Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

MOMBIAN LGBTQ parenting: The year in review
by Dana Rudolph
2020-01-08

This article shared 4661 times since Wed Jan 8, 2020
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


This past year saw many challenges to LGBTQ equality—but there was still some progress. Let's review the parenting-specific news of the year.

Some setbacks

The Trump administration's Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS ) was perhaps the biggest antagonist of the year. HHS began in January by granting South Carolina a waiver so that federally funded adoption and foster care agencies in the state may discriminate based on a person's religion, LGBTQ identity, or other factors that do not fit with the religious or moral beliefs that the agency espouses.

HHS proposed another rule in April that would abandon the collection of data related to the sexual orientation of youth, parents, and guardians connected to the foster care system, except when a case worker knows that this is related to the reason a child was removed from their home. LGBTQ and child welfare organizations say the fuller data would have helped to serve LGBTQ youth more effectively.

In May, HHS finalized a rule that allows any health care worker—from doctors to clerical staff—to deny medical treatment, information, and services to patients because of the worker's personal religious or moral beliefs, even if their institution takes federal funds like Medicare or Medicaid. The rule focuses mainly on abortion, sterilization, and assisted suicide, which is bad enough, but it could also lead to health care workers refusing to serve LGBTQ people or their children, to deny them fertility treatments, treatment or preventative care for HIV/AIDS, or care related to gender transitions.

In November, however, just a couple of weeks before the rule was set to go into effect, three federal district courts, in California, New York, and Washington, said the rule was unconstitutional and completely vacated it. It remains in effect in other districts, however; and the decisions could be appealed by HHS.

On Nov. 1, however, HHS also issued a new rule that similarly would allow discrimination against LGBTQ people and others by all recipients of HHS grants, including foster care and adoption agencies as well as programs dedicated to youth homelessness, HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and substance abuse prevention, among others. While ten states ( Alabama, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia ) already allow child service agencies to similarly discriminate in foster care and adoption, the new HHS rule would enshrine such discrimination at the federal level and extend it to the full range of HHS services.

The State Department also showed its anti-LGBTQ side. Two married, two-dad couples sued the department for refusing to recognize the U.S. citizenship of their children, born via surrogacy abroad, even though the parents are all citizens. These families join two other same-sex couples, each of which has at least one U.S. citizen parent, who have been fighting the department over their children's citizenship for several years.

On the state level, both New York and Rhode Island saw the failure of bills that would have more effectively protected families formed through assisted reproduction by offering cheaper and easier ways to ensure firm legal recognition of nonbiological parents. The New York bill would also have legalized gestational surrogacy ( where the surrogate does not contribute the egg ).

In Michigan, two same-sex couples filed a lawsuit against the state after they were rejected by two Christian adoption agencies with state contracts. In a March settlement, Michigan said it would require all state-contracted child welfare agencies to accept all qualified families, including same-sex couples. Then in May, one of the agencies sued the state in turn, claiming it had a constitutional right to be exempt from that requirement. A federal district court agreed with the agency in a September injunction, allowing it to maintain its contract while refusing to work with same-sex couples and unmarried people while the case is fully litigated.

In a separate case in April, however, a Catholic child service agency in Philadelphia was denied a similar injunction by a federal appeals court. That's good—though the case could now be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court ( and the Michigan case could ultimately find its way there as well ).

Signs of progress

The Equality Act—a comprehensive, federal LGBTQ civil rights bill—passed the U.S. House in May. It offers protections against discrimination in foster care and adoption as well as in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education and other areas.

More focused on children and family, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act was introduced in both houses for the sixth Congress in a row. It prohibits discrimination in foster care and adoption on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status, as with past versions, but also bans it on the basis of religion; bans conversion therapy; directs HHS to assist states, tribes, and agencies in improving services to LGBTQ and two-spirit foster youth; and requires HHS to collect data on the sexual orientation and gender identity of children and parents connected to the foster care system. The bill would counter many of HHS' moves this year, but looks unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.

The American Bar Association, the "national representative of the legal profession," in January adopted a resolution that "Opposes laws, regulations, and rules or practices that discriminate against LGBT individuals in the exercise of the fundamental right to parent." While that clearly didn't stop HHS, it's good to know that many of the nation's lawyers view HHS' moves as discriminatory.

On the state level, Connecticut, New Jersey and Oregon each enacted laws that extend paid family leave with broad definitions of who's in a family.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court not only ruled in favor of a nonbiological mother in a child custody case in June, but established guidelines for future cases, writing conclusively that "A non-biological same-sex parent stands in parity with a biological parent."

Arizona, in April, repealed an anti-LGBTQ law that had banned instruction in public school health curricula that "Promotes a homosexual life-style" or suggests there are "safe methods of homosexual sex."

More than three dozen queer parents elected in 2018 took office in January 2019 at all levels of government. Additionally, in April, two lesbian moms were elected mayors: Lori Lightfoot in Chicago and Jane Castor in Tampa, Florida.

Financial giants J. P. Morgan and MassMutual each announced expanded fertility benefits to help LGBTQ employees start or grow their families. Among other features, these benefits are offered without requiring a medical diagnosis of infertility—-useful for single people and couples who simply don't have both egg and sperm.

