The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality movement has universally seen incredible progress over the last year and families with one or more parents who identify as LGBT continue to be an integral part of the movement’s success. At Family Equality Council, we have been leading the effort to make sure more Americans know families with parents who are LGBT—and realize how much we all have in common. From more than thirty years of working on behalf of LGBT families, we at Family Equality Council know our movement is stronger when the stories of our families are heard by the American public and our nation’s leaders. When the President and Vice President of the United States announced their support for marriage for same-sex couples last year, they explained that their convictions evolved because they actually got to know LGBT parents. Family Equality Council helps LGBT parents share stories that show that LGBT parents care about the same things all parents do—hugs and homework, bedtime and bath time.
NYC, New York
In addition to hearing the stories of LGBT parents, it’s also been vital for the public to hear from the children of LGBT parents. In 2012 we formally launched the Outspoken Generation program, redoubling our efforts to ensure these individuals are also heard. In just one year, we’ve empowered, trained, and mobilized more than fifty diverse participants to speak out in their local communities, to the press and to their lawmakers.
Earlier this spring we submitted an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court called Voices of Children, which compiled the stories of our Outspoken Generation participants. This brief proved incredibly important, and was referenced by the Supreme Court during oral arguments and cited again in the landmark ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). When the Supreme Court of the United States struck down DOMA this spring, declaring that marriages of same-sex couples must be recognized as equal and valid marriages by the federal government, Justice Kennedy directly referred to our arguments in his writing, noting that “DOMA humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples.” The decision has set a positive precedent and confirms that we are moving towards a future where all families can have legally recognized relationships. In the last year, we secured marriage equality in Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Washington; marriage equality was also restored in California. Today, approximately 30% of Americans live in a state with marriage equality. Laws and public opinion about LGBT equality are changing more rapidly now than ever before. Family Equality Council will continue working every day until all loving families are recognized, respected, and protected.
Director of Programs
Family Equality Council