Family Equality Council
|This article relies too much 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 queer (LGBTQ) parents, guardians and allies. It is based in Washington, D.C. with regional offices in New York, New York and 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 their 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 organization's website was relaunched under the new name in October 2007.
In 2006, Family Equality 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.
Family Equality 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.
According to their website, Family Equality Council aids in federal, state, and local levels of government to help show LGBTQ families are recognized in the government's eyes. One way the Family Equality Council does this is through adoption. On the website is the information on Every Child Deserves A Family Bill which has not been passed, yet, but there is plenty of advocacy for this bill. What the Every Child Deserves A Family Bill does is help parents in the LGBTQ community adopt children,(regardless of marital, sexual or gender status.)
The Executive Director for Family Equality Council is Gabriel Blau. Gabriel’s career spans both the private and non-profit sectors, including digital marketing, strategic planning, and fundraising. Gabriel was previously the Director of Development at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST), one of the country’s oldest and largest faith based LGBTQ communities, where he also ran an $18 million capital campaign. Gabriel is a member of the advisory board of the LGBT Religious Archives Network in San Francisco, and has spoken at Columbia University, The Rothko Chapel in Houston, TX, and many other conferences and schools. He lives in New York with his husband and son.
- "Family Equality Council". Familyequality.org. 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
- "COLAGE". COLAGE. 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
- 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
- Library of Congress page: , online website
- Philip Gambone, Travels in a Gay Nation: Portraits of LGBTQ Americans (Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 2010), ISBN 978-0-299-23684-7