Gay Dad Life

Ring Out the Wedding Bells in Pennsylvania!

On May 20th, a little bit after 2:00 PM, it was announced that a federal Judge handed down a monumental decision!


In a victory for all loving same-sex couples throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III found Pennsylvania’s DOMA law unconstitutional.

This has been an amazing year for marriage victories across the US, but until Pennsylvania joined the wedding registry it was not going to feel real for us.

Now AaronD and I can officially begin our process to become a family. On paper.

I sent him a text: “Will you Marry Me?”

His response “How much money do you have?”

My retort, “You hold the check book, you tell me?”

He said, “Prenuptial agreement to follow.” Funny guy, right?

A few blocks away from where he works there was a crowd already gathering on the steps of City Hall in Center City Philadelphia.  A “Decision Day” rally. Gay couples were able to register immediately!  Some were even able to receive their licenses and got married that same day (no 3-day waiting period)!

When AaronD got home from work we had lots of questions for each other:

Do we go to Philly and apply for a license, or Montgomery County? Do we join the celebration and do it now? Or do we wait and get married on our actual wedding date October 7 to keep our anniversary?

Also for consideration is waiting for the courts to finally decide the fates of our two foster kiddos, so they can be part of our family. On paper.

Needless to say, a HUGE party will eventually be planned. A  joint wedding and adoption celebration. But those plans are on hold for now (especially since we are still paying off the last “commitment ceremony”). But I can admit that our planning hats are in overdrive trying to figure out how to top that celebration…on a budget!

So we didn’t go to the big gay rally yesterday. Instead we stayed home with our little family. AaronD cooked dinner and I helped our foster daughter with her biography project. We had to create a figure of Walt Disney out of a water bottle. This was celebration enough for me.

I explained to the kids what happened yesterday and we played the song “Brand New Day” from THE WIZ and danced around the kitchen. I loved this song before but after yesterday’s decision it has a slightly different meaning to me now!

"Can't YOU Feel A Brand New Day?"

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

How Single Dads Are Celebrating Valentine's Day This Year

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers! We caught up with 8 single gay dads to see how they plan to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year.

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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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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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Congrats to the dads whose families grew this month!

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News

What's it Like to Be a Child of the 'Gayby Boom'?

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We've previously written about the pressure on LGBTQ parents to appear perfect, given that so many in the United States still feel out families shouldn't exist in the first place. And we know this pressure trickles down to our kids. But In an article for the Harvard Business Review titled 'The Gayby Boom Is Here to Stay," author Tosca Langbert eloquently writes, from her perspective, about the experience of beingone of the first children to come of age during an era when LGBTQ parenthood is far more commonplace. She and her two siblings, she notes, "were raised in a family that was an impossibility only decades ago."

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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Children of the 'Gayby Generation,' are also put in the position of having to come out on behalf of their parents, and "often with mixed results," she wrote. She gave the following anecdote as an example:

"My father was asked to step down from his leadership position in my brother's Boy Scout troop on account of his sexuality. Even though my siblings and I were only fourth graders at the time, we understood that our family was under strict scrutiny, and that even the slightest misstep could beget severe consequences for how competent our fathers were perceived as being. In the face of this pressure, the first generation of 'gaybies' recognized the importance of presenting their families as perfect; doing otherwise would only present ammunition to those already dubious about the rights of LGBTQ parents to raise children."

The entire article, which includes the perspectives of multiple now-grown kids that are part of the "Gayby generation," is well worth a read, which you can access here.


Politics

Utah Bill Would Allow Gay Men to Enter Surrogacy Contracts

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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.

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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."

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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."

Surrogacy for Gay Men

Dads Talk About Surrogacy Process in New Video for Northwest Surrogacy Center

The Northwest Surrogacy Center interviewed some of their gay dad clients for a video to celebrate their 25th anniversary of creating families through surrogacy!

Image: NWSC Clients

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At the party, they took the opportunity to film queer dads and dads-to-be, asking them a couple of questions: how did it feel holding your baby for the first time, and tell us about your relationship with your surrogate.

Watch the video below and get ready for the water works!

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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