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Some gay men report increased pressure to have children

As gay marriage becomes increasingly recognized as a legal right in various parts of the world, some gay couples report experiencing pressure from friends and family members to have families of their own.

For some gay couples, the pressure to have children is experienced as a validation of their relationship in a society where marriage and parenting rights are still largely the domain of heterosexual couples. For example, Tom Lotito and his husband, Matt Hay, were very touched on their wedding day, when family and friends first asked about their plans to have children. Growing up they never dreamed they would get married, let alone feel supported to have a family. For other gay couples who don’t want to have children, such as Rudolph Chandler and George Walker, being asked repeatedly about their plans for family life can actually be quite “irritating”.

Despite greater acceptance on the part of some individuals towards diverse family forms, many same-sex couples still face serious challenges in trying to create their families. For example, gay couples are denied the right to adopt in two American states – Utah and Mississippi – and face significant legal challenges in about half of the remaining states, largely due to a lack of support for same-sex marriage.

On a more positive note, in a time when gay marriage and same-sex parenting are topics of great political debate, Americans’ support for same-sex parents appears to be growing. Network television is also increasing the presence of gay men in their regular programming who have or desire to have children – such as “Modern Family” and “The New Normal”. As the traditional nuclear family begins to share space with different models of family life, the definitions of “family” appear to be changing. 

Read the full article, here: 

Male couples face pressure to fill cradles [The New York Times Online]

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