Category Archives: LGBTQI

Census: Southern same-sex parents raising children at higher rate

Originally published on http://www.PSLweb.org, the website of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

Black and Latino couples twice as likely to have children than white couples

By John Peter Daly

FEBRUARY 3, 2011

 

Gay families: raising children with love despite hardships.

In the mainstream media, same-sex couples with children are often portrayed as predominantly white, well-to-do and living in the urban North East or on the West Coast. However, recent data tell a different story.

The 2010 Census indicates that these images are false and ignore the ethnic diversity of families of same-sex couples. Counting gay and lesbian couples with or without children, there are an estimated 581,000 such families in the United States, reports Gary Gates, a University of California, Los Angeles demographer. About one-third of lesbian couples have children as do one-fifth of gay male couples.

More than in any other region in the U.S., child-rearing is most common among lesbians and gays in the Southern states—a region historically known for its institutional racism and bigotry.

In Florida, for example, gays and lesbians have been banned from adopting for 33 years. The ban was lifted just last October in a three-judge state appellate court hearing that declared Florida’s ban on gay and lesbian adoption unconstitutional.

Yet, data from the 2010 Census showed that Jacksonville, Fla., has one of the largest populations of same-sex couples rearing children in the entire country (32 percent), second only to San Antonio, Texas (34 percent).

Also in the leadership of creating same-sex parent families are couples from Black and Latino communities. Black and Latino couples are twice as likely as whites to be raising children, according the Census Bureau sample.

These families are also more likely to be struggling economically. Lesbian and gay families are facing many of the same tough economic times as heterosexual couples with children, but the denial of basic rights for these families makes the economic downturn all the more challenging. For example, very few companies offer health coverage for a domestic partner. This impacts the health of the partner and children. Statistically, children of same-sex couples are less likely to have health coverage.

The new information about gay and lesbian parents paints a picture of a sector of the U.S. working class. Many of these parents already had children from previous heterosexual relationships before coming out or entering into a same-gender relationship; others sought to be foster or adoptive parents. Gay and lesbian couples have actively participated as foster parents even in states like Florida, where until recently lesbians and gays could care for foster children but not adopt them.

Irish revolutionary Bobby Sands once said, “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children.” Perhaps it will be the laughter of the children of gay and lesbian parents in the South that serves as a call to action for the necessary social changes to support and nurture a redefinition of family in a reorganized society free of racism and LGBT bigotry.

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Filed under African Americans, Alabama, Arkansas, Atlanta, class struggle, Florida, Gender, Georgia, Human Rights, LGBT, LGBTQI, Louisiana, Queer, Race

Eyewitness report from the Mississippi Dignity Caravan

Thursday, May 27, 2010
By: Gregory W. Esteven

 Originally posted to PSLweb.org

Progressives mobilize to support Constance McMillan at her graduation

On May 22, members of the LGBT community, activists and allies took part in the Mississippi Dignity Caravan. The caravan started with a rally at the state capitol in Jackson and ended over 200 miles away in Fulton, a small town in the northeastern corner of the state.

The caravan was organized to challenge the Westboro Baptist Church—a notorious hate group from Topeka, Kan.—which protested outside the graduation of Constance McMillan, a lesbian high school student.

McMillan recently came to international attention when the Itawamba County School District canceled her high school’s prom to prevent her from bringing her girlfriend. After a court battle, she was then subjected to a “fake prom,” of only six students, while bigoted parents organized a private prom to which she was not invited. Her story has become a rallying point in the fight for equal rights for LGBT people.

The Mississippi Dignity Caravan was a successful effort to show that progressive people in the state are standing up. The caravan was organized by Unity Mississippi, GetEQUAL.org and dozens of other organizations within the state to celebrate the first annual Harvey Milk Day, and to present a “unified front against hate mongers,” according to Amy Hinton of PFLAG-Laurel.

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Filed under Gulf States, LGBT, LGBTQI, Mississippi, Queer, Southern United States, Students, United States

Nashville Westboro Baptist Church Counter-Protest

The day after the Mississippi Dignity Caravan, i.e. May 23, 2010, the Westboro Baptist Church will be in Nashville, Tennessee. A counter-protest is scheduled.

