Like lesbian mother groups, gay father groups were deeply concerned with custody and visitation loss, but most of the fathers did not have custody, and many of them were in danger of losing their parental rights completely. From this time forward, changes in reproductive technologies have made pregnancy all the more possible. And with this recognition of different types of families and parent-child situations has come a fundamental redefinition of the family and of child-rearing in America. University of North Carolina Press, But while news photos have shown same-sex couples tying the knot in various states, historian Daniel Rivers argues that the struggle over same-sex marriage has really been a struggle over children, parenting rights, and the definition of family. These custody cases clearly reflected the anti-gay bias in the mainstream definition of the family. Families in Hiding and the Seeds of Change In the s and s, before the emergence of large-scale lesbian and gay liberation movements, lesbian mothers and gay fathers lived underground lives, staying hidden out of the fear that if their sexual orientation was discovered they would lose their parental rights. Grassroots lesbian mother organizations were tied to the founding of the Lesbian Rights Project. At that point in U.
For women and men in these early lesbian and gay rights organizations, whether or not their sexual desire and romantic relationships could openly coexist with their desire to parent and their commitment to their children remained an open question. On February 13, the U. By paying attention to these historical connections between the family and sexuality in American culture—and to the centrality of children and parental rights in both sides of the marriage debates—we can see that a large part of what is at stake is the recognition of families that have long been invisible in American society. February - On February 12, U. Others were forced into the light. From to the mids, lesbian mothers and gay fathers fought and mostly lost custody cases across the country. These custody cases clearly reflected the anti-gay bias in the mainstream definition of the family. Same-Sex Marriage and Children: Like Oregon, the judge ordered marriages to begin immediately. The ruling took effect immediately and over same-sex couples obtained marriage licenses before the ruling was stayed pending appeal by the Sixth Circuit. New York University Press, Accounts of Gender in American Culture. This history includes the stories of gay and lesbian parents who hid their sexuality in a postwar era of shame and secrecy—one in which the assumption that a true and good family had to be heterosexual was so strong that it was rarely confronted directly. Nearly couples obtained marriage licenses before the ruling was stayed on May 16 by the Arkansas Supreme Court. On February 26, a U. Requiring that the federal government recognize marriages in states where such unions are legal. Others stated guardedly that these were political issues they could support, though even these groups acknowledged that they were among the riskiest propositions they could make. The Pink Triangle The gay rights movement stagnated for the next few decades, though LGBT individuals around the world did come into the spotlight a few times. Police frequently raided gay bars in this era and gay married fathers risked being arrested on charges of lewdness and public indecency if they were caught. Even if lesbian mothers and gay fathers tried to keep their sexual orientation a secret from their ex-spouses, once they became involved in gay and lesbian social and political life the signs of this involvement were much more visible to ex-spouses than they had been in earlier decades. The first gay father group in the country was founded in San Francisco in They organized picnics, founded alternative schools, and held discussion groups on topics of concern to lesbian mothers. In California only prior to Proposition 8 continues recognizing same-sex marriages entered into prior to the proposition's passage. Lesbian mother groups in this era were also social centers. Hodges that the Fourteenth Amendment to the constitution requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State,  legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States. The state refused to appeal the decision, legalizing same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.
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