President Mother’s Day Proclamation Acknowledges Two-Mom Families

For the first time ever, a president’s annual Mother’s Day proclamation has included a specific mention of families that have two mothers.

President Obama’s May 7 proclamation said in part, “Whether adoptive, biological, or foster, mothers share an unbreakable bond with their children, and Americans of all ages and backgrounds owe them an immeasurable debt. Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by two parents, a single mother, two mothers, a step-mom, a grandmother, or a guardian.”

The President’s Mother’s Day proclamation in 2009 did not mention two-mom families, but followed the examples of Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, who almost always enumerated some version of “adoptive, biological, or foster mothers,” occasionally adding “stepmothers.” (President George W. Bush did not, however, specify types of mothers after 2003.)

Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Family Equality Council, a support and advocacy group for LGBT families, issued the following statement in response to this year’s Presidential proclamation: “We welcome the President’s words today, but they represent the bow on the gift of equality we don’t yet have.”

Chrisler noted that one million LGBT families raising two million kids need action. The organization seeks passage of the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, introduced into the House last October. The bill seeks to prohibit discrimination in adoption or foster care placements based on the sexual orientation, gender identification, or marital status of any prospective adoptive or foster parent. It awaits action in the House Ways and Means Committee.

The bill supports the group’s priority of opening the door for qualified LGBT people to parent the 120,000 kids up for adoption in the foster care system. “There are at least four times as many LGBT people wanting to adopt as there are kids waiting to be adopted, according to the Williams Institute,” Chrisler said. “The question is: Do we give these kids parents, or not? Thirty years of research and all major child welfare organizations agree: gay parents are good parents.”

President Obama, in naming November 2009 as National Adoption Month, did indicate his support of the concept, stating, “By continually opening up the doors to adoption, and supporting full equality in adoption laws for all American families, we allow more children to find the permanent homes they yearn for and deserve.”

He has acknowledged LGBT people in other proclamations as well. Last year, he issued the first Presidential Pride Month proclamation since President Clinton in 2000.

In proclaiming Sept. 28, 2009, as Family Day, he said, “Whether children are raised by two parents, a single parent, grandparents, a same-sex couple, or a guardian, families encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things.”

But in his proclamation of May 2010 as National Foster Care Month, he made no mention of LGBT foster parents.

And one day before his Mother’s Day proclamation, he proclaimed Military Spouse Appreciation Day, but made no mention of the same-sex partners of servicemembers.

One Response to President Mother’s Day Proclamation Acknowledges Two-Mom Families

  1. […] exact same phrasing as last year in order to keep the proclamation fresh? Earlier this year, Obama did make mention of lesbian moms and gay dads in his Mother’s Day and Father’s Day proclamations, […]

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