June 1, 2023
Celebrating LGBTQ+ Families with Pride
Happy LGBTQ Families Day!
Today, at the start of Pride month, we celebrate our families in all the beautiful, diverse ways they are formed.
GLAD’s longstanding commitment to ensuring our relationships and families are equal under the law has led to pivotal advances in family equality – and as LGBTQ+ families face heightened bias and discrimination, our work to protect our rights and provide legal security is as urgent as ever.
We have led the way in updating outdated laws that leave children of LGBTQ+ families vulnerable across New England based on the model legislation, the Uniform Parentage Act.
- Connecticut: On June 1, 2021, we celebrated the signing of the Connecticut Parentage Act – the most comprehensive updates to parentage law to date! We now continue to innovate in the Constitution state with advocacy for a bill to ensure insurance coverage for fertility care includes LGBTQ+ and single people, and that HUSKY Health covers fertility care.
- Massachusetts: We are working with a powerful coalition of families and organizations to pass the Massachusetts Parentage Act (HD 1713/SD 947). The bill updates the state’s parentage law so that it is clear, equitable, and provides legal protection for all families, including LGBTQ+ families. Take action to pass this critical legislation.
- Maine: We advocated for the Maine Parentage Act of 2016 and advanced protections in Maine last year by expanding access to a simple, accessible form called a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage – a powerful, inclusive way for a parent to affirm their relationship when their child is born. That work continues this year with a bill that would streamline confirmatory adoptions, making it easier, quicker, and less expensive for LGBTQ+ parents to confirm their legal parentage so that they and their children are protected wherever their families move or travel. LD 1906 was just voted favorably out of committee earlier this week.
- New Hampshire: We championed efforts to update laws that recognize parents through streamlined adoption processes. In 2020, we advocated for a bill that fills significant legal gaps and makes the security of parentage accessible to more children and families. Confirmatory adoption creates a straightforward way for parents to adopt their own children without lengthy, expensive, and invasive home visits and outdated adoption practices.
- Rhode Island: In July 2020, we celebrated the momentous signing of the Rhode Island Uniform Parentage Act as part of a coalition of local families and organizations. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we updated parentage laws that were over 40 years old. That work continues this year with a bill that would streamline confirmatory adoptions, making it easier, quicker, and less expensive for LGBTQ+ parents to confirm their legal parentage so that they and their children are protected wherever their families move or travel. The state senate passed S0121 last month, and the House is currently considering its counterpart, H 5226.
- Vermont: We spearheaded updates to Vermont’s outdated laws with the Vermont Parentage Act of 2017. This year, Vermont also passed two shield laws, HB 89 and SB 37, which create the most comprehensive protections to date for both providers and seekers of transgender healthcare, as well as reproductive care.
We have made powerful progress toward equality, but LGBTQ+ families around the country are facing increasing risks. Extremists have filed hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills and recent state court actions combined with outdated parentage laws are creating serious hardships for LGBTQ+ parents and their kids. We must continue the work to ensure that our families can not only be safe and protected – but thrive.
That’s why we worked with the Movement Advancement Project in collaboration with COLAGE, Family Equality, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights to release a new report today – on LGBTQ Families Day – on the state of parentage laws across the country.
This report shows how our current patchwork of parentage laws—many of which haven’t been updated in decades—leaves LGBTQ+ parents and their children vulnerable. But it also offers a path forward, highlighting states that have taken crucial steps to update their parentage laws in recent years, like Connecticut, Colorado, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and highlights states – like Massachusetts – where legislation is currently pending.
We are also proud to join with Mombian, the founder of LGBTQ Families Day, to launch a new resource to help LGBTQ+ parents navigate paths to ensuring legal protections for their families: LGBTQ Paths to Parentage Security.
In the face of current threats to equality, we will fiercely defend our community, tirelessly advocate for legislation that protects our relationships, and celebrate our beautiful families with Pride.
Contact your Massachusetts legislators to co-sponsor the urgently important MA Parentage Act!