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CShine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:41 PM
Original message
Lesbian Moms a Growing U.S. Phenomenon
According to the Family Pride Coalition, a national advocacy group for gay and lesbian families, some 9 million children in America have at least one gay parent and one in five lesbian coupled households include a child under 18.

"I wouldn't call it a baby boom exactly. It has been steadily growing all along," said Aimee Gelnaw, a lesbian mother of two and executive director of the coalition.

Using artificial insemination to get pregnant, lesbians are four times more likely to have children than gay men.

"Same-sex couples and single women are 40 percent of our business, and it is the fastest-growing segment," said Marla Eby, vice president of marketing at California Cryobank Inc., Los Angeles, which ships semen nationwide.


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=572&e=5...
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. not going away
the religous right can scream and holler all they want -- and i think as the marriage debate heats there will be more than screaming and hollering -- but gay folk going about their every day lives are not going to go away.
and gay civil rights is not going to be legislated away either.
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Danieljay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'll probably get hammered for this..but for the sake of discussion..
Edited on Tue May-25-04 01:59 PM by Danieljay
I fully support the right of emotionally healthy Gay/lesbian couples to have children. That being said, I believe in my own heart that a child also needs an emotionally healthy opposite sex stable role model in their life in some form also.

(I'm ducking for cover now)

edited for spelling
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Surely you jest
Edited on Tue May-25-04 02:34 PM by nolabels
You even admitted in your own post he was correct. I also hope you don't think we can guide children into thinking that things are the way they are for them because they are that way for us.

We can only guide and help our children when the grow older. Trying to make them think, feel and act as we would want them to do is ludicrous. We have to let them grow up to be their own person

On edit: I felt males were being disced for being fathers which involves more than being a donor or some other apparatus that can be replaced by a machine.
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callous taoboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. Well put, beyurslf.
I have so many gay friends who have kids that the distinction for me between gay and straight parenting was blurred long ago.

The controversy over gay marriage will go the way of the controversy over interracial marriage.
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mulethree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
21. where did
Edited on Tue May-25-04 03:44 PM by mulethree
'neocon religious fascist' and 'ridiculous ignorance' come from? I don't see them in Danieljay's post and suggest they're related to that 'sore spot' instead.
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Danieljay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
25. I've been called a lot of things..but
never have I been even remotely accused of being neocon religious fascist. Why is it that a simple opinion about the need for stable opposite sex role models in the development of a child NOT be representative of a liberal?

I didn't assume that a child in a home with gay parents has no opposite sex role models, I simply stated that in my heart I believe it is important that there are, and I know first hand its not always the case.

Nowhere did I say that gays or lesbians aren't capable in any way of raising healthy children, I support that right, and I stick to my previous opinion. To me, its not a gay/straight issue.

The name calling and the reactionary remarks were expected. Interestingly enough I find nowhere in your post where I disagree with you, except me being a neocon religious fascist.
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. There are many ways one can have positive roles models in both genders
without them being a parent.

I've got no problem with what's on your heart as long as it's not irrational hatred and fear of what you don't know.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. As an only child raised by a divorced mother ...
... I don't know/believe that the gender of the parents is anywhere as significant as the benefit that there are two. My parents were divorced when I was eight, so I at least have some experience on both sides.

With two parents, a child learns politics and (hopefully) observes democracy. (I observed as much abuse as democracy.) With one parent, it's unbalanced by a complimentary viewpoint. I'd say a sibling might be better, too ... but that's not something I really experienced.
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Boomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. That's a reasonable observation...
...and I would imagine that most responsible gay parents make arrangements to provide those role models, as do single parents who are raising children alone. This is a parenting issue, not a gay issue.
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mulethree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #6
20. definitely parenting
But I think in calling it 'role model' that something might be missed. Few roles are sex/gender specific any more. Who has one 'role' and to what degree is a person's behavior constricted when they assume a role? Grandpa may act quite differently when he's 'Joe' instead of 'Grandpa'. The Pastor may deal with a telemarketer much differently she deals with her flock.

I think more important is the child getting to observe the parents, and other adults they are close to, close up in a variety of interpersonal relationships. In that sense people tend to assume 'roles' that are various and changing and depend on the relationship rather than say - occupation or a role like 'teacher' where the child see's only one - role influenced - side of a person.

See how people deal with bosses as well as employees. The sell side as well as the buy side, the making-up as well as the argument. So 'role models' would be other ways that people deal with bosses and employees etc. The role of sex/gender affects relationships more for some people than others and in different ways. But setting the circumstances for kids to observe a variety of adults in a variety of relationships is more important and should cover the sex/gender bases somewhat automatically.

