Gay Dad Life

Meet Gay Dads: Chris and Eugene with Bridger

Meet Chris and Eugene with their son Bridger from Salt Lake City, Utah.


Chris, 41, is an account executive with the largest business communications provider in Utah; Eugene, 32, is the lead bread artisan for one of our local gourmet grocery store chains. Chris and Eugene have been together for seven years. They share birthdays, February 26.

February 2016: Eugene (left) and Chris' wedding

Their son Bridger, 7, attends a private kindergarten and has also been attending first grade in the afternoons as his teacher feels that he’s ahead in his learning. He became part of the family in October 2012.

On February 26 of this year they got married in Las Vegas! They decided to have a small intimate wedding since they had already lived together for seven years; they didn’t want a big production and would rather use the money toward their home and son. The dads already had a vacation to Las Vegas planned with some of their closest friends and family so they thought it would cool to get married on their birthday. As Las Vegas really isn’t a place for kids and Bridger is still so young they decided to not have him attend the wedding. He stayed back with Chris’ parents with whom he is very close.

Spring 2013: Chris (left) and Eugene's first family photo with Bridger

Gays With Kids: We love a good love story. How did you two meet?

Chris: On Halloween at a club seven years ago. I was in full zombie makeup and he couldn’t even see what I looked like! I spotted him first at a gas station on the way to a local gay club and then to my surprise he ended up at the club. I approached him and there was an instant connection even though he couldn't see my face due to me being in a zombie costume with my face covered with makeup. We sat on the patio all evening just talking and I found out then that he had only been in the country for a month. He was here on a work and travel visa from Russia. We also found out that we shared a birthday and many interests and goals. We set a date for the next day! From then on we kept dating. He was moved in by Christmas and we’ve been together ever since.

January 2014: Celebrating Bridger's 4th birthday

Gays With Kids: How did you create your family?

Chris: Adoption. Our lesbian friends who are also parents knew we wanted a child so when they learned of this child who is related to one of them needing a stable home they immediately reached out to us. We had discussed having children but at the time never thought it was possible for us due to the adoption laws here in Utah but one day we learned of a little boy through our lesbian friends whose mother was planning to give him up to the state. Our friend who was related to this little boy by marriage asked if the mother would consider allowing Eugene and me to adopt him and she said yes. We met with the mother and she said she felt for some reason that we were supposed to have him; she wasn’t in a position to take care of him. So we found a lawyer to help us and tracked down the birth father and everything just fell into place. We got custody right away and within six months the adoption was final. We also feel it was meant to be and an amazing blessing.

September 2014: Family photo taken by Chris' nephew's wife

Gays With Kids: What do you consider to be the most important lesson you are teaching your child?

Chris: To respect the difference of all people.

Gays With Kids: Please share any advice you may have for others considering a similar path to fatherhood.

Chris: Have patience and faith and everything will work our just fine.

April 28, 2015: Family trip to Vernal, Utah

Gays With Kids: Did you always want kids?

Chris: Yes

Gays With Kids: What names does Bridger call you and your husband?

Chris: Chris is Daddy, Eugene is Papa.

January 2015: Bridger's 5th birthday

Gays With Kids: Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experiences creating or raising your family?

Chris: Since ours was an adoption of a 2-year-old who had been neglected, the biggest bit of advice would be to tell other fathers who have adopted is to just have patience. It’s very tough to adjust at first but every day it gets easier and before you know it that bond has formed and you become a real family. All of the hard parts are well worth it and so rewarding.

January 2016: Eugene (left), Chris and Bridger on New Year's Day

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Gay Dad Life

Dads Tell Us Their 'Gayest Moment Ever' as Parents

We may be dads — but we're still gay, damnit! And these "gayest moments ever," sent to us from our Instagram community, prove it.

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We asked the dads in our Instagram community to share their gayest moments as a dad, ever, and their responses were just as hilarious as they were relatable.

Here's a great way to start the week...

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Within our community, GWK has a large group of admirable, active, and awesome (!) single dads and we want to honor them! On Valentine's Day, they and their kids celebrate their family unit in the sweetest possible ways. We asked the dads to share these moments with us, and, where possible, one of the most heartwarming things they've experienced with their kids on Valentine's Day to date.

Hear their stories below.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

11 Gay Couples Share Secrets to Their Long-Term Relationships This Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, we spoke with 11 gay dad couples who've been together for almost a decade or longer to learn what's made their relationships last

You're the peanut butter to my jelly, the gin to my tonic, the strawberries to my cream, the Mr. to my Mr.!

Happy Valentine's Day folks! We're excited to celebrate this day of lurrrrvvve by featuring a few dads in our community who've been together for almost a decade or more! And they're ready to share their secrets to a successful relationship and parenting partnership.

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Politics

Supreme Court to Hear Major Case Concerning LGBTQ Foster Care Parents

The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether cities are allowed to exclude tax-funded adoption agencies from foster care systems if they refuse to work with gay couples.

In 2018, city officials in Philadelphia decided to exclude Catholic Social Services, which refuses to work with LGBTQ couples, from participating in its foster-care system. The agency sued, claiming religious discrimination, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously ruled against the agency, citing the need to comply with nondiscrimination policies.

