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Minnesota parenting decision:

In a unanimous opinion joined by the court's Republican-appointed justices, the Minnesota Supreme Court today upheld a trial court order that a woman should be allowed visitation with the two children she helped raise with her lesbian partner of 22 years.

The trial court's order was based on a Minnesota statute allowing third parties to petition for "reasonable" visitation if the person has lived with the children at least two years. Unlike "grandparent visitation" statutes in other states, the Minnesota law places no restriction on the legal or biological relationship of the third party to the children.

The facts of the case illustrate the realities of family life for hundreds of thousands of gay couples and their children in the country. From the court's description of the background facts:

[Marilyn] Johnson and [Nancy] SooHoo, who lived together and jointly owned a house in Minneapolis, ended a 22-year relationship in the fall of 2003. During the course of that relationship, Johnson adopted two children from China. When Johnson adopted the first child, both she and SooHoo traveled to China. When Johnson adopted the second child, SooHoo remained in Minneapolis and cared for the first child while Johnson went to China. SooHoo did not adopt either of the children, but the record indicates that Johnson and SooHoo co-parented the children, recognized themselves as a family unit with two mothers, and represented themselves to others as such. For example, SooHoo took maternity leave to care for both children upon their arrival in the United States. SooHoo also participated in the selection of child-care providers and schools for the children and shared in the daily parenting responsibilities, including dropping off and picking up the children from day care, helping with school projects and homework, preparing meals for the family, taking the children to doctors appointments (including authorizing the children's immunizations), coordinating extracurricular activities and play dates, providing the sole care while Johnson was away on business, and taking the children to California to visit SooHoo's extended family, all without apparent objection by Johnson. The record further reflects that the children referred to SooHoo as "mommy," and referred to SooHoo's parents as their grandparents. In the information provided to the children's schools, Johnson listed SooHoo as mother number two and listed the last name of one of the children as Johnson-SooHoo. SooHoo attended the children's parent‑teacher conferences with Johnson, during which both women signed off on the teacher's goal setting report as "Parent/Guardian."

There is nothing unusual about any of this. It is now quite common for gay couples to share all of the responsibilities of raising children and for the children themselves to know no parents except them.

The case also illustrates the unusual legal difficulties these families face. When the women broke up, Johnson allowed SooHoo to see her children for a total of only 48 hours over a period of almost six months. The women could not marry in Minnesota, which would have allowed a joint adoption of the children and thus presumed visitation for both of them. That would have spared the kids the near total separation from SooHoo they endured for six months.

For some reason not discussed in the opinion, SooHoo did not get a second-parent adoption, which allows a person to adopt his/her unmarried partner's biological or adopted child without terminating the partner's parental rights. Second-parent adoption is allowed in some states by statute and in some others by judicial decision. In gay couple households, it gives children the security of having two legal parents in case they separate, or in case the legal parent dies or becomes incapacitated. In Minnesota, some judges in Hennepin County (which includes Minneapolis) and other counties allow such adoptions; others around the state apparently don't allow it. It may be that the women in this case got the children before these adoptions were being permitted, or that they did not have the additional money for further adoption proceedings, or that they did not know it was available.

Barred by Johnson from seeing her children, SooHoo sued to get full custody of the children and, in the alternative, to set a visitation schedule under state law. The trial court denied her custody motion but granted her visitation comparable to what a non-custodial legal parent would get (weekly visits, alternate holidays, long summer visits).

One issue of importance here was presented to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Johnson claimed that the state third-party visitation statute was an unconstitutional infringement on her substantive due process right as a parent to control the upbringing of her children. (She also claimed that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding so much visitation to SooHoo. Based on the facts, the state supreme court held that the visitation order was not clearly erroneous.)

The court applied what it called strict scrutiny and upheld the constitutionality of the statute. First, it said that the state had a compelling interest "in promoting relationships among those in recognized family units (for example, the relationship between a child and someone in loco parentis to that child) in order to protect the general welfare of children." (citing a Minnesota case extending parental immunity to a stepfather)

No doubt some will highlight the idea that the state supreme court is implicitly saying that a gay couple and their children can be a "recognized family unit" under state law and that this is a precursor to judicially imposed same-sex marriage. That would be an exaggeration. The court was not mandating the recognition of rights of co-parents as a matter of state or federal constitutional law. It was applying a state statute designed to protect children who might otherwise be cut off from a long-standing parent, of either sex and of any legal or biological relation to the child. Nothing in the decision (or the state statute) turns on whether the "third party" is in a sexual or romantic relationship with the child's parent. To have held that a same-sex partner could not qualify as a third party under the statute, no matter how intensely and fully involved in the child's life and no matter how long that involvement lasted, would itself have been an act of judicial usurpation and of unbearable cruelty to the children.

