Gay Parents: Under Fire and on the Rise

As a Virginia lesbian loses custody of her son, gay men and women increasingly assert the virtues of family

The day after they lost the right to have two-year-old Tyler ever set foot in their home again, Sharon Bottoms and her lover April Wade sat on a couch beneath a framed handwritten copy of the vows of love and commitment that brought on all their grief. Decorated with a rose drawn by April and signed Oct. 27, 1992, the pledge reads, "With this ring, I give you my love forever. I promise to be faithful, honest and totally yours, for as long as I shall live . . . I ask that you take me as I will take you,...

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