October 25, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC—A groundbreaking new report released today shows how two million children have become collateral damage of decades of ideology, laws and policies designed to hurt lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.
All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families offers the most complete portrait to date of LGBT families in the U.S.—and paints a vivid picture of how antiquated and discriminatory laws fail and hurt children with LGBT parents. Driven by the need to respond to these pressing public policy failures, the report brings together a coalition of LGBT leaders, policy experts and child advocates that includes the Family Equality Council, the Movement Advancement Project, the Center for American Progress, the National Association of Social Workers, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and COLAGE, —with a foreword by the Child Welfare League of America.
Full and condensed versions of the report are available online at www.children-matter.org.
“All children matter, and we need our laws to affirm this,” said Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Family Equality Council. “Fewer than a quarter of all US households are made up of married heterosexual couples raising their biological children, yet public policy is consistently failing those children whose families do not fit into this certain mold.”
Currently, about two million children are being raised by LGBT parents:
All Children Matter takes a detailed look at how children with LGBT parents are failed by society, government, and the law.
“Many Americans don’t realize how anti-gay laws and policies hurt children,” said Jeff Krehely, director of the LGBT Communications and Research Program at the Center for American Progress. “For example, the Supreme Court of North Carolina just invalidated all second-parent adoptions, undermining family security and leaving children as legal strangers to the LGBT parents who have raised them since birth. Similarly, when states like Minnesota and North Carolina advance ballot initiatives to deny marriage to same-sex couples, it can have serious consequences, such as denying children access to a parent’s health insurance.”
For example, current laws can:
“Our nation’s laws and policies simply have not kept pace with the changing reality of America’s families,” said Ineke Mushovic, executive director of the Movement Advancement Project. “All Children Matter outlines common-sense recommendations that should be looked at very seriously by anyone claiming to fight for children’s well-being. Many of these solutions would serve the needs not only of children with LGBT parents, but also those in other families as well, such as children of unmarried heterosexual parents.”
Taken together, the policy solutions outlined in All Children Matter could virtually eliminate the legal inequities that hurt children with LGBT parents. Some of those solutions include:
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About Center for American Progress: The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is "of the people, by the people, and for the people."
About Family Equality Council: Family Equality Council is America’s foremost advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender family equality. We represent the one million LGBT families raising two million children in the United States and are working to ensure full social and legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families.
About Movement Advancement Project: MAP's mission is to provide independent and rigorous research, insight and communications that help speed equality and opportunity for all. MAP works to ensure that all people have a fair chance to pursue health and happiness, earn a living, take care of the ones they love, be safe in their communities, and participate in civic life.
About COLAGE: COLAGE is a national movement of children, youth, and adults with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTQ) parent/s. We build community and work toward social justice through youth empowerment, leadership development, education, and advocacy.
About the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute: The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute is the pre-eminent research, policy and education organization in its field. Its mission is to provide leadership – through sound research – that improves the lives of everyone touched by adoption. Read the just-released report on Research-Based Best Practices in Adoption by Gays and Lesbians.
About The National Association of Social Workers: The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with nearly 145,000 members. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.