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Glee Actress Jane Lynch to Auction Disneyland Trip with Her Family at Live Auction


The Family Equality Council will hold its 9th annual Los Angeles Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 9, at the Globe Theatre at Universal Studios Hollywood to honor NBC Network, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, and Project 10 founder Virginia Uribe for their support and efforts to advance equality for all families.  Attendees at the event as well as online bidders will have a chance to win a trip for six to Disneyland with Glee actress Jane Lynch and her family at a live auction to be held at the event.

Presenters for the evening include Sean Hayes, star of NBC’s long-running hit Will & Grace; Andrew Rannells of NBC’s new hit show The New Normal; Darren Criss, star of Fox’s Glee; and comedian and actress Molly Shannon.

NBC Chairman Bob Greenblat will accept the award for NBC Network, which is being honored for their consistent and positive representation of parents who are LGBT in primetime television.  From Friends and Will & Grace to The New Normal and Go On, for two decades NBC has been responsible for groundbreaking portrayals of LGBT parents and in doing so has helped to shape a new paradigm for the American family.

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is being honored for his role as a vocal advocate against the law that would have banned same-sex marriage in Minnesota.  Kluwe is well known for a colorful letter he wrote to Maryland Delegate, Emmet C. Burns on the issue of marriage equality and for his work with Minnesotans United for All Families.

Virginia Uribe, the founder of Project 10, and Friends of Project 10 is being honored for her work creating an environment for students who are LGBT that is supportive, loving, and nurturing.  Uribe helped to create such programs as the annual LGBTQ Youth Prom, which create a safe space where children and teens can feel free to express themselves and feel the support of their community. She has helped show students who are LGBT the world of acceptance so that they may  grow into strong, self-assured adults and parents.

The premier West Coast event includes a cocktail reception and dinner preceding the awards presentation.  The Family Equality Council awards were created to honor stars in the worlds of arts, entertainment, politics, and LGBT activism who advance equality for LGBT-headed families and all families.  Ticket information is available at http://www.familyequality.org/get_involved/events/annual_events/los_angeles_awards_dinner/

Celebrate | Commit| Connect

Families in the Desert

Family Equality Council is working hard every day to change attitudes and policies across the country, to ensure that all families are respected, loved, and celebrated—including families with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. We are a community who has stood together for 30 years now, to raise our children and our voices toward fairness for all families.


Our Families in the Desert event is a unique experience that brings together LGBT-headed families from across the West Coast for a long weekend, designed to offer LGBT parents and their children the chance to celebrate their diversity, connect with other LGBT-headed families, and join in community conversations about ongoing advocacy for LGBT family equality.   


The 2012 Families in the Desert is being presented as part of a series of community events that will honor the Family Equality Council’s 30th anniversary – a year-long national celebration of our commitment to create a better world for LGBT-headed families.


During the weekend of October 26th – October 28th, 2012, LGBT-headed families and their friends will gather for the 2012 Families in the Desert at the Embassy Suites Palm Desert in the glorious Palm Springs area – a beautiful and scenic location, rich with a long history of welcoming the LGBT community.

The 2012 Families in the Desert event offers a unique blend of vacation-style fun and family-style programming. In addition to the wide range of crafts and games for kids during Kidapalooza, we’ll be hosting topic-based Parent Café sessions which provide opportunities for families to discuss important issues with experts in the field.

Our LGBT Family Finance Café will address everything from socially conscious investing, to tax laws that impact LGBT-headed families in particular, to real estate planning. Our Finance panelists include Elana Pianko, Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, David Ellis with Ellis & Ellis CPAs, Inc., and Eric Lavey, real estate expert for Teles Properties Beverly Hills.

Informal gatherings during the weekend will provide opportunities for families to come together around common interests and experiences. One of our meet-ups will bring families together to discuss family creation and expansion options for the LGBT-headed family community. Experts from Growing Generations, The California Cryobank, and RaiseAChild.US will join us to answer individual questions about everything from public adoption, to IVF, to surrogacy, surrogacy – allowing families to tailor the experience to their needs and interests, discussing the most up-to-date advances in family formation.

Family Equality Council’s new Outspoken Generation program, our signature program for teens and young adults with LGBT parents, will also be spotlighted during Families in the Desert. On Friday evening, a panel of authors will join the youth and their families for a discussion about storytelling, authorship, and the importance of sharing your personal story. Throughout the weekend, these young adults will be introduced to messaging strategies that can have a powerful impact on our efforts to “change hearts and minds.” The weekend will conclude with a Youth Panel where members of the Outspoken Generation can share their stories with our families and other community members.

