Family Equality Council
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (October 2009)|
Family Equality Council (formerly Family Pride) is national American advocacy organization committed to securing family equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) parents, guardians and allies. It is based in Boston, Massachusetts.
In 1979 a group of gay fathers formed the group that would eventually become Family Equality Council. Originally called the Gay Fathers Coalition, in 1986 this fathers’ group expanded to include lesbian mothers, prompting a name change to the Gay and Lesbian Parents Coalition International (GLPCI), a chapter-based organization.
In 1990, a group of youth convened and initiated a new program of GLPCI, called "Just For Us". By the mid 1990s that group had established a steering committee and separate program status, and shortly thereafter the group changed its name to Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLAGE). In 1999, the GLPCI Board of Directors endorsed the wishes of COLAGE to become an independent organization, operating under its own tax-exempt status. COLAGE became an independent organization on January 1, 1999.
In 1998, GLPCI changed its name to the Family Pride Coalition in order to include bisexual and transgender parents. In 2007, in order to better capture the full breadth and scope of the Council's mission, Family Pride changed its name to the Family Equality Council. The new name and expanded vision was designed to reinforce the organization's commitment to working across communities and issues and to joining forces with other progressive advocacy groups to create meaningful change for all loving families. The Council's website was relaunched under the organization's new name in October 2007.
In 2006, the Council collaborated with the University of Pennsylvania on a 2-day symposium for professionals who work with households headed by same-sex couples and their advocates. It led to the creation of an online databank of resources for same-sex couples with children.
The Council launched an initiative called "The Outspoken Generation" in April 2012, with young adult children of GLBT parents as its spokespersons. The co-chair's are Zach Wahls, the son of a lesbian couple who came to public attention after his testimony before an Iowa legislative hearing went viral on YouTube, and Ella Robinson, the daughter of New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson.
The Executive Director for Family Equality Council is Jennifer Chrisler. Chrisler has become a national spokesperson for gay and lesbian families. She was a fund-raising consultant for political campaigns and LGBT organizations and served as Finance Director for special election in the Massachusetts 9th Congressional District in 2001. She was honored for her work in the LGBT community in 2002 by the Massachusetts Freedom to Marry Coalition and in 2001 by the Human Rights Campaign. Chrisler also served as director of operations for SoftBank’s i-Group and as director of corporate communications for American Science & Engineering, Inc. She spent five years as a staff director in the Massachusetts State Senate. Chrisler and her spouse, Cheryl Jacques, reside in Boston, MA with their seven-year-old sons. She earned her BA degree in Elementary Education from Smith College in 1992 and then a master's.
- Family Equality Council
- Gambone, 56-7
- Huffington Post: Zach Wahls To Co-Chair 'Outspoken Generation,' Gay Parents' Initiative For Adult Children, With Ella Robinson," April 6, 2012, accessed May 29, 2012
- Gambone, 52
- Gambone, 54
- Gambone, 52-3
- Philip Gambone, Travels in a Gay Nation: Portraits of LGBTQ Americans (Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 2010), ISBN 978-0-299-23684-7