QBits
Public health research has suggested not only that discriminatory environments and bans on same-sex marriage are detrimental to health but also that legalizing same-sex marriage (among other policies expanding protections) contributes to better health for LGBT people. For example, data from Massachusetts2 and California,3 respectively, indicate that same-sex marriage led to fewer mental health care visits and expenditures for gay men and that it reduced psychological distress among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in legally recognized same-sex relationships.
Trans teacher reinstated by school board following parent complaints

Laura Jane Klug has been reinstated

Laura Jane Klug has been reinstated

Following a school board meeting convened because due to complaints from parents about her gender identity, a transgender teacher has been reinstated.

Laura Jane Klug had been teaching as a substitute at Lumberton Intermediate School, but has said she was told not to return to her classes after parents said they were concerned that their children might be “distracted” because she is transgender.

She said she had met with an HR representative of the Lumberton Independent School, John Valastro, on Tuesday afternoon, and that she had been suspended, pending a decision by the school board.

Now following a meeting of the board, Klug late on Thursday said she had been reinstated.

“I do feel relieved in the fact that I have been reinstated. I’m not going to jump in and start subbing tomorrow. I do want to give them some time.

“Hopefully this is going to be a really good learning moment for everybody involved,” The 52-year-old said. “It’s certainly an opportunity for principals to address the issue of people who are gender-nonconforming. Also, it might encourage somebody who is questioning their gender to maybe come forward.”

The school board heard from 13 public speakers on the issue, who were split on whether Klug should be reinstated or not.

Some parents had claimed that Klug’s gender identity proved to be a “distraction”, saying that it could “affect [childrens’] ability to learn,” and that the issue was to do with the age of children.

Adoption victory for gay mothers in Netherlands
Over 20 same-sex female couples rejoiced as a court formally recognized they could be named as parents to a child
Adoption victory for gay mothers in the Netherlands.

Gay women across the Netherlands are celebrating after a major victory in adoption rights.

After a recent court ruling, it means gay women but not men can be legally parents of a child without going through a lengthy legal process.

The same rules do not apply to male couples because legal parentship rests with the mother and she cannot simply transfer it.

This victory comes after 13 years the Netherlands originally permitted adoption by same-sex couples.

According to the Dutch LGBT organization, COC Nederland, over 20 couples took advantage of the new rules on its first day. 

2nd April 2014, 6:47 PM
Joseph Patrick McCormick

The campaign hopes to keep Jake in the custody of his mother The campaign hopes to keep Jake in the custody of his mother

http://www.youcaring.com/other/help-my-daughter-keep-her-transgender-child/144297

A campaign has been started to raise money towards a lawsuit to allow a woman to keep custody of her trans son.

The campaign was started by the grandmother of the boy, Jake, who says his father initiated the custody battle “solely because she supports her child’s self-proclaimed gender,” and that his father intends to make him go to school “as a girl”.

Grandmother Beth, states that Jake’s mother can’t afford the attorney bills on her own, and that without help, she will lose custody.

The page states: “Right now, Jake goes to school and is treated just like any other first grade boy. His teachers and friends are 100% supportive, everyone calls him by his chosen name and I’ve never seen him happier. If my daughter loses this legal battle all of that will change. Once Jake’s father gets full parenting rights, he will force my grandson to go to school as a girl—or as Jake calls it, as ‘his false self.’”

The campaign has so far raised just over $7,000 of a $19,000 (£11,000) goal.

According to the page, Jake has lived with the support of his family as a boy for over a year, and that he had “thrived”.

TW: slurs, homophobia

George H, father of four:

Well, it might sound harsh but I would disown him. I’m telling you the honest truth! It may seem harsh, but if he was a gunman it’s the same way I would treat him. He would have to go and live his life and don’t get me mixed up in it. The way I see it, the world can’t run without families, you have to reproduce to make families, and two men can’t reproduce. So that alone should tell you that it’s wrong. If it was my daughter, she stands a better chance with me. Women can get away much more than men ‘cause it’s not so obvious with females. But I still wouldn’t encourage it. I would do what I need to do to try change her mind.