Finally, our Studio 30 Family Dance Party – our 30th anniversary version of a Studio 54 theme – will take place on Saturday night, featuring face-painting, balloon animals, and a glittery disco ambiance. The night is sure to be unforgettable – to double the fun, we’ll be hosting a Halloween Costume Contest at the dance with surprise prizes!


This is a getaway for LGBT-headed families like no other – see you in Palm Springs!


For more information, please contact our Programs Associate, Andra Oshinsky at andra@familyequality.org / 617.502.8706, or visit the Families in the Desert website, www.familyequality.org/desert.


Families in the Desert is a unique experience that brings together families with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents from across the West Coast and beyond for a weekend getaway. The event is designed to offer LGBT parents and their children the chance to celebrate their diversity, connect with their community, and join in conversations about our efforts for family equality.

Families in the Desert 2012 will be held Friday October 26 – Sunday, October 28 at the Embassy Suites Palm Desert.

Families in the Desert is three-day weekend full of family-friendly events – Parent & Youth Cafés, musical performances, children’s book reading and more!

The 2012 Families in the Desert is being presented as part of a series of community events that will honor Family Equality Council’s 30th anniversary – a yearlong national celebration during which we will unveil a renewed commitment to create a better world for our community of LGBT families.

During the Families in the Desert weekend, LGBT families and friends will gather for Families in the Desert 2012 in the glorious Palm Springs area – a beautiful and scenic location, rich with a long history of welcoming the LGBT community.

The 2012 Families in the Desert’s unique blend of the vacation experience and family-style programming will include:
•Parent & Youth Cafés
•Family-style meals
•Activity options, like swimming, hiking, tennis, and badminton
•Arts and crafts
•Seasonal events, like a costume contest, face-painting and prize giveaways
•A magical Saturday Night family event
•And fun galore!

This is a getaway for LGBT families like no other – see you in Palm Springs!

Special Guests

A.J. Walkley is the author of Queer Greer and an out and proud bisexual. As an advocate for sexual diversity, LGBT and bisexual rights, Walkley has spoken from East Coast to West Coast about equality for all sexualities and gender identities. She wrote Queer Greer about a teenage girl coming to terms with her sexuality after realizing the lack of literature available for LGBT teens, specifically bisexual teens, and aimed to publish the book she would have wanted to have read when coming into her own sexuality in high school and college. Walkley also wrote and edited for Rainbow Rumpus for two years from 2007-2009, understanding the needs of LGBT-headed families. Originally from Connecticut, Walkley currently resides in Phoenix, AZ, where she writes for The Huffington Post about LGBT-related issues.

David Ellis is the managing partner of Ellis & Ellis CPAs, Inc. He has over 25 years of experience in the practice of divorce, LGBT, and other family tax matters. His clients include a public company, and he is a tax advisor to the Los Angeles County Office of the Public Guardian. The firm also provides other general tax services and IRS representation. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern California in Communications Arts and Sciences. He is a popular writer and speaker on various tax subjects, and has provided continuing education services to other CPAs and tax professionals in the area of divorce taxation.


Elana Pianko joined Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to pioneer the creation of socially responsible financial investment strategies for high net worth clients, corporations and foundations. She believes that corporate responsibility and greater societal concerns should be integral to the investment decision-making process. Elana’s goal is to help preserve and grow her clients’ wealth utilizing socially responsible investment strategies to help ensure a better world for future generations. Elana sits on the Advisory Council for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Investment with Impact and has earned her Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor designation. Her key clients are socially responsible investors, domestic partners, business owners, women, families, foundations and corporations.

Amity P. Buxton, PhD, Founder of the Straight Spouse Network and member of Family Equality’s Emeritus Board, has taught almost every grade from preschool to graduate school and trained teachers K-12. Since 1986, she’s written, researched, given workshops, and presented about effects on families when a husband or wife comes out. This year, two co-authored books were published: Herbert the Hedgehog: A Story about Acceptance and Unseen-Unheard: The Journey of Straight Spouses.


Family Equality Council Statement On Ninth Circuit
Court Of Appeals Decision In The Perry V. Brown Case

Washington, DC  – (Feb. 7, 2012) – Family Equality Council, the national organization that connects, supports and represents the one million families with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), today issued a statement following the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold the ruling in Perry V. Brown – the  federal court case to overturn California’s Proposition 8.  The Federal Appeals Court ruled that California’s 2008 amendment banning same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional.

“Today’s decision heartens and gives hope to the 15,698 loving couples in California who are raising more than 30,000 children,” said Family Equality Council Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler.

“They, like all Americans, understand that while love makes a family, there is no denying that marriage strengthens it,” said Chrisler.  “These parents have raised their children to love their country, support their friends and treat their neighbors with respect.  Now they only ask for the fundamental American freedom to demonstrate their love and commitment to their family through marriage.  We join them in looking forward to the day when we can win the freedom to marry for them and all Americans.”

This weekend, Family Equality Council will celebrate this step forward on the journey toward the  freedom to marry and family equality for all when it honors Chad Griffin and other LGBT family advocates at the 2012 Los Angeles Awards Dinner. ( www.familyequality.org/losangeles)
Griffin is Co-founder and Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights – the group behind the effort to overturn California’s Proposition 8.




AMSTERDAM – January 12, 2012 – The quality of life of 17-year-olds reared in lesbian-parent families did not differ from that of a matched group of adolescents who grew up in heterosexual-parent families, according to a new study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.   “Consistently, over the past three decades, researchers have found that the daughters and sons of same-sex parents are psychologically well-adjusted. And now our new data demonstrate that 17-year-olds raised from birth by lesbian mothers are as happy as their peers,” said lead author Loes van Gelderen, MSc, University of Amsterdam.


The study also found, among teens with lesbian mothers, no difference in quality of life based on donor status (whether they had been conceived by known or unknown donors), experienced stigmatization (whether or not they had experienced discrimination), or maternal relationship continuity (whether their mothers were still together or had separated).


“The favorable outcomes for these adolescents are a reflection of good parenting by mothers who prepared their daughters and sons for the prospect of adversity,” said Principal Investigator Nanette Gartrell, MD, of the Williams Institute.


In the study, Quality of Life of Adolescents Raised From Birth by Lesbian Mothers, 78 17-year-olds with lesbian mothers were matched on gender, age, parental education, and ethnic background with adolescents in heterosexual-parent families that were drawn from a representative statewide sample.  The adolescents in both groups gave a numerical score (0 = minimum; 10= maximum) to each of a series of statements such as, “I feel I’m getting along with my parents/guardians,” “I look forward to the future,” and ”I feel good about myself.”


The adolescents with lesbian mothers responded generally in the same way as the teenagers with heterosexual parents The data in the new report comes from adolescents whose families are participants in the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), the longest-running and largest prospective investigation of lesbian mothers and their children in the United States. Initiated by Nanette Gartrell, MD, in 1986, the NLLFS examines the social, psychological, and emotional development of the children as well as the dynamics of planned lesbian families.


This study was conducted by Loes van Gelderen, MSc. (University of Amsterdam), Henny Bos, PhD (University of Amsterdam; Williams Visiting International Scholar 2012), Nanette Gartrell, MD (University of Amsterdam; 2011-12 Williams Institute Visiting Distinguished Scholar ), Jo Hermanns, PhD (University of Amsterdam), and Ellen C. Perrin, MD (Floating Hospital, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA).


This morning, Family Equality Council is releasing a groundbreaking report in Washington D.C. designed to focus the national spotlight on the 2 million children being raised by LGBT parents.

Read the report and find out how you can help  spread the word!

All Children Matter shows how our kids have become the victims of antiquated laws, discriminatory policies and hostile political decisions.

We know our kids live everyday in legal and social jeopardy because of these laws. Now everyone will know that our children matter.

The report shows how current laws can:

  • Deny legal ties to both of their parents—which affects everything from custody to a parent being able to make emergency medical decisions for his or her child.
  • Separate children from their parents in cases of divorce or death of a parent.
  • Tie their access to critical federal and state safety net programs to family structure, rather than need.
  • Deny our children access to quality child care and early childhood education.
  • Deny our kids Social Security survivor benefits or inheritance when a parent dies.
  • Put a child’s legal ties to his or her parents in jeopardy if the family crosses state lines.
  • Deny forever homes to 115,000 children awaiting adoption.

The report wraps up with a set of practical policy recommendations that could fix the discrimination that exists today.

I will be in Washington D.C. later this morning talking to policymakers and the media about the report and I wanted to give you two opportunities to participate.

Bevan Dufty is running to become Mayor of San Francisco. If elected on November 8, 2011, he would be the first openly gay Mayor of San Francisco. Last week he made headlines around the world when his first television campaign commercial — produced by Obama ad guru Mark Putnam — was released.  It was the first time in history an LGBT candidate for office had featured his or her own child in a campaign spot.  You can see that ad here:


Bevan is a public school parent, one of the few in the race. He knows San Francisco needs high-quality public schools — for the families and children of today and the workers of tomorrow. He also knows if San Francisco schools don’t get better, families will continue to leave the city in droves for better options. His plan for educastion ensures that every child in San Francisco has a school that succeeds.  

Here’s another video of Bevan’s appearance on MSNBC last week where he discussed the campaign and his most important job — being a father.

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