The Family Equality Council is a non-profit organization that has been in existence since 1985. The Family Equality Council’s mission statement is “To advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change.” Their vision is to create a world where LGBT individuals have the same rights as heterosexual couples. They work towards this goal by providing support to LGBTQ families through direct service programs such as advocacy and education; strengthening the network of LGBT organizations; building stronger partnerships with other public sector agencies and community-based organizations; and developing new strategies for reaching out to specific populations like youth or seniors, etc.
Family Pride Coalition
The Family Equality Council began in Boston, MA when a group of gay fathers was denied visitation rights with their own children who had been placed into foster care by the state government. The men formed an organization called FOCUS (Families Organized for Children’s Rights) to fight back against this discrimination and bring attention to these types of cases, where it was illegal or not allowed for same-sex couples to adopt children together. Over time, FOCUS evolved into what is now known as PFLAG, Parents Families & Friends United with Lesbian & Gay People. Meanwhile, in New York City at around the same time that FOCUS was getting started in Massachusetts, another grassroots family advocacy project was organized after a meeting many parents like themselves during pride parades. The group met regularly and eventually became known as the Family Pride Coalition where they focused on issues such as child custody, health insurance for families with gay loved ones, etc.
In 1988, a conference was held during which leaders from different parts of the country decided it would be beneficial to come together under one umbrella organization. The united team could provide support nationwide in all areas related to LGBTQ family concerns. It also provided an opportunity for these smaller organizations to keep their autonomy while coming together around common goals and interests. Thus, The Family Equality Council was born out of this upcoming togetherness! In 2010, this mission statement was revised by founder Rob Compton: “We are committed to advancing equality through public education about children’s rights within all types of families.” In addition to this revised mission statement, the organization also had a vision that reflected its commitment to helping others on an individual basis through direct service programs. This new vision stated, “To build stronger families and communities by creating opportunities for all parents to be fully included in every aspect of society and by ensuring that children and youth in all types of families receive the support and affirmation they need to thrive.”
The history of the Family Equality Council provides us with a sense of how far we have come as a nation towards full equality for LGBTQ individuals. From starting out on small grassroots projects, as PFLAG did back in 1972, to coming together under one roof (and name) such as The Family Equality Council has done these past 30+ years. It shows how much can be accomplished when people who care about this cause join forces. It is important not only because it promotes social justice and equality across genders/ sexualities but also because research suggests having supportive parents significantly increases positive outcomes for LGBT youth. This includes higher rates of school engagement & attendance, self-esteem, social support, and general well-being.
Today the Family Equality Council still strives to provide LGBT families with all of these benefits through direct service programs such as advocacy & education; strengthening the network of LGBT organizations; building stronger partnerships with other public sector agencies and community-based organizations; and developing new strategies for reaching out to specific populations like youth or seniors, etc. Furthermore, they seek to achieve this goal by continuing their work in four key focus areas: parenting equality, family law reform, policies that ensure fairness in schools and communities across America, and economic security initiatives—all meant to improve outcomes for LGBTQ individuals so they can receive full equality, respect, and dignity.
But as we can see, their work at the Family Equality Council is not done! There are still many who do not understand or recognize how integral families like these can be to a child’s development and well-being during such formative years of life (and beyond). Children need love from parents regardless of gender/ sexuality; they deserve no less than this basic human right. The more support that organizations like FOCUS provide on an individual basis by providing direct services programs, advocacy & education efforts, and other initiatives—the closer America will come to achieving full equality for all its citizens including LGBTQ individuals with their families, regardless of upbringing.
Going forward, the Family Equality Council hopes to continue its work in these same areas with a renewed sense of energy and vigor. They are excited for what they see on the horizon as more people become aware that families like theirs deserve respect just like everyone else. The future is indeed bright for all parents who care about providing an equal opportunity in life regardless of gender or sexuality—and this organization will be here every step along the way to support them in any way possible.
As we can see from this brief history lesson provided by FOCUS, there has been quite a bit of progress over time in terms of LGBTQ family equality issues throughout our country during recent decades (especially when compared to past eras). However, it also shows us how much more work needs to be done for America as a whole to recognize and value all families, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Support and services of Family Equality Council in assisting LGBTQ families and individuals.
Family Equality Council, a national organization working to build LGBTQ families through adoption and foster care, offers services for LGBTQ parents.
