It's Gay Pride and Father's Day in many cities. And so some words about gay fathers....
A "fatherhood movement" started in this country in the mid-1990's. Its main stated goal: Convince everyone that father absence had devastating consequences for children and for the country. It's real goal: Reinstitute patriarchy. Here's how I could tell - They ignored the many gay men raising children.
In 1993, TIME magazine ran an article describing Scott Davenport and Tim Fisher raising two children conceived using the sperm of one and a surrogate mother. In 1995, the case of a gay male couple established the right of same-sex and unmarried different-sex couples to jointly adopt children in the District of Columbia.
Instead of using these couples as models of fathering, the leaders of the "fatherhood movement" railed against the "excesses of feminism." Men were fleeing marriage, they said, because wives expected too much, like doing half the diaper changes and bottle feedings. Never mind the gay fathers who did ALL the diaper changes and bottle feedings. The "fatherhood movement" wasn't really looking for devoted fathers; it was looking to reinvigorate gendered marriage. Today's right-wing "marriage movement," which I describe at length in my book, grew out of the "fatherhood movement." It urges -- with the support of lots of federal dollars -- that the decline of life-long heterosexual marriage is responsible for all our social problems. That movement openly opposes lesbian and gay couples raising children since it deprives the children of proper gendered role models. No surprise then that it also opposes marriage for same-sex couples.
The 2000 census showed about 20% of gay male couples raising children. That percentage is higher if you include those couples raising children that aren't their "own," such as foster children. In Iowa, one gay male couple was named "foster parents of the year" ...in 1996.
So to gay men raising children across the country, Happy Fathers Day!