You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: the Every Child Deserves a Family Act.
Kim Davis’s claims that she could prevent same-sex couples from becoming state-recognized family to protect her personal religious beliefs may have been illegal, but around the country adoption agencies are allowed to claim such conscience clauses apply to them. Mississippi has the last outright ban on same-sex couple adoption — and it’s currently being challenged in court by the Campaign for Southern Equality. However, only a handful of states outright protect LGBT people from being discriminated against in the fostering and adoption process. And others have laws — like the one Michigan passed just this summer — specifically to allow faith-based groups to refuse to serve same-sex and unmarried prospective parents.
All the leading national child welfare associations universally agree: children raised by LGBTQ parents have the same social and emotional development and the same outcomes as those raised by cis, hetero parents. But we can’t ask the 400,000 children in our nation’s foster system to wait for agencies and officials to put their welfare above personal bias.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative John Lewis have each introduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act to end state-level discrimination and give those kids a shot at finding loving, permanent homes. The Family Equality Council is supporting this legislation and has a fill-in form at FamilyEquality.org under the “Connect” tab. The letter will go to your national legislators asking them to sign on as co-sponsors and to local and state officials depending on the specific legal landscape in your area.
In the meantime, if you or someone you know need help establishing a legal parent-child relationship, the ACLU has a confidential help form you can fill out at ACLU.org through the “LGBT Rights” Issues page.
FOLLOW the challenge to the final complete ban on same-sex couple adoption through Campaign for Southern Equality
ACLU may challenge newly-signed law on adoption by gays” via Detroit Free Press
"Anti-gay adoption bill another shameful moment for Michigan” via Detroit Free Press
Hear the segment in context:
Episode #953 "Beyond Marriage Equality (LGBTQ Rights)"
Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich