The below letter was written by Kent Love-Ramirez in response to an opinion piece featured in Michigan's Grand Rapids Business Journal.
The article outlines how Michigan officials seek diverse talent while simultaneously making their state unwelcoming to people from diverse communities. Currently Michigan has a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage and does not allow same-sex couples to share custody of their children. Kent Love-Ramirez shares how this has affected his family.
I read with interest your recent article titled “The Importance of Being Welcoming to All.” I want to thank you for shaping the issue with such simple eloquence. I also want to thank you for your remarks in Bridge Magazine's recent article "Are Michigan’s restrictions on gay and abortion rights holding state back?," which spotlights my family's plight. Michigan business leaders and policy makers would be wise to heed your words. It is not just rhetoric, but reality for many families like mine.
Today, a federal district court in Michigan begins hearing testimony challenging the state’s ban on allowing same-sex couples to marry. Opponents of marriage equality are, yet again, dragging out the same tired arguments and the same discredited “studies” that attempt to disprove what we all know to be fact – and what more than 30 years of research proves – that children raised by same-sex couples do just as well as kids raised by different-sex parents.
While there are numerous marriage equality cases making their way through both state and federal courts across the country, DeBoer v Snyder is a bit different. The case in question was originally filed by a lesbian couple, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, seeking only to complete 2nd-parent adoptions for their three children. Michigan law restricts adoption to single people and married couples, so even though DeBoer and Rowse have been raising their three children together since 2010, each child has only one legal parent, while the other is considered a legal stranger.
Parenthood can often feel like an isolating experience. Being part of a community is a critical part of finding support, building connections, and leveraging the experiences of parents who have been in your shoes before. And as much as we hope to rely on our immediate networks of friends and family for advice, that’s rarely ever enough.
Kinsights is an advice-sharing network and forum for parents. We help parents and the organizations that support them to build and find personalized communities. Chris Armijo, a single, gay, military father of twins, and I bonded over the need for better, more efficient ways for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) parents to connect with each other – and partnering with Family Equality Council was the natural next step.
Marriage equality has been expanding across the globe at a rapid pace, and you know what they say: First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage!
As lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender relationships become more accepted, so do our family units, and we're very likely to see more and more LGBT parents in the future. Because of this, Eric Rosswood (author of the marriage equality children's book, My Uncle's Wedding) is creating a book where LGBT people share their experiences regarding their journey to parenthood and raising children in a LGBT household. He's currently looking for people in the LGBT community who have gone through different avenues of parenthood, such as adoption, foster care, surrogacy, co-parenting, etc.
Our newest Outspoken Generation member, Becca Gorman, is making strides towards equality at the age of 15. She might be young, but her advocacy to get Apple to change their definition of the word "gay" on their Dictionary Application hasn't gone unnoticed by Apple, news crews, and especially by Family Equality Council. Becca has proven that she is a true advocate for our community.
She needs your help though; read and SIGN HER PETITION TODAY!