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m-jean03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. C'mon, gender is a construct --
Both "genders"/traditional gender behaviors can be present in both biological sexes.
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Danieljay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
26. I did not socially construct my penis..
Edited on Tue May-25-04 04:12 PM by Danieljay
but gender behaviour does vary along quite a spectrum, I will agree with that.
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m-jean03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. Your penis, Danieljay
is your biological sex. Gender is quite a different thing, some would say entirely. . .

http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~psych350/gender.html
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Danieljay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. part of my gender is having one...from your link..
Edited on Tue May-25-04 04:36 PM by Danieljay
b. These behavioral differences may have a

1). Biological basis

2). Psychological basis AND/OR

3). Cultural (sociological) basis

Besides..my original argument isn't about gender differences..its about sex differences. I'm all for and respect diversity of lifestyle and individual expression..to each their own. I guess my personal preference happens to be less adrogenous than others.

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m-jean03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Operative word -- "may"
Edited on Tue May-25-04 04:45 PM by m-jean03
No one KNOWS what makes people act "feminine" or "masculine". Behaviors and personalities vary widely and from culture to culture -- these terms are virtually meaningless. They only serve to stereotype and pigeonhole people, to make some people "normal" and other people "freaks".

If your original argument is about sex differences... are you saying everyone needs to grow up looking at a Penis and a Vagina? :shrug: I don't get it? What point does that serve that they can't learn in sex ed?

Otherwise, you are saying there is some INNATE psychological quality that all men have that all women don't, and vice versa. I don't believe this to be true, and you can't prove it.

Edit -- that said, the world is full of men and women. Everyone will get exposure to both sexes eventually, why fret?
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. I concur. Remember the movie "The Crying Game?"
That says all you need to know about whether or not a penis controls gender behavior.

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m-jean03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. That's an excellent movie.
I get a lot of flak for arguing this point, people are so hung up on their "two sexes/two genders" idea of reality, even progressives. :shrug:
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Danieljay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. what is the role of hormones..?
Edited on Tue May-25-04 05:01 PM by Danieljay
Dont hormones play a big role in "gender" behavior? And aren't hormones regulated differently in the sexes? I know a transexual or two who would argue that hormones play a big role not only physically, but psychologically and emotionally as well.
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. The transexuals I know felt their gender behavior
Edited on Tue May-25-04 05:04 PM by Lex
and their birth sex didn't match. They were feeling like and behaving like the opposite of their sex BEFORE taking hormones.

The hormones help them transition over to a more traditional look of female or male. It goes to voice, body look, and those kinds of things.

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m-jean03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #37
44. That's right! There are some emotional changes associated with the big
hormonal shifts, but these transexuals are psychologically the same -- merely changing their "suits" but not their innate selves.
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m-jean03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #35
41. Perhaps some role there. Though even hormonal levels vary among
individuals of the same sex. And just as important as hormones are a person's ambitions, personality, spirituality, cultural expectations, level of self-acceptance and heaven knows what else.

I have know very psychologically "soft", "feminine" men who are under the influence of no artificial hormones, just a very spiritual view of life that has led them down the path of gentleness. Myself, I'm a pretty gender neutral person. I'm attracted to women, I enjoy action movies and slapstick humor, I think suits are sharp.

I'm also sensitive, I cry at films and world events. I'm a nurturer and a communicator. I like to think any human being has the potential to possess the best qualities of both genders. From my experience, this androgyny may be rare in a general population demographic, but is absolutely real. More common among freethinkers and progressives, no doubt. ;-)

I see that you are a theology student. I assume that, like myself, you believe human beings to be more than sacks of chemicals. I feel strongly that the human soul (or mind, for the materialists) is ultimately androgynous. We may act in various ways according to various vactors -- probably a big one is attracting the opposite sex, among heteros! -- but there are forces stronger than biology IMO. There is no reason that two women wouldn't be able to raise just as healthy a child as a man and a woman.

Women can be strong and forceful and disciplined and everything else that men are typically seen as holding over "The Second Sex".

And in the same token, men can be as nurturing, sensitive, soft-spoken, gentle and artistic as the ideal "mom".
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Danieljay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. definitely...
I happen to be one of the more gender neutral persons as you refer to. I too, am attracted to women, enjoy action movies and humor, and love a good looking suit. That being said I can be very emotional, cry during commercials, and love a great "chick flick". Like you, I tend to be a nurturer and definitely a communicator (with an occassional need to rattle cages with comments I know will bring forth a lot of emotion). I wouldn't consider myself androgenous as I would of having a well developed (and I hate this term) "feminine" side, probably at the expense of developing those characteristics that are considered (and again I hate the term) "masculine".

