Why having a family is easier than ever for Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ couples

By : Holly V. Kapherr
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When Randy Lowe met Joshua Melendez five years ago, both men were entering their 50s. “I just kind of assumed that having a family wasn’t going to be an option for me,” says Randy, who runs the event coordinating business Lowe and Behold, and had recently lost his partner, Jason, to brain cancer. At the time, Joshua had been taking care of two young boys occasionally on weekends to give their single mother a break to run errands or have a moment to herself.

Randy loved having the boys around. It was then that the couple realized they wanted kids. “I thought, ‘Wow. This is really beautiful to have these little boys with us,’” says Randy. He decided that if he and Joshua ended up together, he wanted to pursue options to have a family of his own.

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Issue 24.23: We Are Family

By : Jake Stevens
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Why having a family is easier than ever for Central Florida and Tampa Bay LGBTQ couples, MBA Orlando holds its Pride Gala, Mayor Kriseman wins re-election in St. Pete, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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Hearing set for Kentucky judge who refused to handle adoptions by same-sex couples

By : Wire Report
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A panel says ethics charges will proceed against a Kentucky judge who declared his conscientious objection to handling adoption cases involving gay and lesbian adults, despite his resignation last week.

News outlets report the state Judicial Conduct Commission announced Oct. 30 that a hearing for Judge W. Mitchell Nance is scheduled for Dec. 15, a day before his resignation takes effect. The 66-year-old Nance has presided over family court cases in Barren and Metcalfe counties in rural south-central Kentucky.

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Chilean president introduces same-sex marriage, adoption bill

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Monday introduced a bill that would extend marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples.

Ronaldo Jiménez, president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, a Chilean LGBT advocacy group, is among those who attended the announcement that took place at the presidential palace in the country’s capital of Santiago. Nicolás Levy, the Washington Blade’s correspondent in Chile, was also in attendance.

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Texas lawmakers advance anti-LGBT adoption, bathroom bills

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Under a threat from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of being called into a special session, the Texas Legislature late Sunday advanced two anti-LGBT measures — one pertaining to adoption, the other transgender students — with days remaining before lawmakers were set to adjourn.

The Texas Senate voted 21-10 to pass House Bill 3859, which would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse to place children in homes over religious objections. Given that many of these agencies are religious in nature, that could lead to them refusing to place children with LGBT families.

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Kentucky judge won’t hear adoption cases if adults are gay

By : Wire Report
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky family court judge says he won’t hear any more adoption cases that involve gay adults.

The Courier-Journal reports Judge Mitchell Nance issued an order Thursday saying he believes that “under no circumstance” would “the best interest of the child be promoted by the adoption by a practicing homosexual.”

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Alabama lawmakers: Faith-based adoption groups can spurn LGBTQ couples

By : Wire Report
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers gave final approval April 25 to a bill protecting faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with LGBTQ parents, or other households, because of their religious beliefs.

The legislation would prohibit the state from refusing to license faith-based adoption groups that refuse placements because of their religious beliefs.

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Alabama bill protects adoption agencies that turn away LGBTQ couples

By : Wire Report
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP)- Alabama might protect faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with LGBTQ parents, or in other households, because of their religious beliefs.

The Alabama Senate approved legislation April 18 that prohibits the state from refusing to license faith-based adoption groups that refuse placements on religious grounds. Proponents said the bill is needed so the faith-based agencies can make placements without violating their faith. Critics derided it as blatant discrimination.

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Alabama Legislature to debate protections for religious adoption agencies

By : Wire Report
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP)- Lawmakers are attempting to add Alabama to the list of states that protect faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents or in certain other households.

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the bill Thursday.

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Judge rules Indiana must list both mothers as parents on birth certificates

By : Wire Report
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Indianapolis (AP) — Indiana must list both spouses in lesbian marriages as parents on their children’s birth certificates, a federal judge ruled June 30, saying the state must end what she called a “discriminatory” practice of listing only the birth mother.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granted summary judgment in favor of eight lesbian couples who sued the Indiana health commissioner, Dr. Jerome Adams, whose agency oversees birth certificates and county health departments. The couples argued that state law wrongly forces a spouse who did not give birth to go through a costly adoption process to be legally recognized as the child’s parent.

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Czech Republic allows LGBTs in domestic partnerships to adopt

By : Wire Report
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Prague (AP) — The Czech Constitutional Court has overturned a law which banned individual gays and lesbians living in a registered partnership from adopting children.

In its ruling on June 28, the country’s highest legal authority said that such a ban is discriminatory because individual gays and lesbians who don’t live in the official partnership were allowed to do so.

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Alabama Supreme Court changes ruling in lesbian adoption case

By : Wire Report
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Montgomery, Ala. (AP) – The Alabama Supreme Court has voided its earlier decision not to recognize a lesbian couple’s adoption that was carried out in another state.

The opinion announced May 27 falls into line with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued in March that said the Alabama court erred in declaring the adoption held in Georgia invalid.

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