Information about the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus

Chronicles of the Way-Showers

"In February of 1993, the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus premiered a lesbian and gay choral musical by composer-in-residence David Maddux, entitled Boys & Girls with Stories. The 10-song collection incorporated a wide variety of musical styles, and within its lyrics examined a broad spectrum of topics: coming-out issues, grief and loss, political korrectness, gender hilarity, and hope for the future. What made this premiere special was that for the first time in the history of the lesbian/gay choral movement, the thoughts, feelings, dreams and ideas espoused in the songs were taken from the lives of the very choristers performing. It proved to be an overwhelming presentation for both singer and listener alike; moving, powerful, life-changing.

"Having had a taste of the power of that immediacy with an audience, the choristers were hungry to go further, deeper in musical exploration. There was much more to be said: topics less black-and-white, concepts more stirring. David Maddux asked them to complete a lengthy questionnaire: 10 topics, three questions each. Live interviews were also conducted.

"What you hear on this recording is the product of the self-revelation of a group of singers who join together their life experiences, personal views and musical abilities for one purpose: to provide for you, the listener, a clearer vision of what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual. Through this music, you see inside the lives of people who daily live out the truth of who they are, and you are challenged to a richer clarity of purpose and a broader view of the future.

"In that future, those whose lives shine as brightly as priceless gems will surely be the ones to show the way to true freedom and lasting peace. Contained in this recording are their chronicles."

— From the CD liner notes

If you are interested in buying this CD, please send your order and payment to:

SLGC-CD
PO Box 20729
Seattle, Washington 98102

 

Something to think about.....

Mommy Queerest

Because of the continued stigma attached to homosexuality, it is virtually impossible to document the total number of children being raised by lesbian or bisexual women. What we do know is that there are more openly lesbian mothers raising children today than ever before. So what has caused this obvious increase in lesbian parenthood? Opportunity.

Custody Retention
Many lesbians conceived and gave birth to their children while married to men. In the past it was quite common for a woman to lose custody of her children when her sexual orientation was revealed [See Bottoms v. Bottoms]. Though still an issue in some of the more conservative areas of the country, many courts and child advocates rely on results from numerous studies that indicate how little a parent's sexual orientation affects a child's development. The end result is a larger percentage of lesbian mothers openly raising their children to adulthood.

Artificial Insemination
Lesbians have been experiencing the benefits of Artificial Insemination for many years. In fact lesbians have been using AI since long before there were sperm banks or fertility doctors. Historically, lesbian women wanting to procreate could either find a male friend to impregnate them, or pick up a one-night-stand to do the deed. But procreation was not off limits to those women who could not face a night of intimacy with a male partner. Instead of engaging in an act that repulsed them, a woman would find a male friend who was willing to ejaculate into a container. Once the semen was collected, the woman's partner would use a turkey baster to insert the semen into the woman or alternatively lesbian sex technique could be used, where 2 partners simply have sex.

Today, artificial insemination is easier, but potentially more dangerous.

In the past the biggest danger to lesbians using AI was the potential father wanting custody of the child. Even when both parties signed and notarized their agreement prior to conception, there was always a risk that a court would set that aside in favor of what it felt was in the child's best interests - including the possible exclusion of mom.

To avoid the risk of potentially losing custody of their child, many women turned to using strangers - usually a one-night-stand - to impregnate them. But that held risks of it's own.

Finding a stranger who would not hurt a woman when alone in her home was a very real danger. Then, once sexually engaged, the risk of contracting an STD was inescapable. To use any protection would inhibit the ability to conceive - to use none could mean permanent damage to the reproductive organs. And finally, if the woman did conceive, there was no way to know the health history of the father - a lack of such knowledge that could be potentially dangerous to the child.

Then, with the advent of Herpes and AIDS the risk became too great. Even using a male friend as a sperm donor would first require expensive tests to determine the HIV status of a potential father.

Today there are many lesbian-friendly sperm banks and fertility doctors around the world. If a woman has the funds and inclination to give birth to her own child, these doctors will help her to do so.

Adoption
In the United States, only Florida and Mississippi have legislation that expressly bars lesbians from adopting children. Utah forbids adoption by any unmarried couple - which effectively bars lesbians from adopting children.

Florida's 1977 statute clearly declares: "No person eligible to adopt under this statute may adopt if that person is a homosexual." The statute has been repeatedly challenged -- unsuccessfully, to date. Under two such challenges, the Florida Supreme Court declared the ban constitutional in 1995, and a state trial court judge did the same in 1997. In 2001, U.S. District Judge James Lawrence K. King again upheld the law in a challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union. The case is currently under appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mississippi has refused to issue a birth certificate to a 4-year-old boy who was adopted by a lesbian couple in Vermont after being born in Mississippi. Lambda Legal is appealing that decision in Perdue v. Mississippi State Board of Health.

States that are considered open to adoption by lesbians are not necessarily open to it in every county simply because county judges make the final adoption decision and their prejudices may vary. Some judges have been open to second-parent adoptions but have not been open to a lesbian adopting a child from an agency. Still, lesbians have adopted in certain places, including the District of Columbia, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

To any woman who is considering parenthood - be she single or coupled - I recommend a visit to your local legal office. After all, as mother used to say ... an ounce of prevention ...