Dana Rudolph, known online as Mombian, has a great summary of how LGBT parents and children fared in 2013.
Writing for Chicago’s Windy City Times, she notes the highs and lows of the year: “Overall, I'd say it was a year of progress, aided by the ever-increasing visibility of LGBT parents and our children in our neighborhoods and communities.” Among the advances she lists:
- Marriage equality in eight new states — California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Rhode Island — and LGBT parents made key contributions in each one.
- The U.S. Supreme Court's decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act's ban on federal recognition of same-sex marriages: “This was a boon to all same-sex couples, but had an immediate impact on binational couples with children, who can now keep their families together,” Rudolph writes. “Cathy Davis, an Irish mom raising three children with her American spouse Catriona Dowling, was the first same-sex spouse to receive a marriage-based green card, just a week after the ruling.”
- Inclusion of same-sex parents in President Obama's proclamation of National Family Week: “Whether united by blood or bonds of kinship — whether led by a mother and father, same-sex couple, single parent, or guardian — families are the building blocks of American society,” the president wrote.
- Legal recognition of differing family structures in California: Gov. Jerry Brown signed one bill that allows more than two people to be a child's legal parents and another that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or marital status by health insurers offering fertility coverage.
- Advances for nonbiological parents in child custody cases: The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that a nonbiological parent has a right to seek custody, and the Colorado Court of Appeals made a similar ruling.
- Regarding a gay father with a new male partner, the Arkansas Supreme Court found that state law does not necessarily bar a nonmarital partner from being present when the father's child is. The court called for the state instead to determine, based on objective evidence, whether the partner's presence might have a negative effect on the children.
Contact reporter Alex Davidson on Twitter at twitter.com/adwildcat