In a major reversal of policy, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ( the Mormons ) in April said that children of LGBT parents may now be blessed and baptized in the faith, and that same-sex couples in the LDS Church will no longer be considered "apostates," although marrying a person of the same sex is still "a serious transgression."

This was also another banner year for LGBTQ-inclusive children's books in quality and quantity—too many to list here, but I've rounded up some of the best at mombian.com .

A loss

Sharon Mattes, known as Sharon Bottoms when she fought to overcome anti-LGBTQ bias in a legal battle for custody of her son in the 1990s—a headline case for queer parents—died in February at age 48.

Looking ahead

While it's easy to get disheartened over the significant political setbacks, I hope we can take heart at the progress that has been made, even if it is less than we would like. Next year may be similar—but it is also an election year. We may never have a perfect candidate, but we can still vote for the one most likely to make a positive difference for ourselves and our families.

Wishing you joy and love this holiday season, and a more equitable new year for us all.

Dana Rudolph is the founder and publisher of Mombian ( mombian.com ), a GLAAD Media Award-winning blog and resource directory for LGBTQ parents.


This article shared 4661 times since Wed Jan 8, 2020
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Who is my neighbor?
2022-01-20
The notion of functioning as a Good Samaritan is one that transcends any particular faith tradition. The idea of humans treating humans in a humane way sounds so simple, yet history and modernity are replete with ...


Gay News

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action launches virtual Black Community Town Hall Series in February
2022-01-20
-- From a press release - CHICAGO - Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) proudly announces a new Black Community Town Hall series in honor of Black History Month. The series of virtual discussions will tackle topics such as community wellness and care, ...


Gay News

Failure to enact Freedom to Vote is a blow to vulnerable groups
2022-01-20
-- From a press release - From Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund: "The failure to enact the Freedom to Vote, John R. Lewis Act is a profound blow to our Democracy. The inability to ensure ...


Gay News

'Jane's Army' to recruit, deploy pro-choice volunteers
2022-01-20
-- From a press release - Chicago, IL — Personal PAC, Men4Choice, and Future Voices Council have launched Jane's Army — a joint campaign to recruit activist volunteers to educate, motivate, and activate pro-choice voters ahead of the critical 2022 election. This ...


Gay News

Gilead: Patients received fake HIV drugs
2022-01-20
Gilead Sciences Inc said an unauthorized network of drug distributors and suppliers sold pharmacies more than $250 million of counterfeit versions of its HIV treatments over the last two years, endangering patients, Reuters reported. The drugmaker ...


Gay News

VIEWS Trans women passing the torch
2022-01-19
I am writing this letter to the editor to compliment Windy City Times on its recent article "Passing the torch: How generations of trans women approach activism, advocacy," by Max Lubbers. The article highlights how the ...


Gay News

Two join races for state office, Personal PAC comments on threats to reproductive rights
2022-01-18
-- From a Personal PAC press release - Chicago, IL — Today, following the news that anti-choice extremists Richard Irvin and Avery Bourne would run as Republicans for governor and Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, Personal PAC President and CEO Terry Cosgrove released the following ...


Gay News

COVID Mayor Lightfoot ends isolation
2022-01-18
Five days after testing positive for COVID-19, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she is out of isolation, per CBS Chicago. "Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me and sent their well wishes. I am ...


Gay News

LaVine injured in Bulls' blowout loss to Golden State
2022-01-15
The Chicago Bulls (27-13) haven't been together as an entire team in a while because of injuries and COVID-19 health protocols. According to The Chicago Tribune, the latest injury occurred roughly 3� minutes into the Jan. ...


Gay News

Veterans Administration health records now display gender identity
2022-01-14
-- Press release from The American Veterans for Equal Rights - WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs began including gender identifiers in its national medical record system in December 2021 to help VA providers better understand and meet the health care needs of Veterans. Providing this ...


Gay News

French gay and bisexual men can donate blood starting March 16
2022-01-13
Starting in March, gay and bisexual French men will no longer be restricted from donating blood, The Hill reported. "We are ending an inequality that was no longer justified," French Minister for Solidarity and Health Olivier ...


Gay News

Global reports show pervasiveness of conversion therapy info
2022-01-12
Two reports released from the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) expose how tech companies have failed to de-platform anti-LGBTQ+ conversion therapy disinformation and ban providers pushing the discredited ...


Gay News

Center on Halsted states COVID requirements and is offering free testing [UPDATE]
2022-01-11
Center on Halsted, in compliance with the City of Chicago public health order effective Jan. 3, requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination for anyone (ages 5 and older) gathering in its ground-floor lobby area. Other events and ...


Gay News

COVID Chicago travel advisory remains unchanged
2022-01-11
Chicago's COVID travel advisory remains the same. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) did not add or remove any states or territories from its COVID-19 Travel Advisory on Jan. 11. For the second consecutive week, ...


Gay News

Mayor Lightfoot tests positive for COVID-19
2022-01-11
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that she's tested positive for COVID-19. On Jan. 11, she issued a statement saying, "Earlier today, I tested positive for COVID-19. I am experiencing cold-like symptoms but otherwise feel fine which ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.