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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Report details inequities for kids of gay parents Associated Press Posted on October 25, 2011 at 10:02 AM According to her dads, life is good for Carrigan Starling-Littlefield, a spunky 5-year-old being raised by two gay men in South Carolina, which doesn't recognize their out-of-state marriage.
"We've found that being a family has created a lot of common ground with other families. We've not had many issues at all," said Tommy Starling, a partner in a food brokerage.
Yet he and his husband, Jeff Littlefield, who became parents through a California-based surrogacy program, remain wary as they contemplate Carrigan growing older and confronting challenges beyond their supportive community in Pawley's Island, S.C.
"We're cautious about where we go, because we don't want our daughter to see any negativity," said Starling, 39. "We have some longer-term apprehensions that she'll face issues as she gets older, and we're trying to prepare her for that ... I feel she's the type of person who will stand up for her family."
Carrigan is among a growing multitude of American children — possibly more than 1.2 million of them — being raised by gay and lesbian parents, often without all the legal protections afforded to mom-and-dad households.
Increasingly, the welfare of these children will be a core part of gay-rights strategies, as evidenced by a comprehensive report being released Tuesday. Compiled by an alliance of advocacy and child-welfare groups, it summarizes how laws and social stigma create distinctive challenges for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families.
"There are myriad ways that our families are discounted by government at all levels, and children are hurt the most," said Jennifer Chrisler of the Family Equality Council, one of the three groups authoring the report.
The other groups are the liberal Center for American Progress and the Movement Advancement Project, a gay-rights think tank. Among other participants in the project were the National Association of Social Workers and the Child Welfare League of America.
The U.S. census does not attempt to count the number of children being raised by gays and lesbians. Demographer Gary Gates of the UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute, who has been a consultant to the Census Bureau, estimates the number at 1.2 million, while the new report uses the figure of 2 million, including children with bisexual and transgender parents.
Whatever their numbers, the families are striking for their diversity — encompassing many low-income and minority households, and spread across about 96 percent of America's counties, according to data compiled by Gates and others.
Among the barriers and inequities they face, as detailed in the report:
—Many government safety net programs use definitions of family tied to marital status which may exclude same-sex partners.
—Because of lack of legal recognition for their unions, gay and lesbian parents can face heavier tax burdens, higher costs for health insurance, and diminished financial protections in the event of death or disability.
—When same-sex parents separate, one parent may lose custody or visitation rights, even in cases where he or she had been a child's primary caregiver.
Overshadowing all these problems is pervasive social stigma, according to the report.
"Many of the challenges LGBT families face stem from a society that assumes that everyone is heterosexual and comes from a family with two married heterosexual parents," it says.
For opponents of same-sex marriage, the issue of children can prompt nuanced responses.
"Certainly children in any household arrangement need to be protected — need full support and love," said Mary Ellen Russell, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Maryland. But she said such protections should be provided without redefining the traditional concept of marriage as between a man and woman.
Many of the obstacles and inequities outlined in the new report would be addressed if same-sex marriage — now legal in six states and Washington, D.C. — were legalized nationwide and recognized by the federal government. However, the report includes numerous recommendations for less sweeping changes that would benefit children with gay parents, such as:
—Broadening the definition of "family" to allow LGBT families to benefit fully from government safety-net programs, and revise the tax code to provide equitable treatment for these families. At present, even legally married same-sex couples who can file joint state tax returns must file separate federal returns.
—Enacting state-level parental recognition laws that would allow joint adoption by LGBT parents. Even with about 110,000 children in foster care who are eligible for adoption, some states and agencies refuse to place children with same-sex couples.
—Ensuring that LGBT families have access to health insurance on equal terms with heterosexual families, and eliminate inequitable taxation of these benefits.
—Ensuring that hospital visitation and medical decision-making policies are inclusive of LGBT families.
—Expanding education and training about LGBT families for social workers, health care providers and other professionals.
Jeff Krehely, director of the Center for American Progress's LGBT research and communications project, said the report is part of an effort to counter arguments that same-sex marriage is a threat to children.
"People who oppose marriage equality have used and exploited children in a very scare-mongering way," said Krehely, who hopes the report will increase public understanding and empathy.
The report, titled "All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families," is being presented Tuesday at event in Washington drawing some high-level government officials.
Bryan Samuels, commissioner of the federal Administration on Children, Youth and Families, is scheduled to be part of a panel discussion, and the opening speech will be given by Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, a staunch gay-rights supporter in a state where lawmakers will be considering a bill to legalize same-sex marriage next year.
"Same-sex marriage is a pro-family measure," Gansler said in a telephone interview.
Lisa Polyak, chair of the statewide gay-rights group Equality Maryland, says there will be a concerted effort during the legislative debate to highlight the challenges facing children of gays and lesbians.
"If you care about children, you should care that the parents don't have the legal tools to take the best care of them," she said.
Polyak and her partner of 30 years, Gita Deane, were married earlier this year in Washington. They have two daughters, Devi, 12, and Maya, 15, who testified before lawmakers last year in support of same-sex marriage in Maryland.
"The root of my activism is denial of equal treatment of my children," said Polyak, citing instances where her daughters had been hurt by other people's comments.
"One child told my daughter she was not allowed to come over to our house because we weren't really a family," Polyak said. "For them, it's a constant source of sadness and hurtfulness."
___(equals)
Online:
The "All Children Matter" report: http://www.children-matter.org
Family Equality Council: http://www.familyequality.org/
Center for American Progress: http://www.americanprogress.org/
___(equals)
David Crary can be reached at http://twitter.com/CraryAP
 

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they are being purely selfish by putting a child through something like what she will face.
it's a shame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There are already laws preventing perverts from adopting in some states there should also be laws prohibiting them from raising or ever being in authority over them. Sad to see childrens lives destroyed, and souls led the wrong way. POWDERMAN. :( :(
 

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If they adopt a child who needs a good home it isn't so bad but having another child born just to be raised by Homosexuals is stupid. They will be picked on and teased their whole life. If they choose a child that has been left for the state to raise then go for it. I'd rather be raised by ****'s than in a foster home but not by much.
 

