New Parenting Bill in Conteticuit Gives LGBTQ Families a Sigh of Relief | 22 Words

This new bill will finally provide relief for those living in nonnuclear families.

It can sometimes feel like we've made massive steps within the LGBTQ+ community...

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With many people feeling like a large majority of the world is accepting.

We can sometimes forget that the world is still a dangerous place for LGBTQ+ people.

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And it can be quite jarring to know homophobia still exists and is very present within society.

Despite the US taking massive steps...

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With the legalization of gay marriage in 2015 and President Joe Biden retracting Trumps' transphobic bills, we can be misled to think that everyone is okay with the community.

But that isn't the case, as whilst there are over 14 million people in the US who identify with the LGBTQ+ community, there is still a large proportion of people who don't agree with the lifestyle.

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According to the New York Times, states like Texas have signed bills allowing child welfare groups to refuse adoptions that contradict their "sincerely held religious beliefs." In short, they can reject an adoptee if they are gay.

And whilst places like New York and California have laws protecting their LGBTQ+ citizens, there are places like Mississippi, Kansas, and South Dakota that don't. ​

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So overall, there are still people who believe homosexuality is wrong.

But today, the community has been granted some positive news.

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As on Tuesday, the first day of Pride month, Gov. Ned Lamont signed the Connecticut Parentage Act into law.

It's set to take effect on January 1st of 2022.

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And is designed to make it easier for those who don't share a biological connection with their child to establish parentage.

This will be especially beneficial to the LGBTQ community.

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As they more often have nonnuclear families.

"This is such an important day — what it says for our kids, what it says for Connecticut, what it says for respecting everybody and who they are," Lamont said at the signing ceremony.

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And families across the state are now celebrating.

Stephanie Ocasio-Gonzalez and Denise Gonzalez have been raising their son Jayvin for over a decade.

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But in spite of this, Denise has no parental rights - until now.

"She bought his first bike. She was there for the first day of kindergarten and every first day of school since," Ocasio-Gonzalez explained.

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"She was there for his surgery, taught him math, and so much more. She's his mom."

The pair share another daughter who has both of their names on her birth certificate.

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But as they were not married when Jayvin was born, Gonzalez was not considered a legal guardian.

This has caused a lot of issues for the family over the years.

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Things like taking Jayvin to the doctor's office or picking him up from school.

"It just took a lot more work," Ocasio-Gonzalez said.

And although adoption was a possibility, it was a source of huge anxiety surrounding Jayvin's father.

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"I read that in some cases, even though I have full custody, I would have to get the other parent to give permission, and just thinking about having to go through that was emotionally draining. I know he would not agree to it."

But now starting January 1st, Gonzalez can declare her de facto parentage in court.

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This means she (and many like her) can be recognized legally as a parent.

It'll streamline the entire process for LGBTQ families.

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"The really great thing this bill does for those families is that it allows them to establish parentage through a simple administrative form," Douglas NeJaime, the principal drafter of the bill, told NBC.

"The form has the effect of having a judgment from a court, and all other states have to treat it as valid."

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It even has options for gender neutral entries in the "paternity" section of the form.

"I told Denise, 'You're now the owner of a 14-year-old boy,'" Osacio-Gonzalez joked.

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But all jokes aside, this is a huge deal for LGBTQ parents in Connecticut.

It's hoped these actions will be reflected in parenting bills in other states.

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As the world takes strides towards becoming a fairer and more equal place.

Congratulations to Connecticut!

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