Garfield Y, father of three:

It would be difficult as hell, but I would accept it. It would be easier to handle if it is my daughter as we could still maintain that father/daughter relationship. But it would be impossible to have anywhere near a good father/son relationship with my son.

Wayne W, father of one:

As long as she is happy, I wouldn’t kill her. I would more be happy that she trusts me enough to tell me. But if I have a son who is gay that is different still. I wouldn’t want to hear, but I wouldn’t kill him. I would just stay far from him. Just the thought of him doing that with another man turns my stomach! But girl or boy, support done at 18, straight or not!

Hugh W, father of two:

I would be very upset, but if it’s my daughter I would love her just the same. I would not condone the lifestyle but what am I going to do? I would still have to love her.

Angela H, mother of three:

I don’t know, to be honest. A lot of people say it can’t happen to them and then you realise that is when you are faced with it then you know how to handle it. But I would not judge.

Bobbette B, mother of one:

If I find out while she is in high school I would try and get counselling for her. If that doesn’t work, then it would be very hard to accept because it is not something I believe in. But I couldn’t put her out.

Olivia J, mother of one:

I would try and find counselling for her. But if I have a boy and realise he was gay, he would have to leave! Him couldn’t stay in the same house with me.

Roxanne T, mother of one:

I wouldn’t do anything. It’s my child. I definitely wouldn’t throw her out. She just couldn’t flaunt it in my house, but I would have to love her just the same.

Andrae T, father of two:

With the knowledge I have now I would not throw out the child. But there would be a lot of rules in my house; for the boy: no tight clothes, no bleach-out hair and skin, no dressing in drag. He is still supposed to look respectable. And he still has to go to school. His occupation cannot be ‘gay’. For the girl, no baggy clothes, no wearing of underpants — she still has to look like a girl. For them the rule is simple — like AIDS — you’re not supposed to tell by just looking!

German court rules gay couples cannot adopt children

A bad day for same-sex couples in Germany (Photo: Flickr, Paul Malin)

A bad day for same-sex couples in Germany (Photo: Flickr, Paul Malin)

Germany’s highest court has ruled against giving same-sex couples in civil partnerships the right to adopt children.

On Friday, the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, south-west Germany, dismissed on procedural grounds a request from a Berlin district court to rule on the matter.

Deutsche Welle reports the case was introduced by a gay couple who want to adopt their two former foster children, who are now adults.

A district court had stayed the proceedings in March 2013 and submitted the case to the Constitutional Court.

Judges today said the submission did not meet the formal requirements and dismissed the case, without commenting on the issues surrounding it.

The decision follows a landmark ruling by the court in February last year, in which it granted those living in civil partnerships the same legal rights as married couples when it came to adopting the biological children from one partner.

However, the ruling only meant that same-sex couples could adopt the same child on an individual basis and not as a couple and they still cannot adopt unrelated children.

Germany’s Constitutional Court called for the tax system to treat civil partnerships equally with marriages in May 2013 – a demand which Chancellor Angela Merkel had previously resisted.

Same-sex marriage remains illegal in Germany.

(via Look: Homophobic Long Island Mom Pens Vile Anti-Gay Response To Kid’s Birthday Party Invite | The New Civil Rights Movement)

Parenting, you’re doing it wrong.
Q.

A homophobic mother in Long Island used a seven-year old girl’s birthday party invitation sent by her two gay dads as a forum to express hatred of gay people.

So the same-sex couple, two dads from Baldwin, New York, decided to send the anti-gay mother’s response to local radio station K-98.3.

“You’re invited to Sophia’s 7th Birthday Party,” the invitation reads.

“Tommy will NOT attend,” the mother wrote on the invitation. “I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your ‘lifestyle.’”

“I’m sorry Sophia has to grow up this way. If you have an issue or need to speak to me call *** ****,” Tommy’s mother, Beth, wrote.

