Stories from Child Welfare Experts, People of Faith, LGBTQ+ Families and Advocates Illustrate Harms of Discrimination and Urge Congress to Pass Landmark Legislation
Washington, D.C.— Today, Family Equality launched #AllFamiliesAreEqual, a new video storytelling campaign highlighting child welfare service providers, including those working at religiously affiliated agencies, and LGBTQ+ families and advocates who have witnessed or personally experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. These powerful stories illustrate the harms that LGBTQ+ Americans continue to experience in the absence of nationwide protections against discrimination and are being released as the Senate prepares to resume debate on landmark non-discrimination legislation, the Equality Act.
“All families deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, yet I know from personal experience that this is not yet reality. When my wife and I were decided to become parents, we were turned away by two separate agencies for no reason other than being a same-sex couple. By lifting up stories like mine alongside expert and faith-based voices in this video series, we hope to show the human impact of discrimination and make clear that Congress must act to ensure that discrimination doesn’t stand in the way of anyone’s future,” said Stacey Stevenson, CEO of Family Equality.
The first video released today as part of #AllFamiliesAreEqual features child welfare service providers reflecting on the harm to families and children when discrimination is permitted. One of the experts featured in the video, Katie Page Sander, a social worker with more than 20 years of experience, says, “It really takes a lot of courage for somebody to call an agency…And if on that first contact you’re dismissed or you’re rejected, it’s really likely that that would be your last call.” LaTasha Roberson-Guifarro, a social worker at Lutheran Child & Family Services, also debunks the idea that people of faith do not support nondiscrimination protections and explains that the religiously affiliated adoption agency at which she works has “embraced equity and non-discrimination as an expression of our faith-based values.”
Recent polling from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that 83 percent of Americans support nondiscrimination protections, including 64 percent of conservatives and majorities of people in every single state. PRRI polling also found broad support for nondiscrimination protections from all religious denominations.
Through stories featured in the #AllFamiliesAreEqual campaign, Family Equality and its supporters aim to highlight the daily challenges facing LGBTQ+ families, and how the passage of the Equality Act would ensure explicit and comprehensive nondiscrimination protections. As part of the campaign, Family Equality is encouraging its supporters to contact their U.S. Senators and urge them to support the passage of the Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Equality Act passed the House with bipartisan support and received a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year. President Biden has vowed to sign the bill into law when it reaches his desk, and the Senate is expected to resume debate on the bill this fall.
Other videos released on a weekly basis throughout this month will feature LGBTQ+ parents who faced discrimination, social workers, and people of faith who support nondiscrimination protections.
To view the videos or for more information on the campaign, please visit action.familyequality.org or Family Equality’s social media pages (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook).
About Family Equality
Family Equality advances 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. Family Equality believes every LGBTQ+ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at familyequality.org.
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