Unless you have been hiding under a rock recently, you have probably heard about Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. If you have not heard of it, the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill is a controversial piece of legislation that was passed by the Florida Senate earlier this month. The bill had already been passed by Florida’s House of Representatives in February, and it is expected to be signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis later this month.
The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill bans discussions regarding gender identity and sexual orientation in Florida’s primary schools. Those who support the bill say that it enables parents to take back control over some of the subjects that their kids can be exposed to at school. Critics of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill argue that it could place a target on the LGBTQ+ community, especially LGBTQ+ students, parents, and teachers, as well as the biological and adopted children of same-sex couples.
What Impact Will the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Have on the Adopted Children of Same-Sex Parents?
On the surface, the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill would appear as though it can and will cause serious issues for same-sex parents and their biological and/or adopted children. While the bill does directly target same-sex adoption, it could have a direct impact on the day-to-day lives of same-sex parents and their children (adopted or not).
Many same-sex parents fear that the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill will force their kids to have to hide who their parents are while at school. Same-sex parents also worry that the bill will prevent their children from being able to talk about their families at school like children of heterosexual parents will continue to be able to do.
Being forced to keep such a large part of your life secret at an early age could result in these children suffering psychology and emotional trauma that they could carry with them into the future, maybe for the rest of their lives.
Common Family Law-Related Issues Faced by LGBTQ+ individuals
While there is no reason for it under the law, and no place for it in our society, LGBTQ+ individuals, and same-sex couples in particular, often face unfair treatment when confronting family law-related issues, including:
- Adoption – In most cases, same-sex couples should have no trouble adopting within the United States, but they can have problems with international adoptions. The reason is some countries ban LGBTQ+ individuals from adopting.
- Child Custody – If a same-sex couple chooses to have a child through vitro fertilization, then one of the parents will have a biological connection to the child that the other parent won’t. This can lead to issues during child custody disputes because one parent will be listed on the child’s birth certificate as a parent and the other parent will not.
- Property Division – This can be an issue because in many places, gay marriage hasn’t been legal for very long. Gay marriage became legal throughout the U.S. in 2015. As a result, many same-sex couples have been together a long time but have only been married a short while. This can be an issue if same-sex couples get divorced, because the length of time they were married can impact property division negotiations. The couple may have shared property or debts since before they were married that would be considered community property if they had been married longer, but because they weren’t, it’s considered separate property.
Discuss Your Situation with a Same-Sex Family Law Attorney Today
Passing laws that hurt loving families is never the answer. Same-Sex couples and their adopted children already have enough of a mountain to climb without the government adding to their worries. Unfortunately, the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, and other laws like it, appear to be the new normal. At least, for the time being.
At Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa, we have spent years protecting the rights of same-sex couples and their families. Our same-sex family law attorneys understand that even though it shouldn’t happen, all too often, LGBTQ+ individuals face obstacles when handling legal issues that their heterosexual counterparts don’t. Anytime we work with LGBTQ+ clients, we are dedicated to ensuring that they receive equal treatment and everything they’re entitled to under the law.
For more information about Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa, including how we fight for our clients’ rights and stand by them through thick and thin, read our clients’ testimonials.