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Putting Children at Risk: How Efforts to Undermine Marriage Equality Harm Children

The Bottom Line

Putting Children at Risk: How Efforts to Undermine Marriage Equality Harm Children shows how these coordinated efforts pose a profound threat to the children in LGBT families.

First, some government officials, state legislators, and courts have refused to fully recognize the marriages of same-sex couples and their relationship with their children. Second, there is an increase in individuals, businesses, child welfare providers, healthcare providers, government contractors, and even government employees claiming they have a right to discriminate not just against LGBT people, but also against the children of LGBT people, because of their religious beliefs. These license-to-discriminate efforts are reflected in legislation, court cases, and agency guidance around the country.

By refusing to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples, and by attempting to insert religious exemptions into nondiscrimination laws that protect LGBT people, the report concludes that the threats to LGBT families and their children are real and, in states without nondiscrimination laws and in states where legislatures have pushed religious exemption laws, the ultimate result is that children are harmed.

Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project and Family Equality Council. June 2018. Putting Children at Risk: How Efforts to Undermine Marriage Equality Harm Children. (date of access).

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The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

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