“With the excitement of marriage victories sweeping the country, we must not forget that threats to our families still persist,” said Family Equality Council Executive Director, Gabriel Blau. “It becomes more evident with each advance we make towards equality, that the opposition would rather continue enforcing discrimination than protecting children. The implications of this bill are broad and sweeping and could serve as a barrier to placements not just with LGBT people but also with anyone who is single, has been divorced or who practices a different religion.”
Family Equality Council’s policy team has been working tirelessly in Congress to advance the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (ECDF – H.R. 2028/S 1069) and in the last month alone the organisation has increased support for this legislation by more than 20 co-sponsors. ECDF, led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the Senate and Representatives John Lewis and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in the House, now has unprecedented support with 18 Senate co-sponsors and 138 bi-partisan co-sponsors in the House.
“Not once does this new proposed legislation talk about what is in the best interests of the children in our nation’s foster care system. And while it is clear that this bill does nothing to ensure that the needs of our foster youth are being met, it is evident that even with continued attacks on our families, we are still changing the hearts and minds of the people we elected to represent the American people’s best interest,” said Family Equality Council Director of Public Policy, Emily Hecht-McGowan. “There are more than 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, approximately 107,000 of whom are available for adoption today. The only reason these children remain in foster care is because of a lack of qualified, loving parents stepping forward to provide them with forever homes. We need to open up more homes to foster children – not less. All major professional child welfare associations have stated as fact – that LGBT parents are good parents. We must focus on removing barriers, not constructing new ones, so that these children have a fighting chance to find permanent, forever homes to call their own.”
Family Equality Council has worked for over 30 years to secure protections for LGBT families and will continue to combat efforts to prevent modern families from thriving.