Ms. Magazine

spring 2003
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this is what a feminist looks like

Features
The Feminist To-Do List by Gloria Steinem
Ms. Poll Feminist Tide Sweeps In as the 21st Century Begins by Lorraine Dusky
Affirmative Action on Trial by Teresa Stern
Women on Death Row by Claudia Dreifus
In the Thick of Life at 70 by Jessica Chornesky

Special Action Alert
Women Take Action Worldwide
Listing: Coalitions and Groups
National Council of Women's Organizations Statement on War with Iraq
NCWO Partial Members List
Why Peace is (More Than Ever) a Feminist Issue
by Grace Paley

Writing of War and Its Consequences
Ghosts of Home by Patricia Sarrafian Ward
Tales from an Ordinary Iranian Girlhood by Marjane Satrapi
Snow in Summer: LA, CA, 1963 by Helen Zelon

News
Pat Summitt's 800th Victory
Augusta Golf Club's Red Face
National Map of Priest Abuse
Women Warriors
Lesbians with Strollers
Kopp Trial
Trouble in Herat, Afghanistan
Reproductive Rights in Poland
Health Clinics in Guatemala
Congolese Women for Peace
Global Good News Round-Up
The Opposite of a Nuclear Bomb

Departments
Lower Breast Cancer Risks by Liz Galst
The Making of an Activist by Gloria Feldt
Nature Conservancy Gains by Rachel Rabkin
Harvard Stumbles on Rape Rules by Lorraine Dusky
The Bush Overhaul of Federal Courts by Stephanie B. Goldberg
My Friend Yeshi by Alice Walker

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Liz Galst often writes about health and women's issues. She is the author of "Dating the Goyim" in Chasing the American Kyke Dream: Homestretch (Cleis Press).


Lesbians with Strollers: The Gaybie Boom on Wheels
By Liz Galst

In 19 other states-- child custody cases are almost always decided at the state level-- there are local decisions allowing second-parent adoption, but those decisions don't necessarily hold statewide. The process, when allowed, is cumbersome, expensive (sometimes costing upwards of $2,000), and time consuming. Meanwhile, every state in the union automatically recognizes as the legal father the husband of a woman who gives birth to a child via donor insemination.

All this leaves many lesbians, and, just as importantly, their children, in a legal and emotion bind should couples, well, uncouple. Often in lesbian-versus-lesbian custody disputes, the biological mother is legally allowed to freeze the other mother out; the courts consider the non-bio-mom a "legal stranger" to the child or children she may have raised since infancy.

That's distressing news to interject into the excited conversations so many lesbians are having about motherhood. But it's something we and our allies need to address, with political plans of action--and personal ones, too. Take the two DC-area moms who unintentionally garnered all that attention on New Year's Day, for instance. A week before their daughter was born, they wisely moved from conservative Virginia to progressive Maryland-- where where both would recognized by the courts as full parents.

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