olliefree: (rainbow)
I was trying to find words to talk about this, but as usual, Dana and Polly have done it far better than I ever could, so I'll just send you there.

I know somebody always has to be first, but I simply can't imagine that pain that this family must still be going through, two and a half years later. I simply do not understand the audacity of the court, their inability to understand right from wrong.


And pay special attention to the map linked at the bottom of Polly's post (here, I'll link to it again - it is a pdf though) and note how Virginia is part of a small elite group that doesn't just have laws against marriage recognition, but broader ones against the recognition of same-sex relationships. In both statutes AND by constitutional amendment.

And note that, no matter how much we may miss it, J and I will not be moving back any time soon.

olliefree: (rainbow)
Isn't there always a "but"?

(via Mombian)

DC becomes one of the first few jurisdictions to pass laws protecting the rights of both parents when two women have a child together
.

(more here)

I was wondering if something like this was in the works when they decided to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, given the rigorous hoops that same-sex couples have to jump through for a second parent adoption -  when they live in a jurisdiction where they are lucky enough to even get such a thing.

But to be honest - I was thinking more along the lines of researching what DC requires for step-parent adoptions, as I assumed the process would be more along the lines of that.

Oregon also recently ruled that if a biological mom's same-sex partner agrees to an insemination, they de facto have parental rights to the child, but the new DC law goes beyond that. In states where there is marriage equality, such as Massachusetts, if you are married, you get these rights as well - both partners, regardless of gender, are listed on the child's birth certificate from the get-go. But to have this in a jurisdiction that doesn't actually offer marriage equality is a huge step in the right direction.


But you said there was a but! you may be saying. Yes. And it's a big one. And that is that, while it's amazing to have these rights in places such as DC and Massachusetts, same sex parents still have to go through the expense (in time, money, and emotional energy) of getting a second parent adoption done in order to protect the non-gestational parent's rights. But why?

Because until DOMA is lifted, states that officially don't recognize same-sex marriages - as well as those that flat-out don't feel like it on any given day - do not have to recognize the non-gestational parent's right to be on a birth certificate. A birth certificate is an administrative form, and if a state or bureau doesn't recognize a same-sex union, then they are not required to recognize the parental rights that should automatically be derived from becoming a parent while in that union. Which is why lawyers have, for years, still been encouraging those in Massachusetts to still get a second-parent adoption, despite having these rights to be on a birth certificate from the start. A second parent adoption is done by court decree, and regardless of another state's standing on marriage equality, they are REQUIRED to abide by a court decree, therefore giving the non-gestational parent parental security, regardless of where they may travel. I'm assuming the same will be recommended for those couples fortunate enough to fall under this new DC ruling.

Just another example of why, while baby steps are good and important, DOMA is the big fight.

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