Bobby Lopez, a professor of English and the Classics at California State University, describes his mother’s lesbian partner as “everything that was warm and caring.” But when he was 19 and his mother passed away, his mother’s partner moved out to focus on her biological children. Until then, Bobby never had a relationship with his father, and after his mother passed away, he felt like he had no one to turn to.
But he never completely gave up on the idea of a relationship with his father. “It was very much exactly the way it would have been if my mother had gone to a sperm bank. But I still wanted to see my dad,” he said. “There’s an idea in your head that there’s a father and a mother out there, I mean, how can you erase that?”
When Bobby received a cancer diagnosis at the age of 27 and needed immediate surgery, there was just one person he wanted to see.
This desire to know his father is why Bobby, even as a bisexual man, believes that society should affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman. He expressed this belief in a brief that he and others raised by LGBT parents filed with the Supreme Court last June.
Ever since he first began sharing his story, Bobby has faced relentless attacks from HRC and GLAAD. One such attack began when Bobby offered his students an optional activity of attending a conference at the Ronald Reagan Library called “Bonds That Matter,” a discussion of family relationships and the rights of children. Months later, well after the university’s deadline for filing a complaint, some students filed a complaint against Bobby accusing him of discrimination and retaliation.
After a 245-day investigation, the university dismissed most of the charges, but found Bobby guilty of retaliation, alleging that there was “bad blood” between him and one complaining student. Bobby now faces the possibility of demotion, suspension without pay, or dismissal.
Marriage is Our Future
The stories of adults who grew up with LGBT parents, most of whom were involved in same-sex relationships, all have one thing in common—as children they craved the love and presence of their missing mother or father. These courageous men and women are speaking up for marriage so that future generations of children, all of whom deserve both their mom and dad, will know that they were worth speaking up for.