Even though the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality last month, some state officials are choosing to claim the court ruling does not apply to state adoption laws.
The Supreme Court of the United States legalized marriage for same-sex couples last month nationwide, but some are still facing challenges of being legally recognized as the parents to their own children. When states refuse to allow same-sex couples the ability to list both of their names on their childâ€™s birth certificate, it creates a long list of problems that can jeopardize the childâ€™s safety. For example, it can create a barrier when the couple tries to add their child to the health insurance plan of the parent not listed on the birth certificate. Also, the parent not listed on the birth certificate could be denied the ability to make medical decisions for their own child. And if one parent dies, that child can be legally considered an orphan, unless the parents endure a lengthy and expensive step-parent or second-parent adoption process.
Couples across the country have stepped up to fight for legal recognition as parents to their own children. Below is a summary of some of the struggles currently taking place.
Three female same-sex couples that conceived through anonymous sperm donors are suing the Arkansas Department of Health for refusing to allow both spouses to be named on their childrenâ€™s birth certificates. The lawsuit says that by refusing to add the names of both parents on the birth certificates, the state is jeopardizing a number of benefits, including insurance and inheritance, for the children.
The couples are asking for state laws regarding rights of parents in relation to their children to be updated so that the laws are gender-neutral. They are also asking the Pulaski County Circuit Court to prevent the state from denying two people of the same gender to be listed as parents on birth certificates.
After the 9th Circuit ruling legalized marriage equality in Arizona, Lenora and Leticia Reyes-Petroff (who were married in California in 2013) tried to take advantage of a program that offered free legal services for adoptions, but were denied service because the program did not apply to same-sex couples. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery refused to help with non-contested adoptions because he claimed court rulings making same-sex marriage legal didnâ€™t apply to state adoption laws.
Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona sent a letter to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office threatening to sue if the county did not drop their policy of denying legal assistance to same-sex couples seeking to adopt. Last week, in a pass the buck workaround, Montgomery has decided to farm out the services to private lawyers.
Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill last month that repealed Floridaâ€™s gay adoption ban. The new law went into effect on July 1.
Even though Scott signed the bill, he made a statement that he wanted the Florida Legislature to pass a bill allowing taxpayer funded adoption agencies to refuse qualified prospective parents based on sexual orientation if the agencies cited a sincerely held religious belief.
“To be clear, some of our faith-based child placement agencies do not place children in homes with same sex parents, and this is a matter of their sincerely held religious beliefs, consistent with religious freedom rights granted in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and in Article I of the Florida Constitution,” Scott said in a memo attached to his signature. “It is my hope and expectation that the Legislature will take future action to make clear that we will support private, faith-based operations in the child welfare system and ensure that their religious convictions continue to be protected.”
Angie and Kami Roe were married in Utah on December 20, 2013, the first day it became legal for same-sex couples to marry in the state. The couple decided to have a child together, and through intrauterine insemination, Kami gave birth to a baby in February 2015. TheyÂ suedÂ the state of Utah because the State Office of Vital Records and Statistics refuses to recognize Angie as a parent on their daughterâ€™s birth certificate. Under Utahâ€™s assisted reproduction statute, the husband of a woman who conceives with donated sperm is automatically recognized as the childâ€™s parent, but state attorneys are arguing that the automatic parentage does not extend to same-sex unions.
The Adoption/Court Order Specialist told the Roes that Angie would need to adopt her own child through a step-parent adoption, an adoption process that costs hundreds of dollars and would require Angie to submit to a thorough background check by the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification and the Utah Division of Child and Family Services. On top of that, Angie and Kami would have to wait until a judge schedules a hearing on their adoption petition to get approval for Angie to be recognized as a parent to her own child. This would leave their baby in a vulnerable situation if something were to happen to Kami and Angie was not legally allowed to care for their child.Â
Late yesterday a federal court judgeÂ ruledÂ that the State of Utah must treat same-sex parents just as they would treat different-sex parents.
The court documents are posted onÂ ACLUâ€™s websiteÂ if youâ€™d like to learn more about the case.Â
Have you faced challenges as an LGBT parent? If so, share your experience with us in the comments section below.
NCRM writer Eric Rosswood is the author of the upcoming book, The Journey to Parenthood, which helps same-sex couples understand the differences between the various parenting options including adoption, surrogacy, fostering, assisted reproduction, and co-parenting. The book includes firsthand stories from same-sex couples, legal advice, and checklists to help people decide which path is best for them. For more information on his book, visit www.ericrosswood.com.
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‘This Is Insane’: Experts Blast McCarthy After He Approves George Santos Attending Classified Briefing on China
U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY), under multiple state and federal investigations, and even a criminal fraud investigation in Brazil, recently stepped down from his committee assignments pending House ethics investigations, but on Thursday he will be allowed to attend a classified briefing by the Pentagon on threats from China.
Santos is facing numerous investigations, including ongoing, pending, or possible investigations from the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Nassau District Attorney, the Queens District Attorney, the New York State Attorney General, along with the House Ethics Committee.
CNN’s Manu Raju Wednesday afternoon reports: “Asked Speaker McCarthy if he’s OK with George Santos attending tomorrow’s classified briefing on China. ‘Yes,’ he told me.”
Experts are expressing outrage, and are calling allowing Santos to gain access to classified information a “threat to our national security.”
“George Santos should not be getting access to classified information,” the government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) immediately responded.
Last month CREW published a report that states: “George Santos should not get intelligence information.”