My experience growing up taught me that being a "man" meant getting hurt or hurting others, being unnaturally agressive, and competition. By nature and spirit..I was none of these things and as a result rejected many of the more positive traits often associated with "manhood". Mom wasn't exactly a great role model either.

I know first hand that the argument that a healthy single parent or two gay parents would be better than two heterosexual unhealthy parents (and would agree), though thats what I had. They did the best they knew how. Why my soul chose the parents it did is a soul agreement that is still in the process of unfolding.

As for my theology..well, I don't separate "God" out of the physical and psychological. In my opinion..God is in all of it and there is no place "God" isn't. God is in the psychology, the biology, and the space in between. Like you I believe the soul is indeed androgynous and for whatever reason picks a particular life to work out whatever it needs to work out in and through each one of us. Our very conversation is the "human" part of us doing the work of the soul. Spiritual beings having a human experience...

This isn't any different for a gay or lesbian parent or a child whose soul chooses a gay or lesbian parent. Its all part of that persons soul agreement that often times transcends human understanding.

As I personally heal from my own childhood wounds growing up with unhealthy heterosexual parents, it is my opinion that for me, developmentally, there is still a need for healthy, stable and consistant opposite sex role models in my life. Would I have rather lived with a single mother or father or gay/lesbian couple that wasn't abusive? Absolutely, but it doesn't change my opinion of what I believe is important developmentally.
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Single straight parents don't get hammered
for not having opposite-sex role models in the house.

Whether by divorce, or death, there are lots of single straight parents raising perfectly healthy kids without the opposite sex living under the roof on a daily basis.

Do we get all up into their business about their kids?


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Danieljay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #9
27. let me go on record then as saying...
I believe that single parents have the right to raise children, That being said, I believe in my own heart that a child also needs an emotionally healthy opposite sex stable role model in their life in some form also.

It takes a village..and most villages contain women AND men.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #27
46. But the parents don't have to MARRY the village, do they? n/t
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MarioJumps Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
19. For a time
I thought that maybe it would be best not to have children in a same sex relationship. (just because I was unsure if it would work out positively for the children)

However, after hearing from adults who were raised by homosexual parents it entirely changed my mind. They loved their parents, were VERY down to earth good people, and in general were the same as most people raised by heterosexual parents.

I would suggest you speak to adults who were raised by homosexual parents. It will change your entire way of thinking.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
22. Hey, Danieljay,...I completely agree,...
Edited on Tue May-25-04 03:48 PM by Just Me
,...and the emotionally healthy gay/lesbian couples with children I've encountered have agreed, as well.

I am a heterosexual who simply does not understand the assumption that gays/lesbians want to avoid exposing their kids to the strengths of both genders. Where the hell did that come from?
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Pachamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
33. He suggested opposite sex role model...Not heterosexual role model
...I don't see anything wrong in his statement and I am probably more qualified here to answer than others because I was RAISED by Lesbians, along w/ my sister and brother. They did a great job and fortunately for us had good male friends, both gay and straight, who were "stable role models" for us.

We were raised to love people and marry our best friend - all three kids in my family are heterosexual, but had any of us been gay, we would not have been judged and would have been loved and accepted as we are...thankfully my "Moms" had us exposed to lots of love and stable role models of all genders...that was healthy...and for us it didn't need to be a father at home...

I personally think it was unfair to jump all over this posting and call names...save the neo-con names for where it belongs...
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
38. Believe what you want
Research says the kids do just fine.

(Among other findings: The boys tend to be less belligerent and agressive. The girls rend to be more independent and outspoken.)
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slinkerwink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
42. there are studies that show that kids raised by single moms do fine
with the existence of a family support system in place. It's not necessary to have an opposite sex role model for that to happen.
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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
10. are straight men then biologically obsolete?
besides sperm, is there anything that straight men bring to the table that is unique & valuable?

if i were a lesbian couple with a child i'd try real hard to get them some exposure to straight men other than teachers. uncles are good. as butch as you may be, its just not the same thing.

flame away.
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Boomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. are straight women then biologically obsolete?
besides ovum, is there anything that straight women bring to the table that is unique & valuable?

if i were a gay male couple with a child i'd try real hard to get them some exposure to straight women other than teachers. aunts are good. as femme as you may be, its just not the same thing.

< Sounds pretty silly either way, if you ask me.... -- Boomer >
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Would you urge single straight mothers to do the same?
I wonder: are you as worried about children being raised by single straight women?

I've never heard anyone get worried about whether a "straight" male role model is necessary in those situations.



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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Often single mothers can do a better job alone
Us males must learn to adapt better, the world has changed a lot, so must we.