(via Look: Homophobic Long Island Mom Pens Vile Anti-Gay Response To Kid’s Birthday Party Invite | The New Civil Rights Movement)

Parenting, you’re doing it wrong.
Q.

A homophobic mother in Long Island used a seven-year old girl’s birthday party invitation sent by her two gay dads as a forum to express hatred of gay people.

So the same-sex couple, two dads from Baldwin, New York, decided to send the anti-gay mother’s response to local radio station K-98.3.

“You’re invited to Sophia’s 7th Birthday Party,” the invitation reads.

“Tommy will NOT attend,” the mother wrote on the invitation. “I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your ‘lifestyle.’”

“I’m sorry Sophia has to grow up this way. If you have an issue or need to speak to me call *** ****,” Tommy’s mother, Beth, wrote.

(via Della Wolf is B.C.’s 1st child with 3 parents on birth certificate - British Columbia - CBC News)

"A Vancouver baby has just become the first child in British Columbia with three parents listed on a birth certificate.

Three-month-old Della Wolf Kangro Wiley Richards is the daughter of lesbian parents and their male friend.

"It feels really just natural and easy, like any other family," said biological father Shawn Kangro. "It doesn’t feel like anything is strange about it."

B.C.’s new Family Law Act, which came into effect last year, allows for three or even more parents.

Della’s family is the first to go through the process, and they finalized the birth certificate registration last week.

B.C., which is celebrating Family Day on Monday, is the first province in Canada with legislation to allow three parents on a birth certificate, although it’s been achieved elsewhere through litigation.”

(via Della Wolf is B.C.’s 1st child with 3 parents on birth certificate - British Columbia - CBC News)

"A Vancouver baby has just become the first child in British Columbia with three parents listed on a birth certificate.

Three-month-old Della Wolf Kangro Wiley Richards is the daughter of lesbian parents and their male friend.

"It feels really just natural and easy, like any other family," said biological father Shawn Kangro. "It doesn’t feel like anything is strange about it."

B.C.’s new Family Law Act, which came into effect last year, allows for three or even more parents.

Della’s family is the first to go through the process, and they finalized the birth certificate registration last week.

B.C., which is celebrating Family Day on Monday, is the first province in Canada with legislation to allow three parents on a birth certificate, although it’s been achieved elsewhere through litigation.”

And yet another study showing same-sex parents can be good parents.
Q.

Key Messages

About 11% of Australian gay men and 33% of lesbians have children. Children may have been conceived in the context of previous heterosexual relationships, or raised from birth by a co-parenting gay or lesbian couple or single parent.
Overall, research to date considerably challenges the point of view that same-sex parented families are harmful to children. Children in such families do as well emotionally, socially and educationally as their peers from heterosexual couple families.
Some researchers have concluded there are benefits for children raised by lesbian couples in that they experience higher quality parenting, sons display greater gender flexibility, and sons and daughters display more open-mindedness towards sexual, gender and family diversity.
The possible effect of important socio-economic family factors, such as income and parental education, were not always considered in the studies reviewed in this paper.
Although many Australian lesbian-parented families appear to be receiving good support from their health care providers, there is evidence that more could be done to develop policies and practices supportive of same-sex parented families in the Australian health, education, child protection and foster care systems.
Additional key messages, relating to specific family structures and psychosocial outcomes for children raised by lesbian and gay parents, are included throughout the paper.

“LGBQ participants (lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer) are more generally positive about and happier with the quality of their relationship and the relationship which they have with their partner” the research concludes.

“Heterosexual parents are the group least likely to be there for each other, to make ‘couple time’, to pursue shared interests, to say ‘I love you’ and to talk openly to one another.”

But it added: “Public/private boundaries of ‘couple display’ remain fraught. Many LGBQ couples, especially the younger ones, say they would not hold hands in public for fear of reprisal.”

(via Lesbian couple in New Orleans celebrate Christmas as the parents of quintuplets | Gay Star News)

Liz and Nadia Harris had a full house in New Orleans for Christmas with five new additions to their family.
The couple, married for four-and-a-half years, are now the parents of quintuplets - four boys named Michael, David, Maxwell and Joseph and a girl named Elizabeth.

