2010 was a monumental year for LGBT parents. While some events made you hold your breath, some breakthroughs pushed LGBT parenting forward. Looking back, here are some of the top gay parenting highlights of 2010.
Legal Battles and Blessings. The beginning of 2010 centered on legal issues involving artificial insemination. In January, a sperm donor for a lesbian couple in Canada made a claim for a child being raised by the two women. Bitter battles continued as gay sperm donor Mark Harthill requested more parental rights as lesbian parents raised his biological daughter. In April, The UK broke ground for gay male parents when it passed a surrogacy law allowing two men to be listed on their child’s birth certificate. Some research studies suggested children of gay parents are well-adjusted and resilient.
Gay Celebrity Parents. The spring gave way to a separation for lesbian couple Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels. Parents of twins through artificial insemination, the couple started to battle for custody. Better days were ahead for actor Neil Patrick Harris and partner David Burtka, who welcomed twins via surrogacy in the fall. Christmas Day brought a newborn baby boy to sInger Elton John and partner David Furnish, a surrogate parent giving birth to their son.
Movies and Music. In July, Annette Bening and Julianne Moore starred in “The Kids are All Right,” a film about lesbian parents struggling with the repercussions of their kid’s sperm donor entering their lives. A handful of theaters showed the controversial picture, including Chautauqua County’s Fredonia Opera House. Country Music was jolted into reality as Chely Wright became the first country artist to come out as a lesbian in May. Gracing “Curve” magazine, Wright has used her sexual orientation to promote gay parenting, creating the LIKE ME organization. Created to counteract teen bullying and suicide, LIKE ME also provides education on issues affecting LGBT individuals, parents, and families.
Socked by Sports. December delivered a couple harsh blows. Belmont University soccer coach Lisa Howe wowed the world by revealing that she and her same-sex partner were expecting a baby. Controversy ensued as Howe “resigned” from her position shortly thereafter, her confession supposedly prompting higher-ups to force her out. FIFA president Sepp Blatter stirred up more controversy by stating that gay fans should not have sex at the Qatar World Cup of 2022.
Deleting DADT. In December history was made. Gay parents and LGBT individuals blasted through discrimination and repression as the the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy (DADT) was finally repealed. Local Chautauqua County congressman Brian Higgins showed strong support for the DADT repeal.
“Every day our service men and women risk everything fighting for our freedoms and today, we, as a nation rose above prejudice and fear, taking a long-overdue step toward protecting their freedoms,” said Higgins on his website.
On December 22, 2010 President Obama signed the DADT repeal bill, the law ending the ban that forced gay individuals in the military to hide their sexual orientation now official. Said Obama, “No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie.” For LGBT parents, families, and individuals, a fitting end to 2010.