24 August 2005
Thank God for activist judges.
In a landmark decision for gay families, on Monday the California Supreme Court ruled that same sex couples who raise children are lawful parents and must provide for their children in the event of a break-up.
The precedent-setting decision puts former gay and lesbian couples on equal ground with unmarried heterosexual couples who break up and marks the latest decision by the court recognizing rights of same-sex couples.
The courts ruled on 3 separate cases. A Marin County woman was granted to be the second mother of twins after the biological mother moved out of state. In another case, the court ruled that a lesbian cannot avoid paying child support for her former partner's biological children. And finally, the court ruled that a lesbian could not terminate her former partner's parental rights years after obtaining a court order stipulating they were both parents.
(This comes under the "responsibilities" part of "all the rights and responsibilities of heterosexual couples" that gay couples are seeking to make them equal to heterosexual couples.)
While these decisions come out of negative situations (the break-up of a relationship), it comes one step closer to acknowledging that gay couples form partnerships every bit as binding (albeit without legal sanction) as do heterosexual couples.
What has boggled my mind for a long time is these people who argue against legalizing same sex marriage on the basis of "perserving the sanctity of marriage for the sake of the children."
These same people who want to protect the children refuse to acknowledge the two-parent gay families who are rearing happy, healthy, mentally stable children. They put up barricades which will deny those children acceptance in schools, which will allow a non-parent to remove a child from the only home she has known, from the only second parent she has known, and tear her world apart simply because the biological parent dies. The denial of marriage rights to gay couples does nothing to protect their children and does everything to harm those children.
In its action today, the California Supreme Court has taken a positive step forward for children of gay couples, and it has sent the message that parents are parents, and it doesn't matter if they are a heterosexual couple or a homosexual couple. Parenthood needs to be acknowledged. The parental rights need to be supported, both within the relationship and should the relationship break up, every bit the same as parental rights are supported within a heterosexual marriage and a divorce.
If this society really holds children sacred, this is the only logical course to take, the only one which acknowledges that a child has the right to the security of two parents, if he has grown up with two parents, regardless of the gender of each parent.
Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families, a conservative group that is fighting efforts to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples, trotted out the same tired old protest: "This ruling goes against Nature. It ignores the self-evident truth that God designed a man and a woman to fit together and participate in the miracle of procreation."
Thomasson seems to conveniently ignore the fact that these rulings concern children who are already born, who have been raised in gay households, and whose future will be affected by the rulings of the judge.
If the Campaign for "Children and Families" is so damned
concerned about the welfare of children, why isn't it applauding this decision, which will
safeguard the rights of these children?
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is Sydney, a 4 year old Lab/Corgi mix who arrived last night.