Gay and Lesbian Families.docx

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Francisco Villegas

Gay and Lesbian Families: Queer like Us-Judith Stacey • 1960s-1970s movement for gays was against evils and injustices faced in the family rather than for access to its blessings and privilege. o Gays and Lesbians today have their own pro-family movement. • Gay families produce “emotional threat” when non-gay families realize they can also participate in a typical family life. • “gay and lesbian families” will become irrelevant If non gay population could get used to it • Prior to 1969, gay and lesbian families were so invisible legally/socially that one can date the appearance of the first identifiable species of gay family life. • Gay custody conflicts jumped to 50 in the 1970s, more than ever before o Courts denied parental rights to gay families-became martyrs to a cause made visible by their losses. • Formerly married gay and lesbian parents who came out after marriage and secured custody of children represent most significant genre of gay families o First challenge against antitheticalness of gay and parent. • First wave of “out” lesbians joined sexual revolution and feminist assertions of female autonomy o Popularization of alternative reproductive technologies • Lesbian planned parenthood strategies spread in the last two decades/ construct their chosen family forms choosing motherhood within a broad array of kinship structures o Independent adoption because several states prohibit adoptions/foster care to gay families or discriminate against them. o Pursue heterosexual sexual activity for sperm o Alternative insemination strategies  Institutionalized Heterosexism and married couple bias in medically controlled fertility market/won’t inseminate single women/lesbians o Use semen from personal networks-child rearing with gay men o One partner will take semen from male relative to impregnate other partner –“turkery-baster babies” • Lack of National Health system in US commercializes access to sperm and fertility services o Creates a class bias in practicing insemination • Joint recognition of lesbian couple; ovum of one women fertilized with doner sperm was placed into partners uterus for pregnancy. June 2000 • Advent of AIDS stimulated gay men to keener interest in forming families • “Save the Children” campaign specifically denied gay parents the right to adopt or foster children o Private adoptions/surrogacy arrangements • Because the ties do not have legal protection; there were custody conflicts between the gay semen donors and lesbian surrogates that were providing children for each other (mid eighties) o All judges were bias and shifted towards heterosexual family • Struggle for second parent adoption rights; enables a lesbian or gay man to adopt a lovers child without removing the lovers; custody rights. • Gay and lesbian families became a pop culture sensation • Institutions like major corporations, universities, non profit organizations are providing spousal benefits to the domestic mates of their gay employees • Bills passed in the US (starting with UTAH) that refused recognizing same sex marriages • Defense of Marriage Act; defined marriage on heterosexual terms valid only and was signed by President Clinton • Some gay activists don’t push towards legalizing gay marriage because they want to dismantle the entire hierarchal conservative institution • They support legal marriage as a long term goal but it isn’t a priority o Fear that a Premature victory=backlash o Struggle for family diversity • Liberal gays support legal marriage on the matter of equal civil rights o
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