Second, the court emphasized the narrowness of the state law: it "limits the class of individuals who may be granted third-party visitation to those who have a longstanding parent-child relationship with the child and prohibits the district court from granting visitation if the visitation is not in the child's best interest or interferes with the custodial parent's relationship . . . ." The court itself imposed a requirement — not found in the statute — that the third party "has the burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence."

There was nothing unusual or activist in this result. The court's reading and application of the state statute are fair, its constitutional analysis is restrained, its deference to the factual conclusions of the trial court is appropriate, and the policy result is reasonable.

Cases like this are examples of law catching up to the facts of life for millions of people in this country. If we're not going to bar gay individuals and couples from raising their own children — something I've not heard any serious and prominent opponent of gay marriage propose — the law is going to have to accommodate the needs and interests of these families in some way.

When a gay couple has been raising children together, we can't just take those children away from one of them and pretend that they've all been strangers who happened to live in the same house. I'm not saying that gay marriage is the only answer, though it's the one I'd prefer. It seems to me to require the least adjustment in ordinary legal processes and presumptions for adjudicating parental rights and duties.

Alternatively, the law can take account of real-world parental relationships by allowing second-parent adoptions. It can also recognize de facto parents by permitting visitation and by imposing child support and other obligations.

Indeed, the lack of marriage for gay couples is one of the factors pressing the law in the direction of recognizing these alternative ways of protecting parents' and children's interests. The alternatives have their own complications. But even aside from its correctness under Minnesota law, the court's decision is surely preferable as a matter of family policy and common sense to having the court close its eyes to the lived experience of these families.

Henri LeCompte (mail):
Noooooooooo! Not gay marriage again!! How will the Volokh Conspiracy survive?
5.10.2007 9:46pm
rlb:
If I ever move to MN I'll make sure to rotate nannies every 23 months.
5.10.2007 11:35pm
Ramza:
Poor woman, it doesn't matter what the law says should be the result, this doesn't reduce her suffering. My sympathies go out to her, and hopefully there won't be a case like her in the future (even though most likely there will be).

Poor Nancy :(
5.10.2007 11:36pm
ReaderY:
In the Meryer v. Nebraska and Pierce v. Society of Sisters cases, Justice McReynolds held that the kind of society envisioned by Plato -- in which raising children would be the responsibility of structures created by the State rather than of parents -- is not consistent with our Constitution. Claiming to rely on these cases, the Supreme court created a vast network of "privacy" rights allegedly similar to the right of parents to control the upbringing of their children free of interference from the State and its preferences.

Having created a whole ediface on top, courts seem intent upon abandoning its foundations. Apparently the right of parents to raise their children, far from being basic to society or implicit to our constitution, existed so long as judges thought it convenient.

In arguing against the reversal of Roe, the ACLU had the temerity to claim that the Supreme Court has never reversed a "fundamental rights" finding and to do so would destroy the Court's credibility and ability to influence society, and put every right anyone has in jeapardy. Yet it doesnt' seem to believe any similar consequences would flow from overturning Meyer and Pierce.
5.11.2007 12:35am
John Anderson:
Not about the cited case here, but certainly related, is a case of "no good deed goes unpunished" in which a man who donated his sperm so a lesbian couple could have a child made the mistake of maintaining a friendship with the three and buying presents etc. for the child: that, a court decided, means he has (er, had - he died before the decision was endered) to pay child support.

Huh?

