When Elton John and his partner, David Furnish announced the birth of their son, the world took notice. Piers Morgan lifted up Elton John’s name when he challenged prosperity gospel preacher Joel Osteen on whether he would call Elton a sinner if he was in the room.
Elton John called anti-LGBT church beliefs “stuck in the stone age,” while others wrote to remind Elton that many faiths are becoming more inclusive. Understandably frustrated by the active role the Catholic and Mormon Churches played in campaigning against marriage equality, Elton John spoke out at a fundraiser for the legal actions against Prop 8 in California.
Elton and David faced controversy as they adopted their baby. But their public stand as parents, along with other famous dads like Neil Patrick Harris and Clay Aiken, are making it easier for couples like Andy and Todd Bludworth-McNeil from Florida, who adopted twins in early November through surrogacy and adoption. Because laws vary, it is still very complicated. Andy and Todd are the legal parents of their child, but the surrogate mother, who is from Panama, still maintains some standing in Panama’s courts.
Another set of twins are being parented by Kelley Beeny and Kaye Christensen in Utah, but under state law the children are growing up with a single parent. Utah does not allow gay and lesbian couples to adopt, but there are 2,900 children being raised and taken care of by gay and lesbian couples. Kelley and Kaye have been together for over twelve years, but Kelley is still ineligible to legally adopt the twins as her own. Until the law changes, the couple’s status will remain the same.
Family love still finds a way even when there is no way. In New Jersey, Timothy Mannion and Timothy Vanover were members of Integrity, the Episcopal LGBT national group, and began to adopt children and grow a family. When they adopted Maurice at three years old, they were told he had only six months to live because Maurice had HIV/AIDS. This month he died at the age of twenty because his loving family did all that they could to give Maurice the best life that he could have.
GLAAD will continue to follow media coverage of stories about families headed by same-sex couples.