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I thought that these adoption agencies were all about looking out for the best interests of the kid. Anybody that even thought about giving a kid to a pair of homosexuals ought to be fired.
 

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Conan said:
OK. They are raising a kid. But why would two guys want to? That seems odd.
And two guys (or two women) married to each other doesn't seem 'odd' to you? The hole dang thing is perverted.
 

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You guys seem obsessed with homosexuals. At least she'll be the best dressed little girl in school. I don't know many straight parents that I think are good parents either. If she's God's child she'll be fine.
 

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I have gay friends who have adopted. They are wonderful parents. As someone above said, much better than growing up being moved from foster home to foster home. If they would have adopted a boy, some of your evil minds would have gone to the dark side as to their motive. Since they adopted a girl, some still have negative opinions.Oh well, so be it.. As I said, the couples we know who are gay and adoped are very loving , good parents.
 

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A lot of homosexual men are also pedophiles. Or just wishing for the chance to be with a child or teen. Homosexuals don't want to be with older men because of the fear of contracting a disease the older man might have got from being a homosexual for many years. It is one of the reasons they seek out young partners. With homosexuals its not about loving your partner. Its all about the perverted sex.
Look at how many middle aged homosexual men are either very lonely or dieing from a sex related disease. Or wearing diapers or a bag. Its not only aids but hundreds of other diseases that are the result of homosexual practices. Being homosexual destroys lives. Its the reason God and Christians hate homosexuality. It not only destroys the life we have in the flesh. It could destroy your life for eternity. But now the push is on to destroy the lives of some children just because two homosexuals want a child to raise.
We have those that want to ban tobacco, high fat foods, guns, drilling for oil and gas, logging, building factories, and refineries along with many other things that are deemed dangerous to people. Yet these same people applaud every step towards homosexuals reaching a level of normalcy in society. We have all kinds of laws to protect innocent children, but hey, its ok if homosexuals want a child to raise so they can feel normal also. Don't matter if that child has all kinds of problems in school, has mental problems, commits suicide, or turns into a homosexual themselves. Just so we give homosexuals the same right heterosexuals have.
 

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If Christians would mind their own business, fewer folks would hate us and what we believe. But most who call themselves Christians have to stick their nose into everything. Shouldn't all Americans have the same rights?
 

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To tell the truth I don't care. That's not why I'm a Christian.
 

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Shouldn't all Americans have the same rights?


So, who's saying they don't? But, rights don't exist in a vacumn. In an adoption situation, the best interests of the child should be the deciding factor. A child is not a prize that we all have a "right" to. Somehow I just don't see the best interests of a little girl residing in her adoption by a couple of homosexuals.
 

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Swampman said:
If Christians would mind their own business, fewer folks would hate us and what we believe. But most who call themselves Christians have to stick their nose into everything. Shouldn't all Americans have the same rights?
Well Swampman- we finally agree on something. Gandi said 2 things concerning Christians. The first was- I like your Christ, it's you Christians I don't like. Secondly, he said, if all Christians followed the teachings of Christ and truly practiced them, the whole world would be Christian. Before replying- give those 2 statements alot of thought.
 

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Casull said:
Shouldn't all Americans have the same rights?


So, who's saying they don't? But, rights don't exist in a vacumn. In an adoption situation, the best interests of the child should be the deciding factor. A child is not a prize that we all have a "right" to. Somehow I just don't see the best interests of a little girl residing in her adoption by a couple of homosexuals.
How do you know that after interviewing this couple, the court decided that it was in the child's best interest.
 

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Swampman said:
If Christians would mind their own business, fewer folks would hate us and what we believe. But most who call themselves Christians have to stick their nose into everything. Shouldn't all Americans have the same rights?
You sure are tough to figure out swampman. What do you think your life would be like if you were raised by two homosexual men? Or how about two pedophiles? How do you think that would have worked out for you? Would you care if someone you loved was raised by homosexuals?
People do have the right to be a homosexual. If they want to destroy their life, that is on them. To say that they have the right to alter the life of a child is a bit different don't you think. Or do you think that is just fine? I believe God intended for a man and a women to raise children. How do you think He feels about two Homosexuals raising Children?

Why are you so concerned with unbelievers hating Christians, and what we believe? That is no different than saying Jesus should have minded His own business, so some would not hate him.
So all us Christians should just shut our yaps, mind our own business, and not speak out against any wrongs in the world, just so some will not hate us. Or as you say "I don't care what people do". Should we just turn on backs, and shut up about murder and rape? Or should we just mind our own business as long as man says it legal. Like abortion, pornorgraphy, and homosexuals and transvestites raising children.
 

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their physical well-being is important, but even more-so is their SPIRITUAL well-being.
gays could be causing them to lose their souls.
 
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