callie in the hospital, while Tiffany is working as much as possible to pay the family’s bills in addition to driving to see her daughter every day.

GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help defray the costs of the expensive treatment.

You can follow Callie’s progress on Facebook here.

(h/t WNDU)