Gay Dad Life

All I Want for Christmas is Marriage Equality

Dear Chief Justice and Justices,


This time of year is the time of lists and letters. Children all over the world put to paper and write the Big Guy with their dreams and wishes for Christmas morning. I am writing to you instead of Santa as I am hoping for a Christmas miracle this year.

2008 was a big year for our family, as my husband and I were legally married in California by the Reverend (and fabulous international DJ) Jeb Edwards. We knew that our marriage in California wouldn’t be legal here in Michigan, but we felt very strongly about showing our 3-year-old adopted daughter the importance of commitment, so we did it anyway. Our parents recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversaries, so our families know and value the importance of love and commitment, gay or straight.

The next year, 2009, our son came to live with us from the Michigan foster care system. Our son’s parents didn’t take care of him, so the state stepped in and placed him in foster care to stop the abuse and neglect. However, because of the state’s laws, only my husband has legal custody of him, not me. We were able to jointly adopt our daughter back in 2006, but the judicial views on this practice changed, and to this date, I am not a legal guardian to my son of almost 6 years. This needs to change.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. (Santa) Roberts, Jr. and Tom McMillen-Oakley (seated on Santa's lap). Obviously, this photo has been digitally altered.

You have on your docket the case of April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse. Their case is similar to our situation: they’re nurses and we’re teachers and we both share children that aren’t legally ours in this state. The balance and safety of our collective families is in your hands. Every kid deserves a family, every kid deserves parents who can take care of them and protect them should anything happen. Currently, our families do not have that protection.

Our wish this season is that you’ll rule in our favor and reinstate marriage equality in Michigan and perhaps in all of the United States. (Hey, it’s Christmas, we can dream big right?) We don’t need silly ties, gift cards, or fruitcake; what we need is the ability to be a parent to our children no matter what happens. And, on a personal note, I’d love to finally be legally married to my partner of 19 years. We’ve outlasted many of our heterosexual friends’ marriages without the legal protection the state offers.

The schmaltzy songs of the season speak about love, family, and warm memories of holidays past. We’d love to remember this holiday season as the year we were finally a family under Michigan law.  Michigan governor Rick Snyder and attorney general Bill Schuette gave the LGBT families in Michigan big lumps of coal when they ruled against us and nullified the marriages of many last month; they are definitely on the naughty list in our book. It’s time to change this law and allow us to be the families we were meant to be: secure, safe, and full of love and joy.

In our opinion, it’s not too much to ask.

Happy Holidays from Tom, Tod, Anna, and Eli McMillen-Oakley!

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Gay Dad Life

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The 'Queer Eye' star and his son named the story on a family mantra: You are Perfectly Designed

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That mantra is now a Children's Book, cowritten by Karamo and his 22-year-old son, Jason, who used to come how and "say things like, 'I don't want to be me, I wish I was someone else, I wish I had a different life." As a parent, that "broke my heart," Karamo told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I would say to him, 'You are blessed and you are perfect just the way you are,' as a reminder that you have been given so much and you should be appreciative and know that you're enough — I know that the world will try to tear you down, but if you can say to yourself, 'I am perfectly designed,' maybe it can quiet out some of those negative messages."

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Among the more interesting findings was this one: the cost of family planning is relatively similar for all LGBTQ people, regardless of income level. This shows "that the desire to have children exists regardless of financial security," the report's authors conclude.

Research for the report was conducted through an online survey of 500 LGBTQ adults over the age of 18, and was conducted between July 11-18, 2018. For comparison, the survey also included 1,004 adults who did not identify as LGBTQ.

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  • Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, and error associated with question-wording and response options.29% of all LGBTQ+ respondents reported an annual household income under $25,000 compared to 22% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents.
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Fatherhood, the gay way

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