(via Lesbian couple in New Orleans celebrate Christmas as the parents of quintuplets | Gay Star News)

Liz and Nadia Harris had a full house in New Orleans for Christmas with five new additions to their family.

The couple, married for four-and-a-half years, are now the parents of quintuplets - four boys named Michael, David, Maxwell and Joseph and a girl named Elizabeth.

The ruling said: “A person recognised as a man, and allowed to change gender to that of a man under this law should be considered to be a man under other laws.

“He not only can marry and become a husband under the civil law but should also be recognised as the father of a child conceived by his wife during their marriage.”

Two of the five justices disagreed with the decision while the other three supported it.

Quebec’s largest school board recently voted unanimously to change the words “mother” and “father” on all of its forms — both hard copy and virtual — to read “parent.”
When The Boys’ Room Isn’t Safe For A Boy

My son is six and a half years old.  He’s been potty trained with nary an accident since exactly his third birthday.

Last week, in his first grade classroom, he peed his pants.  He sat in his urine until the dismissal bell rang.  His pants were soaked and cold when he got out of school.  He was uncomfortable and he smelled.  He didn’t want anybody to know.  It was his secret.

He started crying in the car.

“I’m so ashamed of myself,” he said over and over again.  Tears rolled down his face, even though he willed them not to.  He couldn’t hold them back.

Come to find out, my son — with his long auburn hair, pink and purple fitted clothes, feminine backpack and wrist full of rainbow-colored loom bracelets – is terrified to use the boys’ bathroom at school.

photo 1

On his first visit to the boys’ bathroom, he headed straight for the safety of the stall.  Boys started peeking through the cracks in the stall to see if he was going pee or poop.  Pooping at school is an embarrassment.  He avoided the bathroom for as long as he could.  The next time he had to go, he, again, walked straight to the stall.  He locked the door behind him.  He lifted the toilet seat lid and unzipped his pants.  He could hear them talking.  He could hear them looking.  He turned around.  Boys were peeking through cracks again.  This time they were trying to see his genitals.  They wanted to know if my son has a penis or a vagina.

My son refuses to go into the boys’ bathroom again.  He has stopped drinking his juice boxes at lunch.  He refuses to drink anything at breakfast.  He’ll do anything to not have to use the boys’ bathroom at school.  He’ll do anything to avoid having strangers look at his private parts while taking bets as to what they’ll see when they get to see something.

I’m sure you can understand why my son is not comfortable using the boys’ restroom at school.  He wouldn’t be comfortable using the girls’ restroom either.  Because he identifies as male, the girls’ bathroom doesn’t feel like the place for him.

Read More

Dear Amy:

I recently discovered that my son, who is 17, is a homosexual.

We are part of a church group and I fear that if people in that group find out they will make fun of me for having a gay child.

He won’t listen to reason, and he will not stop being gay. I feel as if he is doing this just to get back at me for forgetting his birthday for the past three years - I have a busy work schedule.

Please help him make the right choice in life by not being gay. He won’t listen to me, so maybe he will listen to you.

- Feeling Betrayed

Dear Betrayed:

You could teach your son an important lesson by changing your sexuality to show him how easy it is.

Try it for the next year or so: Stop being a heterosexual to demonstrate to your son that a person’s sexuality is a matter of choice – to be dictated by one’s parents, the parents’ church and social pressure.

I assume that my suggestion will evoke a reaction that your sexuality is at the core of who you are. The same is true for your son. He has a right to be accepted by his parents for being exactly who he is.

When you ‘forget’ a child’s birthday, you are basically negating him as a person. It is as if your saying that you have forgotten his presence in the world. How very sad for him.

Pressuring your son to change his sexuality is wrong.

If you cannot learn to accept him as he is, it might be safest for him to live elsewhere.

A group that could help you and your family figure out how to navigate this is PFLAG.org. This organization is founded for parents, families, friends and allies of LGBT people, and has helped countless families through this challenge. Please research and connect with a local chapter.

- Amy