Tags: Gay Marriage | kids of gay couples | 5th Circuit

In Court Briefs, Kids of Gay Couples Describe Difficult Upbringings

By    |   Friday, 09 January 2015 10:25 AM

Many children who grew up with homosexual parents have filed court briefs saying same-sex marriage bans kept them from living typical lives and deprived them from the legal protections other people enjoy, but there are some who have told the courts that they experienced many difficulties growing up in such a household.

"There are no typical comments that people say about growing up with LGBT parents because each of us has had a different experience, just as in heterosexual families," Annie Van Avery, executive director of COLAGE,  a national organization supporting people with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents, commented, according to The Washington Times.

The briefs were submitted to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is hearing arguments in New Orleans on Friday while determining whether to uphold laws in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi that define marriage as being between a man and a woman only.

And while one of the four adult children of gay parents, Katy Faust, filed a brief saying that she believes a child should have the right to have a relationship with both a father and a mother, the others said they were exposed to behavior that affected their own lives as a result.

One of the women, Dawn Stefanowicz wrote in her brief that her homosexual father and his partner once propositioned one of her male classmates when she brought him home during high school.

Another, B.N. Klein, said her mother and her partner opposed heterosexual families completely, and she did not understand anything about daily interactions of husbands and wives until she entered foster care.

Yet another of the adults, Robert Lopez, said his lesbian mothers raised him carefully, but he was emotionally confused and became a gay prostitute as a teenager and had bisexual relationships as an adult.

COLAGE and the Family Equality Council, however, filed paperwork with the court saying that "families led by same-sex parents are typical American families, with the same joys and challenges as families led by heterosexual parents," quoting more than a dozen children and adults who were raised by same-sex couples.

"Our families should be recognized simply because we are humans with the same rights as everyone else. We are families, and treatment of us as anything else is discrimination," one of the adults, Anna Frackman, a student at Harvard Medical School, wrote to the 5th Circuit.

And Will Miller, 28, told the court in his brief that that his two mothers, both biologists, "made it very clear" he was not to lie about their relationship. However, he pointed out that he went on to join the varsity swim team and then to excel in college, thanks to his mothers.

"They loved me, and that was all that mattered. It's all that should matter," Miller wrote, saying his childhood "was extraordinary in that it was simply ordinary."

But Stefanowicz complained that her life was not normal because "you end up never having a real home," as "your childhood is divided to please the adults."

And she said she loved her father, who died of AIDS in 1991, but described him as a man who sexually abused her and her twin brother and often brought men into their home.

"I was exposed to overt sexual activities like sodomy, nudity, pornography, group sex, sadomasochism and the ilk," she wrote, and said her father often took her "cruising" for men.

Klein said she does not believe all gays are bad parents, but complained "the gay community has never in my lifetime put children first as anything other than a piece of property, a past mistake or a political tool to be dressed up and taken out as part of a dog-and-pony show to impress the well-meaning."

And Lopez, who is now a father and married to a woman, said his childhood exposure to "the beauty of homosexual relationships" led to experimentation and prostitution.

Faust did not criticize her mothers, but still urged the man-woman marriage laws, saying that she did not realize the importance of a child having both a father and a mother until she had her own children.

"My kids need both of us," she said. "Marriage law should always encourage and promote that ideal of mothers and fathers parenting their children together."

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Many children who grew up with homosexual parents have filed court briefs saying they experienced many difficulties growing up in same-sex households.
kids of gay couples, 5th Circuit
Friday, 09 January 2015 10:25 AM
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