There also must be some new and or more concrete rules to what is to be expected from both sides.

Our consumer world is screwing us all with the lack of values it seems to want to dish out. We are all passengers at the rate we are going

The male dominated world we have only really serves A-holes like * now, there are many reasons to quest for equality in which everybody can contribute.
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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. yes yes & yes
women HAVE to be part of the equation, right? childbirth & all? so your parody is moot.

plenty of "single moms" DO have males around. like my GF has me. they don't live in a male-free vacuum. unlike some lesbian mothers i know (as i live in seattle, i actually do know lesbian couples).

i feel as if the "gender is a construct" crowd are being awfully cavalier & intelletual about it. and you still didn't answer the question: do straight men bring ANYTHING unique & valuable to the table? or are they just a malleable collection of stereotypical behaviors easily replicated by a diligent gay parent?

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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. What parody are you even talking about?
And lesbians do NOT live in a male-free vacuum.

How absurd.


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Boomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #18
40. That would be me
My post #11 was a parody of the original message, one becrying the lot of the spurned sperm donor.

Like you, my first reaction was to proclaim the absurdity of the male-free paradigm that was being criticized. Most gay women I know aren't living in that kind of world.

But I'm not going to deny that a few are. The separatist movement certainly isn't as strong now as it was when I was in college, but I imagine there are still gay women who are doing their best to achieve that male-free vacuum, and some will probably raise their daughters in that environment too. (I have no idea how separatist mothers of sons deal with the situation.)

On the other hand, I don't think this is a common enough circumstance to warrant a rant about superfluous men. There were no strong male role-models in my childhood because my father was an elderly man with no interest in children. Other friends of mine had fathers that simply took off or ignored them after a divorce. There are all sorts of ways for men to be missing from family life, so screaming "lesbian menance" is rather silly, if not downright bigoted.

--Boomer
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. The women I know who really hate men
and run them down verbally in front of their children tend to be straight women.

My straight female buddy at work told me this Roseanne Barr quote, from one of Roseanne's stand up routines:

""They say that lesbians hate men. Why would a lesbian hate a man? They don't have to fuck them!"

It always give me a good chuckle when men assume lesbians hate men. I never hear the kind of vitriol spewed about men that some straight women spew.

Good parenting is good parenting, and being hateful about the opposite sex around kids is just bad parenting.

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Boomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #17
31. Much as it pains me....
given your somewhat hostile and antagonistic attitude, I do see your point. Up to a point.

I, personally, feel strongly that all children need both male and female role-models in their lives. Just as I feel that they need interaction with different races, different religions, different ages. They also need good food, stable communities, safe schools, and lots of love.

Children need LOTS of things to grow up healthy and well-adjusted, but life is far from perfect and some aren't going to get all they need. And too many won't get any of the things they need.

Most parents -- heterosexual, gay, single, divorced -- try to do their best, but they are going to fall short of the mark in one thing or another. All you can do is hope that the kids manage to muddle through anyway, just as we all did growing up.

I don't have much sympathy for any parent -- gay or straight -- who would deliberately hold back any resource from their children, but I'm willing to give everyone else a break if they raise their kids in a less than perfect household.
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callous taoboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Should we wear labels?
Hi. My name is Don. I am straight.
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callous taoboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. I'm a male teacher:
Does anyone in this community know whether I'm gay or straight? No.
Because it's nobody's damn business. What the hell difference does it make?

It's like a good friend of mine who is not a bigot, he told me one time that even though he's not a bigot he'd still like to get to the point where he could walk down the street, see a white guy coming toward him and not think to himself, "There's a white guy."
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #10
24. There are still quite a few straight women....
And, though they can have fine single lives, many of them would be glad to make the acquaintance of a (single) straight gentleman. For purposes that may or may not include donation of sperm!

But these women might prefer a night at home with the cats to yet another evening with an embittered old fart complaining about his ex-wife.
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soleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
23. I always wanted to be a phenomenon
But I was hoping it would be in sports, or showbiz.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
36. Lesbian Moms Have Always Been Here
I've often wondered if my own is a repressed lesbian.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
39. Not a surprise to me at all..
As women finally start earning enough money to adequately support themselves, children are a natural outgrowth (no pun intended)..

Lots of hetero women consider their children the only satisfying part of their marriage, and lots stay married "for the children"....but in families where Mom is a professional, or at a job that has benefits and pays well, a divorce and single-mom-hood is used as an option..

I see no surprise when lesbians who have a desire to have children, and can support them, do have them..

I would be willing to bet that probably half of the women who have kids and are married, would not mind much if hubby "disappeared".. :evilgrin:
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