*Sperm donor must pay child support*
5.11.2007 12:45am
Randy R. (mail):
Well, there are a few things we can count on. Stanley Kurtz will weigh in against gay marriage because it will give headaches to his cat, and this will generate the most number of responses since Kelo.
5.11.2007 12:46am
Kovarsky (mail):
rlb,

i'm sure the irony of criticising the quality of lesbian parenthood through a quip about the nanny you plan to hire is lost on you.
5.11.2007 1:31am
rlb:
No, but I am having trouble figuring out how you took my comment as anything but a criticism of the statute and the court's treatment of it.
5.11.2007 1:40am
Kovarsky (mail):
rlb,

No, but I am having trouble figuring out how you took my comment as anything but a criticism of the statute and the court's treatment of it.

because i know your postings and am capable of extracting your subtext, so skip the indignation.
5.11.2007 1:51am
Kovarsky (mail):
No, but I am having trouble figuring out how you took my comment as anything but a criticism of the statute and the court's treatment of it.

i mean i'm sorry, just what an asinine thing you said. you chose to make a point about a nanny - a woman - when the entire thrust of the decision and post is that the decision is gender neutral, you immediately lurch forward with the most banal comment imaginable. of all things to focus on, i doubt the cost of erroneously decided nanny-suits is something that really matters to this discussion. the only possible explanation for grasping for something so facially stupid is that you meant something other than what the words denote, which is the meaning to which i responded. you can either defend the denotation or the connotation, but you can't slip back and forth as you see fit.
5.11.2007 1:55am
Steve:
Yet it doesnt' seem to believe any similar consequences would flow from overturning Meyer and Pierce.

I do not think our children are in much danger of being restricted from learning German, but thanks for the thought.
5.11.2007 2:34am
Ian M:
Thank you for the thoughtful and thoroughly reasoned post. I really enjoyed it.
5.11.2007 3:13am
Anon-----:
ReaderY:

Can you point to any place the ACLU has ever taken a position on the continuing validity of Pierce or Meyer as such, or are you just extrapolating from what some might term their "anti-family" positions to conclude that they would support undermining the foundations of modern privacy law?

And as to courts attacking parents' ability to raise their children, the greater insult to that right would be allowing one parent to hide behind a legal fiction of non-relationship between her children and her ex-partner in order to deny the other parent visitation rights. The facts as quoted in the post are clear--these children had two parents, one of whom has been denied visitation rights since she and the other parent split up. The court's decision simply restores those visitation rights and vindicates her right to be in her children's lives.
5.11.2007 6:08am
Randy R. (mail):
You know, some people are so blinded by their hatred and fear of gay couples that they throw all their common sense, as well as legal sense, to the winds. It's no longer what is best for the child, it is what will hurt gays and lesbians the most, that counts for them.

And then they deny that they had any such intention.....(sigh)
5.11.2007 8:55am
markm (mail):
If I ever move to MN I'll make sure to rotate nannies every 23 months.

Better, make sure that you participate in your kids' care enough that they recognize you as the mommy or daddy, rather than the hired help.
5.11.2007 9:10am
Houston Lawyer:
So how would this statute apply to say my ex-wife's second husband with respect to my children? As it stands now, since they are divorced, he has no rights. But he did live with her for over two years and participated in the raising of the children. I'm also interested in how this works in light of the Troxel decision limiting the rights of third parties to interfere with a parent's relationship with his own child.
5.11.2007 10:56am
Anderson (mail) (www):
It's no longer what is best for the child, it is what will hurt gays and lesbians the most, that counts for them.

Bingo. This has NOTHING to do with being gay, straight, whatever. It's that if you've parented kids for years, then those kids are going to feel bonded to you, and it is cruel to the children for one parent to wall off the other.
5.11.2007 11:36am
Steve:
So how would this statute apply to say my ex-wife's second husband with respect to my children?

That's a very interesting question. The statute is broadly written, so it looks clear that he would at least have standing to petition. The most significant criterion is that the court must find "the petitioner and child had established emotional ties creating a parent and child relationship." So the result sort of hinges on whether the kids see this guy as "dad" or as "that guy mom was married to for a while." And if the kids are old enough, the court is supposed to consider their reasonable preferences as well.

