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Melissa Etheridge knows firsthand what it’s like to be denied the right to adopt children because she’s gay.
“I remembered being a new mom in 1997,” she writes in a blog post at The Daily Beast. “I followed the long trail of red tape to find a way to adopt my children so they could be covered by health insurance, or so I could see them in the hospital in case of some emergency, along with dozens of other reasons.”
Sadly, she was denied because California law prohibited social workers from adoption approval of same-sex couples. But then with the help of a lawyer, she was able to convince a judge to overrule the denial and allow the adoption to go through.
Etheridge now worries that the same obstacles will become commonplace once again if voters pass Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative seeking to overturn the state’s legalization of same-sex unions.
“Now, I know my preference of lifemate freaks some people out,” she writes. “Maybe it is just their fear of sex or intimacy. I know that they hold up the Bible and say that it’s wrong. Fine, let me stand before my creator and take any consequences there might be to living my life in truth and balance with my spirit.”
Although Etheridge and her partner, actress Tammy Lynn Michaels, were married in 2003, they recently announced they would get married again under the state’s new law. When they were first hitched, they were only granted domestic partnership rights.
“I will never forget the day earlier this year when the news came down the wire that the Supreme Court of California had declared same sex marriage legal,” Etheridge recalls. “We told our children about it and all danced around the room in family glee.”