The case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, follows a 2018 Supreme Court decision regarding a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In that case, the court narrowly ruled that the baker bad been discriminated against, on religious grounds, by the state's civil rights commission. It did not decide the broader issue: whether an entity can be exempt from local non-discrimination ordinances on the basis of religious freedom.

The court — whose ideological center has shifted to the right since the addition of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in fall 2018 — may choose to do so now. Advocates quickly called on the court to consider the potential impact on the more than 400,000 children currently in the foster care system:

"We already have a severe shortage of foster families willing and able to open their hearts and homes to these children," said Leslie Cooper, deputy director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project. "Allowing foster care agencies to exclude qualified families based on religious requirements that have nothing to do with the ability to care for a child such as their sexual orientation or faith would make it even worse. We can't afford to have loving families turned away or deterred by the risk of discrimination."

"It is unconscionable to turn away prospective foster and adoptive families because they are LGBTQ, religious minorities, or for any other reason unrelated to their capacity to love and care for children," said HRC President Alphonso David. "We reject the suggestion that taxpayer-funded child welfare services should be allowed to put discrimination over a child's best interest. This case could also have implications for religious refusals that go far beyond child welfare. The Supreme Court must make it clear that freedom of religion does not include using taxpayer funds to further marginalize vulnerable communities."

The court may choose to override a 1990 decision, Employment Division v. Smith, which created the current standard for carving out religious exemptions. In that case, the court ruled that laws that target a specific faith, or express hostility towards certain beliefs, are unconstitutional — but this standard has long been abhorred by religious conservatives, who think it doesn't offer enough protections for religions. If the court does overrule Smith, it could have far-ranging consequences. " As noted on Slate, "it would allow anyone to demand a carve-out from laws that go against their religion, unless those laws are 'narrowly tailored' to serve a 'compelling government interest.'"

The four members of the court's conservative wing — Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh —have all signaled an openness to reconsider Smith. The ruling's fate, then, likely rests in the hands of the court's new swing vote, Chief Justice Roberts.

For more, read the full article on Slate.

News

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In the article, Langbert said she knew from a young age that her family was different from those of most of her peers, who had one a father and a mother. But otherwise, she writes, she didn't feel like her family differed much. "Like any other parents, Dad sat in the carpool lane after school and taught us how to ride our bikes," she writes, "while Papa took us to the movies on the weekends and separated the whites from the colors."

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Utah Bill Would Allow Gay Men to Enter Surrogacy Contracts

Rep. Patrice Arent of Utah is sponsoring a bill that will remove a provision that currently prohibits gay men from entering into commercial surrogacy contracts in the state.

Though Utah is not one of the three states that currently prohibit commercial surrogacy contracts, the state's current policy does specifically exclude gay men from doing so. That may soon changed, however, thanks to a bill in the state's legislature that was unanimously voted out of a House Committee that would remove that restriction.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, a Democrat, was created in response to a ruling by the Utah Supreme Court this past August that found the ban on gay men unconstitutional.

Gay men have been excluded from legally entering surrogacy contracts due to a provision in the current law that requires medical evidence "that the intended mother is unable to bear a child or is unable to do so without unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or to the unborn child," Rep. Arent told the Salt Lake Tribune — a requirement that clearly excludes gay male couples.

The state's original surrogacy law dates back to 2005, before same-sex marriage was legalized in the state, which accounts for the gendered language. Though the state's Supreme Court already ruled the provision unconstitutional, Rep Arent further told the Tribute that, "People do not look to Supreme Court opinions to figure out the law, they look to the code and the code should be constitutional."

Politics

Colorado Republicans Try and Fail to Outlaw LGBTQ Marriage and Adoption Rights

A bill introduced by four Republican state legislators in Colorado that would outlaw same-sex marriage and adoption rights was voted down.

The "Colorado Natural Marriage and Adoption Act," which would have outlawed gay marriage and adoption in the state of Colorado, was voted down in the state legislature this week. The bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Stephen Humphrey and three of his conservative colleagues: Dave Williams, Shane Sandridge and Mark Baisley.

If enacted, the bill would have enforced "state law that marriage is between one man and one woman" and restrict "adoption of children by spouses in a marriage ... that consist of one man and one woman."

The bill, which had little chance of success, particularly in Colorado which has trended more progressive over the past several election cycles, was mostly symbolic, according to Sanridrge. "We all know this bill isn't gonna pass in this current left-wing environment," he told Colorado Public Radio. "It's to remind everyone, this is the ultimate way to conceive a child."

In a sign of how far we've come on the issue of LGBTQ marriage and parenting rights, most Republican legislators in the state did not endorse the bill.

Though the bill had little chance of passage, LGBTQ advocacy groups in the state are taking the threats seriously nonetheless. Daniel Ramos, director of the LGBTQ group One Colorado, told LGBTQ Nation that the bills were an attempt to return Colorado to its "hate status" of the 1990s, adding the aggressiveness of the measures were "a bit surprising."

Fatherhood, the gay way

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