I am standing outside the steps of city hall in San Francisco. Jonathan on one side of me, and John on the other. It is August 13th, 2009 and after 23 years of a domestic partnership, the state of California is finally recognizing my father’s marriage. Other gay and lesbian couples are here to, celebrating what they only had dreamed possible. All I can think to myself is; how do all these marriages in any way affect the detractors of gay marriage?
For anyone under 30, it may be difficult to imagine a time when the gay-rights movement wasn't operating at a milestone-a-minute pace. From Michael Sam's "kiss seen 'round the world" to states like Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin tripping over themselves to let same-sex couples walk down the aisle, change is occurring at such a remarkable pace that it is difficult to contextualize how far we've come. Just 45 years ago gays had little choice but to quietly rise above the separate-but-inherently-unequal pre-Stonewall era. And it was only a generation ago that HIV demonstrated just how M.I.A. government and society could be -- as long as the plague was knocking on someone else's door. People who lived during these times were warriors on the front lines of history, but today the pace of change threatens to wash away the past in the eyes of a new generation. Fortunately a wave of artistic and media projects has emerged to remind us of these heroes, to refocus us on the type of activism that helped elevate the LGBT movement and to inspire us to make that final push.
Proposed Rule Extends Access to FMLA Leave to Employees with Same Sex Spouses Living Throughout the Country
Earlier this morning, the Department of Labor proposed a new rule that would change who qualifies as an employee’s spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This proposed change would allow an employee to take unpaid FMLA leave to care for the serious medical condition of a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the couple's marriage is legally recognized in the state where they reside. The Office of Personnel Management also announced its intention extend FMLA access to all federal employees with same-sex spouses, regardless of where they live. Without these changes, employees could only take FMLA leave to care for a sick or injured spouse if the state in which they lived legally recognized their marriage. Instead, employees throughout the country will be able to access these benefits to care for their same-sex spouses.
If you've thought about creating a parenting partnership with a friend (or friends), have you ever thought about how you will explain to your child your co-parenting situation? Or maybe you’re already in a partnership agreement and your child is starting to ask questions. While kids who are 2 to 3 years old aren’t likely to be aware that his/her family is any different from others, once they begin to interact with other children, they will soon realize there is a difference.
Late last week, President Obama issued a proclamation declaring May 2014 as National Foster Care Month. In his statement, the president commended the thousands of parents who foster youth each year, while pointing out the continuing need for foster parents to care for the approximately 400,000 youth still in care. You can read the entirety of the president's proclamation below or at this link.