Em-URGE-ing Voices

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On Family Politics After Marriage Equality

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November 13, 2015

photo via Wikispaces

This week a lesbian couple in Utah had a child taken away from them in the foster care system because and placed with a heterosexual couple for the child’s well-being. There isn’t any evidence the couple was abusive or negligent to the child at this point. The couple passed the screening to be foster parents. The couple has been raising this child for three months and in a week she was taken away from them.

This is not the first time a couple had to go through issues like this, there is a common stigma that gay and lesbian couples can’t raise children or that it is unhealthy for the child.

Last summer the U.S. Supreme Court ruled gay marriage legal and it was a historic moment, but the next battle is equality under family law. In Texas birth certificates only allow for one mother and one father to be listed, thus leaving one partner on the certificate and the other having to adopt the child in most cases. In light of the Court’s decision the state has to figure out what it will do about birth certificates after changed marriage licenses. The Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, probably won’t do anything in favor of this.

But I feel like I have the obvious answer to the issues Texas is facing when it comes to same sex couples and raising a family.

Honestly, I can’t believe we’re still having this discussion.

Everyone repeat after me: gender and sexual orientation have nothing to do with the ability to raise a kid.

Not only is this idea a same sex couple can’t raise a kid problematic for the LGBTQ community, what about those who are single parents? I grew up in a household without a father and my mom did a pretty badass job at raising me. I know it’s different because there aren’t exactly legal boundaries to single parents but the idea someone needs a mother and a father to grow up safely and successfully is ridiculous, being a good parent has nothing to do with gender or relationship status. Period.

There are going to be many more opportunities for this state and country as a whole to progress towards equality. The first of these steps is to not only allow love to win on the marriage level, but for families as well. There are already many hardships that families face in this country, let’s not let sexuality be another factor in that. Let’s bring families together instead of pulling them apart.

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