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July 30, 2019

Recent family-related news included a conundrum faced by people who identify as bisexual but enter into marriages that appear “straight”, thoughts about inclusion from a openly gay, divorced rabbi, Tennessee moves to ban marriages performed by internet ordained officiants, reasons why there is a drop in the number of babies being born in New York City and why “intensive grandparenting” is on the rise.

Our Marriage Looks Straight. We’re Not. Alyson Krueger, The New York Times, July 9, 2019 Some people who identify as bisexual want their wedding ceremonies to represent who they are…. Brides and grooms across the country who identify as bisexual but have marriages that “look straight” are finding ways to assert their identities.

Gay and Once Divorced, a Canadian Rabbi Broadens Judaism’s Tent Dan Bilefsky, The New York Times, July 12, 2019 Rabbi Lisa Grushcow, the first openly gay rabbi of a large synagogue in Canada shared: “Being a divorced and lesbian rabbi and mom deepened my understanding of human experience,” she added. “It broadened who I can relate to.” … She says she better understood that divorce has its own “stages of grief,” and experienced the insensitivity of a society that assumes everyone has a spouse. Dating also proved challenging. “As a rabbinic gay divorcée, no one was coming to me with matches,” she added.

Tennessee Lawmakers Aim To Ban Weddings By Internet-Ordained Ministers Sergio Martínez-Beltrán, NPR, July 13, 2019 In Tennessee, a new law that was set to go into effect July 1 aimed to prohibit using an internet minister to certify a wedding — a move critics say is meant to target LGBTQ people… Just two days later, though, a federal judge hit the pause button on the law, saying online-ordained ministers could continue to perform legal marriages, at least temporarily. That’s after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of four ordained ministers in Tennessee who say the law is unconstitutional.

The Future of the City Is Childless. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, July 18, 2019 Since 2011, the number of babies born in New York has declined 9 percent in the five boroughs and 15 percent in Manhattan…There are many reasons New York might be shrinking, but most of them come down to the same unavoidable fact: Raising a family in the city is just too hard. And the same could be said of pretty much every other dense and expensive urban area in the country.

When Grandparents Help Hold It All Together Paula Span, The New York Times, July 23, 2019 Sociologists use the term “intensive grandparenting” to refer to a commitment to providing regular child care, often accompanied by housekeeping or other tasks…But the trend toward intensive grandparenting also serves as an indictment of a country that pays lip service to families while providing little real support.

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