Obviously, every situation is different, but from the perspective of the child's best interests this seems like a statutory scheme that makes sense. After all, if your kids really want to visit with this guy, if they really look at him as a parent, it doesn't seem like it would be in their best interests to let your wife unilaterally exclude him from visitation. I can certainly understand why you would prefer to exclude him, and why you would want to assert your position as the real father, but as with most divorce-related statutes this one seems to focus on the kids' interest at the expense of the parents' interests.
5.11.2007 12:03pm
Kovarsky (mail):
if you actually read the post instead of responding impulsively i submit you'll not be too concerned about a floodgates problem with respect to nannies, or ex husbands, or any other pretextual reason to object to this unanimous decision.
5.11.2007 12:10pm
Spartacus (www):
If we're not going to bar gay individuals and couples from raising their own children — something I've not heard any serious and prominent opponent of gay marriage propose

I don't recomend barring it--I firmly believe the state shoudl stay out of this area as muxch as possible. But I do think it is highly preferable when two people, a man and a woman, get married, have a child or children together, and don't get divorced or hire nannies. Then these problems woudn't arise. The fact that millions of people do otherwise doesn't make it a good thing, and we should not be so happy to encourage it, or even hesitant to heap dissaproval on those who advocate such arrangements. Adoption, of course, is a solution to a problem (orphanage), and I think gay couple should be able to adopt an orphan. But to create a child when you have no intention of marrying the other parent is irresponsible and cruel, in my opinion. And yes, spem banks generally are a sick idea. I once considered doanting to one (for easy cash), until they asked me to check oneof two boxes: yes, or no, I want my identity to be available to the child when he or she reaches 18. At that moment, I realized what a sick idea it was to put my sperm out like that. Sad.
5.11.2007 12:35pm
markm (mail):
Kovarsky: Why couldn't a nanny be found by a court to have established a relationship "in loco parentis"? This is more about emotional bonding than who paid the bills. However, I doubt you'll see many real cases of former nannies in court seeking visitation rights. If a competent nanny wanted to work for free, why wouldn't parents take advantage of it? And if they fired her for cause, they should be able so show that visitation isn't in the best interest of the child.

As for ex-husbands, they certainly could be covered under this law if they lived with the child for two years and helped care for it, but I don't see a problem with that. If he was appropriately carrying out the role of Daddy, he should get visitation rights.

I sounds like a well-written law and a good decision to me. But I am an interested party, in a way - my wife and I have contributed quite a lot to the care of our grandchildren, and if someone cut us off from them, we might well go to court. Our state has a grandparent's rights law, but I think Minnesota's law is better overall; it handles other many other cases under a single law, and from what I can see it's as sane as family law ever gets.
5.11.2007 1:03pm
Waldensian (mail):

As for ex-husbands, they certainly could be covered under this law if they lived with the child for two years and helped care for it, but I don't see a problem with that. If he was appropriately carrying out the role of Daddy, he should get visitation rights.

Would you support visitation rights if he was a "terrible" (though non-abusive) workaholic never-see-the-kids Dad? I.e., if his "care" for the kids consisted entirely of earning money used by the family?
5.11.2007 1:29pm
Houston Lawyer:
MarkM

You should look at the Troxel case I mentioned earlier where the Supreme Court stated that Washington's law on grandparent's visitation unconstitutionally interfered with the right of the mother to raise her child.

After my brother died, my mother brought suit against his wife for visitation rights to my brother's son. Since the Texas grandparent's visitation statute had not yet been tested under the Troxel analysis, it provided a significant impediment to my mother's suit. In fact, it was only resolved by the death of my sister-in-law.

So I'm a fairly strong believer that grandparents, absent some exceptional circumstances, should get to see their grandchildren. However, this "best interests of the child" standard is a recipe for judicial interference of the highest order.
5.11.2007 1:32pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Houston Lawyer -

"interference of the highest order" is a clause that needs a referent. who are they interfering with? certainly not the child.
5.11.2007 1:41pm
Joel Rosenberg (mail) (www):
As to a longterm nanny who has formed an emotional bond with former charges but no longer works for the same employer, is there some reason based on those facts that there shouldn't be some sort of connection? As a society, do we want to encourage bonds between people to be long-lasting and beneficial, or disposable?

I think worries about nannies claiming parental rights are pretty strange, but each to his own.

What I also find as very strange is the notion of a child being raised by two parents, one of whom becomes disposable when the couple splits up, and I'm glad that the court didn't think that was in the interest of the child, either. Should we expect that an infant (or, in this overlawyered world, a court-appointed guardian) should check paperwork on adoption/parentage before bonding with somebody giving care?