Here is the information from the Counter-Protest Facebook group, which already has 1,002 members:

On May 23, the Westboro Baptist Church has scheduled picket protests outside of three major churches in the Nashville area. A counter-protest is obviously in order.

The Westboro Baptist Church is a radical hate group based out of Topeka, Kansas best known for their protest activities which include picketing churches and funerals and desecration of the American flag. Since its first service in 1955, the WBC and its founder Fred Phelps have dedicated themselves to spreading a message of hate towards homosexuals, American soldiers, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Muslims, and any other organization that disagrees with their radical views. Since 1991, the church claims to have participated in over 41,000 protests in 650 cities nationwide, using signs bearing such strong messages as GOD HATES FAGS, THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS, FAGS DOOM NATIONS, GOD HATES THE U.S.A., THANK GOD FOR AIDS, and GOD IS YOUR ENEMY to propagate and publicize their campaign of intolerance.

The WBC’s Nashville Picket Schedule:

MAY 23, 2010

7:50-8:20AM
Christ Church
15354 Old Hickory Blvd.

8:45-9:15AM
Two Rivers Baptist Church
2800 McGavock Pk.

10:30-11:15AM
Mount Zion Baptist Church
7594 Old Hickory Blvd.

Counter-protests of this sort are a regular occurance when the WBC shows up somewhere. For example, a similar counter-protest took place at Dutchtown High School in the small community of Prarieville, Louisiana, back in March. The Advocate newspaper and WBRZ News out of Baton Rouge estimated that 400-500 counter-protestors attended.

Here is a video from the event.

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Filed under Demonstration Announcements, LGBTQI, Southern United States, Tennessee, Uncategorized, Upcoming Events

Mississippi Dignity Caravan

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, instersex and queer etc. activists in Mississippi have organized a “Dignity Caravan” to take place this coming Saturday, May the 22nd. It will begin with a rally at the state capitol in Jackson, and will then proceed to the town of Fulton. Please attend if you can and spread the word. As proto-fascist forces are on the rise in the U.S. (racist legislation in Arizona and similar legislation being considered in other states, the Tea Party movement etc.) it is increasingly important to maintain a united front against bigotry of all kinds.

Here is the information from the website set up for the campaign:

Details

  • Rally at Mississippi’s Capitol – 9AM
  • Caravan to Fulton leaves Capitol – 10AM
  • Rally in Fulton – 3PM

More details to come… Save the date and spread the word.

You may have heard. Fred Phelps and his “God Hates America” and “God hates fags” Klan are coming to Mississippi to spread their message of hate and intolerance.

In light of Mississippi’s recent negative headlines regarding discrimination and the planned presence of Westboro “Baptist Church”, we need to take a stand and declare that Mississippians do not endorse hate.

The plan…

We are organizing a meet-up and rally on the steps of Mississippi’s capitol to declare that these recent actions against Constance McMillen, Juin Baiz, and Ceara Sturgis (and the message being sent by the Westboro Baptist Church) are not Mississippi’s ideals; Mississippi MUST lead the way in making schools, workplaces, and families safe places and secure for all. The action on the capitol steps will be a call to action… The message: bullying, hate and discrimination will no longer be tolerated in Mississippi. It is NOT Mississippi!

The rally will then caravan to Fulton, Mississippi to hold a vigil/peaceful rally… One that contrasts the hateful message of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. Our peaceful presence and message of love will starkly contrast the hateful message. Our hopes? To begin a deeper dialog in Mississippi and the US about the discrimination, bullying and homophobia that occurs in schools, workplaces, pulpits, and our places of government.

The line must be drawn in the mud of Mississippi…

Everyone is invited to the rallies under the condition that we RESPECT the people of Fulton. It may be a challenge and we may be angry with their actions against Constance and Juin, but these rallies are NOT attacks against them; they are to contrast and overshadow the hateful message that the Westboro “Baptist Church” hopes to make heard in Mississippi.

  • We will be setting up contacts throughout the state and country.
  • We will be establishing meet-up points and contacts throughout the state/US.
  • We will be establishing carpools for those unable to drive within Mississippi.

Click here for the Facebook group and here for the Facebook event invitation.

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Filed under Demonstration Announcements, LGBTQI, Mississippi, Southern United States, Uncategorized, Upcoming Events