Celebrate LGBTQ+ Families By Protecting Them
GLAD has been advancing equality for LGBTQ+ families for more than four decades, and today on LGBTQ Families Day we want to celebrate our wins as well as acknowledge the challenges we still face. We achieved a landmark victory with the 2015 Supreme Court decision that affirmed marriage equality for the entire country. But there are still many gaps in protections for our relationships, so our work continues.
A major initiative that GLAD has been working on for years is ensuring that the laws that provide legal security for our children include the children of LGBTQ+ parents and all families. People form loving families in many ways, and we must ensure that the law recognizes and respects all of them.
Still vulnerable are the children of same-gender couples, as are children born through assisted reproduction, surrogacy, and more. They also include de facto parents like J. Shia, who raised her son from the day of his birth but still doesn’t have a secure legal tie to him even twelve years later.
We have successfully advocated for comprehensive parentage reform to be implemented in five of the six New England states – leaving only Massachusetts with outdated parentage laws. To join the work to get the MA Parentage Act passed, visit MassParentage.com.
The fight to protect our families is now taking on a different urgency, as the onslaught of anti-LGBTQ+ attacks continues in the form of legislation across the country. These vicious attacks are aimed at LGBTQ+ youth, especially transgender youth, including stripping away parents’ ability to affirm their transgender children and get them the healthcare they need.
GLAD is committed to fighting against these attacks, in New England and beyond. I am thrilled to share that in Massachusetts the MA Senate just successfully passed an amendment to its version of the state budget which includes protections for providers in Massachusetts who provide essential medical care for transgender youth from out of state. The amendment protects doctors, psychologists, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, and social workers who provide care to youth experiencing gender dysphoria from potential abusive lawsuits originating from other states. We will continue working to ensure this amendment is adopted in the final budget and signed by Governor Baker.
We are also challenging harmful anti-transgender legislation where it is being implemented, as with our recent lawsuit in Alabama, Reverend Eknes-Tucker v. Marshall. Alabama’s SB 184 criminalizes parents for obtaining essential medical care for their transgender children, as well as any provider for offering such evidence-based care. Thankfully, a federal judge granted our motion to block the law as our challenge continues, enabling families to continue accessing life-saving healthcare for their kids until we can hopefully overturn it for good.
So today, on the first day of Pride Month and LGBTQ Families Day, share the story of your family – however it was formed. I hope you are inspired by other families that are sharing with the #LGBTQFamiliesDay hashtag on your social network of choice. Sharing, connecting, and visibility are just a few of the strengths of our community. And this Pride season, I am so proud of our community, all we have accomplished, and all we will accomplish together.