Unless we're going to forbid lesbian (or other nonmarried) couples from acting as parents, we're either, as a society -- both through social sanctions and the law -- going to acknowledge the connection between a child and somebody who is a parent in every way but perhaps some paperwork, or we're going to expose children to having parent-child relationships shattered because the parents no longer want to be involved with each other.

That's a bad idea, and it's a bad idea when divorced fathers get treated merely as ATMs, and when one half of a broken-up lesbian couple decides that the relationship that the other one of the now-former couple had built with the child was disposable as used kleenex.

(Full disclosure: I'm a long-time married guy; never been divorced, or had custody issues involving my daughters. I do have a sibling whose longterm relationship with another same-sex partner broke up, but to the best of my knowledge and belief neither of them ever tried to treat the other's relationship with their mutual kids as historical fiction.)
5.11.2007 1:41pm
JRL:

"Would you support visitation rights if he was a "terrible" (though non-abusive) workaholic never-see-the-kids Dad? I.e., if his "care" for the kids consisted entirely of earning money used by the family?"


I support visitation rights for NO ONE -- EVER. It ought to be an all or nothing proposition. Visitation/joint custody has wrought enough havoc on the psyches of children long enough. It is time for this ridiculous and harmful practice to stop.

/no, I don't have links to any studies, etc., to back up my position
5.11.2007 1:45pm
Houston Lawyer:
On June 5, 2000, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 120 S. Ct. 2054.In Troxel, no majority opinion emerged. The Court, however, with six judges voting in plurality, struck down Washington state's visitation statute as an unconstitutional intrusion into a parent's fundamental liberty interest in raising a child as the parent sees fit.

The problem addressed by the plurality opinion was that the Washington statute was "breathtakingly broad," granting to any third party standing to assert visitation rights at any time, with the decision on whether to grant that visitation request in the hand of a judge whose only standard was the best interests of the child.
5.11.2007 2:12pm
Ramza:

I support visitation rights for NO ONE -- EVER. It ought to be an all or nothing proposition. Visitation/joint custody has wrought enough havoc on the psyches of children long enough. It is time for this ridiculous and harmful practice to stop.

Speaking from personal experience, as a person who was raised by a mother who had sole custody, yet my father had visitation rights (6 weeks in the summer, every other holiday) I am so glad my father had those rights and he exercised them. I am so glad that JRL beliefs are not implemented in my case and other cases as well.
5.11.2007 3:22pm
Randy R. (mail):
Spartacus: "But I do think it is highly preferable when two people, a man and a woman, get married, have a child or children together, and don't get divorced or hire nannies. Then these problems woudn't arise"

And the funny things is that there are plenty of gay couples who get married (at least civil unionized, or if that isn't available, commitment ceremoniny-ized), have a child or children together, and don't get divorced or hire nannies.

And none of these problems arise.
5.11.2007 3:58pm
Waldensian (mail):

I support visitation rights for NO ONE -- EVER. It ought to be an all or nothing proposition. Visitation/joint custody has wrought enough havoc on the psyches of children long enough. It is time for this ridiculous and harmful practice to stop.

I'm trying to figure this out.

In your view, when a divorce happens, one parent should get the kids "completely," with the right to bar all contact between the kids and the other parent?

If so, is the excluded parent still potentially liable for child support?

And I thought divorce litigation was already no-holds-barred.... Can you imagine if these were the stakes?
5.11.2007 4:30pm
Spartacus (www):
there are plenty of gay couples who get married (at least civil unionized, or if that isn't available, commitment ceremoniny-ized), have a child or children together,

A gay couple cannot, biologically, "have a child together." As I mentioned, I support gay (or other) adoption of orphaned children. What I decried was the creation of a child where one of the (biological) parents will be cut off--whether the third (adoptive) parent is the same sex as the biological parent or not. What is perhaps even more interesting is a case where a gay couple (lesbian) procures sperm from a close friend, and then all three have an active role in parenting the child. Better than the pervious situation in my opinion, but still short of what I described as the ideal.
5.11.2007 5:44pm
Randy R. (mail):

Spartacus: "Better than the pervious situation in my opinion, but still short of what I described as the ideal."

I would venture to guess that about 99% of all households in the world are short of your vision of 'the ideal."

You have your work cut out for you. And when you show that you are serious about stopping all forms of child abuse, whether mental, emotional or physical, when you have insured that all families worldwide have access to a minimum of health care for the children, that all families worldwide have two loving parents who treat the children well, have enough money for the basics, don't themselves abuse alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, and everything else that would make your 'ideal' family.....