The Family Equality Council is the only national organization focused on building families for LGBTQ people by supporting their efforts to adopt or become foster parents. This includes providing resources about family-building options, empowering them with legal information, and helping them find qualified professionals who are experienced in serving LGBT individuals. They offer support groups across the country as well as online forums where they can share their stories with others facing similar challenges, and they provide training and certification for professionals on how to work with LGBTQ families.
The Equality Council also provides support and services through a variety of resources including family conferences, training seminars, leadership development workshops, technical assistance, or referrals. Their primary goal is to help foster safe communities that embrace all sorts of different people, such as gay men parenting with straight women (GSMP), lesbian moms married to dads (LMHD) single lesbians who want kids (SLWK). To achieve this, they offer educational opportunities about how these non-traditional relationships work. As a result, everyone can understand it better, whereas before there was ignorance. For example, GSMP could be very beneficial for social workers’ services of Family Equality Council in Providing Support for LGBTQ Families. The council’s focus areas include youth issues, children’s rights, family court issues, and LGBTQ parenting.
Family Conferences organized by Family Equality Council
The Family Equality Council is a nonprofit organization that provides support and advocacy for LGBTQ families and individuals. They host many different conferences throughout the year, one of which is their annual family conference. The Family Equality Council has been hosting these conferences since 1988 with help from scores of attendees who volunteer at the event every year, and many more who donate their time and resources to the conference. The goal of this event is simple: build community, provide support for families with LGBTQ members, and help parents learn how they can advocate for equality in schools and communities across America.
The Family Equality Council held a local family conference at Union Station in Washington DC on May 21st & 22nd, 2016 called “Everyday Heroes National Conference”. This two-day event was designed to offer educational workshops focused on parenting issues such as mental health concerns; financial management; relationship skills; legal rights when adopting or fostering children; etc. There were also sessions available that focused on adoption laws surrounding all 50 states (these change frequently). In addition, there were several keynote speakers including an NFL player (who came out as gay) and several local politicians.
Family Equality Council’s Annual “Everyday Heroes National Conference” is just one example of the events that they hold throughout the year to support LGBTQ families and individuals across America, and all of their events are open to everyone.
Educational Events organized by Family Equality Council
Family Equality Council is a nonprofit organization that supports LGBTQ families and individuals. They offer educational events for parents, youth, educators, and community members to better understand the needs of LGBTQ communities. These events are open to all who want to learn more about how they can help their local community or just learn more about this topic in general, including parents, youth, educators, and community members. One of the educational events was the LGBTQ Families & Faith in the Berkshires held at Temple Sinai Congregation in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
Family Equality Council’s educational events give individuals a chance to learn about various topics related to this topic including parenting; family dynamics; language/terms used when discussing these issues; legal matters such as adoption laws (including foster care); healthcare access for all types of families; religious beliefs and how they play into this issue; bullying prevention across genders, sexualities, and races, etc. The events also offer sexuality education that includes information about LGBTQ people, different types of families, and how to create an inclusive environment in schools, etc. Information is also provided on violence prevention among all communities; discrimination/stereotypes that are often rampant among these issues, etc. The events also have sessions where community members can ask questions and share their personal experiences to help others learn about the topic more in-depth.
The Council’s educational events are held throughout the year all across America, including New York City; Washington D.C.; San Diego, California; Chicago, Illinois; Minneapolis/St Paul Minnesota area; Austin Texas area among other cities, as well as small towns that may not seem like they would appreciate these types of topics but actually do embrace them. These events are open to everyone who wants to attend whether it is parents looking for resources or professionals wanting information on how best to support LGBTQ individuals/families within their communities. Community members will come away from this event with knowledge on what steps should be taken to help LGBTQ individuals/families within their communities, including how to begin a dialogue with parents, etc.
In addition to educational events held throughout the year, for everyone from all walks of life looking for information on this topic or wanting support in their local communities, Family Equality Council also offers programs and services. Some of the programs include youth programming, which includes conferences/webinars among other things. There are also family camps during holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas where children can have fun while learning about diversity within these holiday celebrations along with legal help if needed. In addition, they offer several online resources that are available 24 hours a day to anyone who would like more guidance through whatever issues they may be facing, when it comes to being LGBTQ individuals/and or supporting families from an intersectional perspective (while understanding different races, ethnicities, genders, religions, etc.).
Family Equality Council has been around for over 40 years and helps local organizations learn how to become more welcoming towards these types of communities. The help is facilitated through diversity training along with creating materials such as resource kits, which include educational videos, guides on best practices when it comes to hiring employees who identify within this group.