Sunday, February 04, 2007

Take Action: Support LB 571 to Protect Nebraska Families

by Kyle Michaelis
For those Nebraskans who have ever laid claim to promoting family values, LB 571 will be a true test of whether they actually believe in supporting families and defending children.

Right now, there are loving parents all across our state who can't, by law, provide their children the security and stability of a formal adoption. Though every bit as dedicated to that child's well-being and every bit as responsible for their upbringing, 2nd mothers and 2nd fathers in same-sex relationships are currently barred from any rights or recognition as such, to the undeniable detriment of the children who are being sacrificed in the name of intolerance.

I received the following message this weekend asking for our support of LB 571, which would finally provide adoption rights to these very real and numerous Nebraska families that continue to be delegitimated and threatened by state law:
Please Support LB 571....

There are estimated to be more than 1,300 Nebraska children who are recognized by family, friends, teachers, medical providers and neighbors as having 2 parents but who can't form a legal relationship with both of their parents. Under Nebraska law these children can't get a birth certificate as evidence of what everyone knows to be true. Without a birth certificate showing both adults as their parents, if a parent dies or their parents separate these Nebraska children are at great financial and custodial risk. In addition, the non-biological parent is not entitled to leave under the Family Medical Leave Act and can't provide health insurance to their child under most health insurance programs in Nebraska.

This is very important legislation.

People should remember that if this legislation is not passed, same gender couples will continue to have children. Children of same gender parents will continue to recognize both adults as their parents. The only thing this legislation changes is that these children will have that important piece of paper to protect them if they need a parent while sick, they need health insurance, they have a parent die or of their parents separate.

Nebraska shouldn't continue to punish these children because of who their parents are.

Please write to members of the Judiciary and to [your] Senator in support of this important legislation.
This bill is deserving of the attention and action of every progressive Nebraskan. Regardless of a person's feelings about same sex marrriage, we can no longer turn a blind eye to those friends, classmates, and neighbors who may not come from traditional homes but who make up families every bit as loving, as beautiful, and - yes - even as frustrating as our own.

LB 571 is family values. LB 571 is the Nebraska that I know. Please, let us do what we can to see that we live up to the best in us - our compassion, rather than our prejudice - by passing this important and long overdue legislation.

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