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National family group adopts new name
Mission will expand scope of political advocacy

by David Stout . Q-Notes staff

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis poses with Family Equality Council executive director Jennifer Chrisler.
Photo Credit: Rochelle Taylor
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The non-profit advocacy organization formerly known as Family Pride announced its new name and expanded mission Oct. 13 at its annual National Awards Dinner. More than 250 people were in attendance and the organization raised $175,000.

The event was hosted by retired football player and gay father Esera Tualo. Award recipients were actress Jamie Lee Curtis and Growing Generations, an agency whose mission is “to build families of choice for our community through surrogacy, egg donation and sperm donation.”

During the dinner it was revealed that Washington, D.C.-based Family Pride will now be known as the Family Equality Council. It will continue to be the only non-profit organization in the country dedicated specifically to advocating at a national level for equality for families headed by LGBT parents and guardians.

“While we continue to have pride, our new name more accurately reflects our purpose: achieving family equality. Our new name and expanded vision reinforce our commitment to working across communities and issues and to joining forces with other progressive advocacy groups to create meaningful change for all loving families,” said Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Family Equality Council.

“Our primary focus remains LGBTQ parents and their families, but we also recognize that the laws, provisions and ordinances that hurt LGBTQ-headed families also hurt single parents, blended families, families of color and many other types of families.

“To that end,” Chrisler concluded, “the Family Equality Council will stand strong with our allies and work to defeat anti-family legislation and to promote legislation that is truly beneficial to all loving families. Our new name sends the message loud and clear to those who believe we do not deserve the same rights and protections other families in this country enjoy. No one owns the word family.”

Over the past several years Family Pride has enjoyed unprecedented growth, success and visibility. The efforts of the organization have helped put families led by LGBT parents in the forefront of the American consciousness for the first time.

In 2006, Family Pride organized a group of LGBT-headed families to participate in the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. The event grew into the largest instance of media visibility for queer parents and their children in history.

“As both a father and a gay man, I have always looked to the Family Equality Council to be a voice for my family and millions of other families headed by gay and lesbian parents across the nation,” said former Massachusetts state Senator and gay father Jarrett Barrios. “They have already done amazing work to make our families more visible and less abstract to those who do not know us.

“I am thrilled to support the organization as it takes on a more expansive vision while remaining an important voice for LGBTQ families.”

The Family Equality Council has also worked over the years to deepen and expand its partnerships with other child welfare and family advocacy groups at state and national levels.
Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, observed, “From our perspective at the Adoption Institute, where we focus on the need of all children to live in a permanent and loving home, the Family Equality Council has been a leader in the family movement and their work complements ours on many levels.

“This name change and expansion of their vision demonstrates they are more of an ally to all of us working to create loving families. I am confident that their growth will only make them more effective in serving LGBTQ families.”

A Family Equality Council statement explains, “Our work consists of strategically linked initiatives —broad in scope, but simple in vision: love, justice, family, equality.”

info: www.familyequality.org

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