“Santos’s misrepresentations of large swaths of his background have proven his tendency to lie for power and personal gain. It is clear that he has not demonstrated the trustworthiness necessary to guard our country’s most closely guarded secrets,” it reads.
“Santos’s serial misrepresentations of the truth about a vast array of subjects have demonstrated an astonishing level of untrustworthiness,” CREW President Noah Bookbinder says in the report. “It would be a threat to our national security to allow him to serve on any committee where he would gain access to national intelligence.”
Retired U.S. Naval War College professor Tom Nichols, an academic specialist on international affairs including Russia, nuclear weapons, and national security affairs, tweeted: “This is insane.”
Just last month Speaker McCarthy banned two top House Democrats, Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff, from returning to the Intelligence Committee. While he claimed it was for national security reasons, some believe it was retribution for their roles in prosecuting Donald Trump’s impeachments.
“I cannot put partisan loyalty ahead of national security, and I cannot simply recognize years of service as the sole criteria for membership on this essential committee. Integrity matters more,” McCarthy wrote in a letter.
Marjorie Taylor Greene During House Hearing: It’s ‘Against the Law’ to Ban My Twitter Account
Members of Congress have access to vast resources to conduct the people’s business, including on-staff attorneys and the ability to contract experts, yet on Wednesday U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) appeared to shun those assets while appearing before the TV cameras while misrepresenting federal law. She falsely declared that Twitter banning her personal account was “against the law,” and a violation of her First Amendment rights as she made clear she will use her newly-restored committee assignments to spread falsehoods, misinformation, and disinformation.
Greene now sits on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. During its third hearing of the year, “Protecting Speech from Government Interference and Social Media Bias: Twitter’s Role in Suppressing the Biden Laptop Story,” Greene appeared determined to extract vengeance for her personal Twitter account being permanently “suspended” – banned –before Elon Musk purchased the company and restored accounts of countless extremists.
At the beginning of her remarks Greene mentioned the witnesses, including former Twitter executives, and said: “You can consider your speech canceled during my time because you permanently canceled mine.”
“You see, you permanently banned my personal Twitter account, and it was my campaign account also, so let’s talk about election interference, shall we?”
“Let’s explain 52 United States law 10101: ‘No person shall intimidate, threaten or coerce or attempt to stop any other person for the purpose of interfering with their rights to vote or to vote as you may choose,'” Greene said, reading inaccurately from 52 U.S.C. 10101.
For reasons unknown, Congresswoman Greene decided that federal voting rights law applies to Twitter. It does not.
“You didn’t shadow ban or permanently ban my Democrat opponent,” Greene charged. “No, you did that to me. And that was wrong and it was against the law.”
It is not against the law for Twitter to shadow ban or permanently ban anyone, even a Member of Congress and their personal Twitter account.
“You see, not only that, was it was it me, that you violated my First Amendment rights, you violated countless conservative Americans,” she said, which again is false. The First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Greene pushed forward.
“These were doctors that were trying to tell the truth about COVID,” she said, of people spreading false or misleading information and disinformation. “Doctors that were having success treating people with ivermectin that you all would not allow to be talked about.”
The FDA has made clear ivermectin is not a treatment for COVID-19: “The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals. Ivermectin is approved for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.”
“These were parents complaining about their school boards, teaching gender lies in their schools, biological males entering their daughter’s bathrooms and sports,” she complained. “These were also people questioning the 2020 election. And guess what? That’s Americans’ First Amendment right. These were people talking about voting machines. You know what? Democrats did that in 2019 before the 2020 election,” she claimed.
Watch below or at this link.
Marjorie Taylor Greene thinks (wrongly) that Twitter broke the law by suspending her account for violating the terms of service pic.twitter.com/xKugHRHZ1F
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 8, 2023
‘Let’s Be Blunt’: Bannon Blasts Huckabee Sanders as ‘Not Intellectually Capable’ After ‘Insulting’ SOTU Response
Arkansas Republican Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivered the Republican Party’s official response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address and was panned from all sides.
Many on the left were angered and outraged as she attacked LGBTQ and Black Americans in a lengthy speech that was tall on culture war rhetoric and extremism and short on policy or vision.
But even those on the right seems exasperated with her remarks.
Lou Dobbs, the far-right-wing culture warrior and former Fox Business anchor, told former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon that Huckabee Sanders’ speech was “unacceptable,” and, “an insult to President Trump” for “not mentioning his name,” as Media Matters reports.
“Sarah Huckabee went to Iraq with the President,” Dobbs recalled, which the former White House press secretary spent an unusually large portion of her remarks discussing, “and the First Lady in the dark of night, for Christmas, with our troops.”
“To not mention is name, to talk about ‘new leadership’ – it looked like the Governor’s Association had written much of that speech, and aligned themselves with Ron DeSantis,” Dobbs lamented, calling it a “lack of respect to POTUS.”
Bannon, convicted on two federal criminal contempt charges, agreed that her remarks were “an insult to Trump.”
“She does not exist, politically, if it’s not for President Trump,” Bannon continued. “I thought the speech was terrible.”
“If you’re going to give a counter speech, you’ve got to talk about important issues. Don’t get me wrong, the wokeism is very important. But it’s not quite the heart of the matter right now, right? It’s not the heart of the matter. She is not — the reason is she’s just not — she’s not intellectually capable of going to the heart of the matter, right? Let’s be blunt.”
“This was like written by Ron DeSantis and the entire RGA,” Bannon said, referring to the Republican Governors’ Association.
Watch below or at this link.
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