Then I might actually listen to your views on how what the ideal family should be. Until then, you are merely arguing over how many angels dance on the head of a pin.
5.11.2007 6:00pm
Spartacus (www):
would venture to guess that about 99% of all households in the world are short of your vision of 'the ideal."

You have your work cut out for you. And when you show that you are serious about stopping all forms of child abuse, whether mental, emotional or physical, when you have insured that all families worldwide have access to a minimum of health care for the children, that all families worldwide have two loving parents who treat the children well, have enough money for the basics, don't themselves abuse alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, and everything else that would make your 'ideal' family.....

Then I might actually listen to your views on how what the ideal family should be.


Not that I know how you would verify my efforts or seriousness, so I suppose you will simply not listen to my views regardless. But for the benfit of the readers, or posterity: are you saying that 99% of families have either nannies, divorce, surrogate parents or one or more of the other shortcomings I mention? Because that is certainly not my experience. My efforts to preserve that ideal certainly extend to my own family; and approximately 90% of the other families with children with whom I am acquainted have none of the defects outlined.

Now, the question of sufficient health care for all, was not part of my criteria, and isbeing imported in here by you. As far as two loving parents, no child abuse, etc., these were also not part of the discussion, and seem off topic, but what would lead you to believe that I am somehow in favor of child abuse or non-loving parents? I have an opinion of what is important and prefereble in a family situation; you apprently disagree; but you go over the top by insisting that I must somehow "show I am serious about" doing something for all families before you will even listen to my opinion; then please, don't bother to comment on my opinion in the first place. What are you doing to "stop[] all forms of child abuse, whether mental, emotional or physical, . . . insure[] that all families worldwide have access to a minimum of health care for the children, that all families worldwide have two loving parents who treat the children well, have enough money for the basics, don't themselves abuse alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs."?
5.11.2007 8:24pm
Joel Rosenberg (mail) (www):
I think that, rhetorically, the ideal is too often used to attack the good. Postulating that, all things being equal, a child is better off being raised by two biological parents of opposite sex, well, so what? How often are all things actually equal? Is that an argument that anybody reasonable would consider using to oppose, say, adoption? Or to oppose permitting divorce?

I think it's clear that it's better for children in general and society in particular if the people who raise the child have an understood and legally-protected status in relationship to the child, a status that can legitimately be attacked because of real inadequacies (or worse) of the "care-givers", but not because one of them no longer finds the other's presence in the child's life to be convenient.
5.12.2007 1:46pm
JRL:

In your view, when a divorce happens, one parent should get the kids "completely," with the right to bar all contact between the kids and the other parent?

If so, is the excluded parent still potentially liable for child support?

Right. No contact and no support.
5.12.2007 1:50pm
Randy R. (mail):
Spartacus: I mentioned things such as health care and abuse because YOU raised the issue of the 'ideal' family. I contend that there is no such thing as an objective ideal family. What works best for you might not work best for someone else.

Nonetheless, if you are going to talk about what is ideal, then you cannot artificially stop as certain points. Take two identical families, one that can afford decent health care, and one that cannot. The ideal would be to be able to afford health care, right? The family whose breadwinner cannot make enough to supply certain amounts of food, clothing, shelter, health care and so on that are regarded as the minimun cannot be considered ideal by anyone's standards. The father who sexually abuses his children isn't ideal, nor the mother who emotionally abuses the kids.

So either you talk about the ideal, which in my view is nonsense and doesn't get us anywhere, or you talk about what is preferred. That's a different concept altogether, and also allows for subjectiveness. For instance, we can say that a family with two parents is generally preferred over one, unless one of the parents is so abusive that you are better off with just one. A rich family is generally preferred over a poor family, but that doesn't mean that the poor family is any less able to function as well as the rich one. Likewise, a family of two mothers adopting a child is preferred over letting the child remain in an orphanage.

All this talk about the ideal family is just talk to bash anyone whose life isn't fitting someone's idea of a family. And yes, I mean bashing. So if the ideal is a mother and father, in their view, then a gay couple is having children is not the ideal, and we should do everything to stop it. Yet, they don't want to stop people from forming families if the ideal isn't met in any other area.
5.12.2007 4:02pm