Van Jones: We’re In This Together

Read More

Casey Lyn Goold: My Testimony in Delaware

<Back to Delaware Families Celebrate Testimony supporting the Civil Unions Bill before the Senate and House in Dover, Delaware by Casey Lyn Goold. Good afternoon. My name is Casey Lyn Goold, I am 26 years old, I am a college graduate, I own my own business, I am working on a second degree, and I have 2 moms. I was raised by my mother, Lynda who was a single mom until my early adult life, when she met her now committed partner, Debbie, a woman with an amazing heart, who I am honored to call my second mom. Debbie has become someone I can confide in, someone I can go to for guidance, and someone who will console me when life just seems too tough. I am blessed to have the family I have now. We have financial stability, we have a house which we call our home, and we have one another. However, that could all be taken from us like that because the relationship my mother’s have is not recognized. It sickens me to think that my mother and I may be refused the right to have a final goodbye if something should happen to my mom Debbie because their relationship is not legally bound. Dying in a hospital room alone because your life partner and your family are not legally recognized as your immediate family is completely inhumane. Being denied the right to give final respects to a woman who has been a major part of my life just because she is not legally recognized as a member of my family is unfathomable. I cannot even begin to imagine what mental and emotional impact this will have on a child much younger than myself who has 2 moms or 2 dads. With issues that are much more substantial like, global warming, unemployment, and poverty, it seems completely senseless to me that we are trying to ban love. I ask you today to PLEASE vote YES to pass SB 30, to allow my family and quit a bit of families out there just like mine, the right to love with dignity, the right to protect and ensure the quality of the lives we have built together, the right to protect the stability of our homes, and the right to maintain equal family rights. Black, White, Catholic, Muslim, Irish, German, left-handed, right-handed, blonde haired, red haired, Gay, or Straight, we are all pink on the inside. We all bleed red. And we all deserve equal rights! Thank...

Read More

Rep. Pete Stark: “EVERY CHILD DESERVES A FAMILY”

NEWS – CONGRESSMAN PETE STARK 239 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-5065 www.stark.house.go FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, May 3rd, 2010 Contact: Sarah Baldauf, (202) 225-3202 STARK: “EVERY CHILD DESERVES A FAMILY” Reintroduces Legislation to Eliminate Discrimination in Foster Care and Adoption WASHINGTON – Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), ranking member on the Ways & Means Health Subcommittee, today reintroduced the “Every Child Deserves a Family Act,” H.R. 1681, with 33 original cosponsors. The legislation addresses the critical shortage of stable, safe and loving homes currently available to children in our foster care system. The legislation would set a federal baseline that puts an end to prejudiced restrictions that have denied an untold number of children the homes that they desperately need. The Every Child Deserves a Family Act would ban discrimination in adoption or foster care placement based on the sexual orientation, marital status or gender identity of the potential parent, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA): “We now spend more than $7 billion per year on a flawed foster care system that doesn’t serve all the children who are in it, and permits discrimination against capable, loving potential parents and children. It’s time for a federal fix to this critical child welfare and civil rights issue. Every child deserves the lifelong benefits that come from growing up in a stable home.” Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA): “The facts are clear: children fare far better in a safe, supportive, loving home. Just like straight parents, lesbian and gay parents can provide this, yet many states won’t allow it, while using federal funds to discriminate. This legislation simply says to states, ‘if you choose to use federal dollars, you can’t discriminate against prospective parents – or against these children.’ This is about common sense and fairness.” Recent attempts have been made in states – including Virginia, Arizona and Illinois – to further restrict who can adopt, making the Every Child Deserves a Family Act particularly timely. The United States currently has an uneven system of state laws, a number of which put up barriers to becoming a foster or adoptive parent based on one’s sexual orientation, marital status or gender identity. A handful of states affirmatively allow gay men and lesbians to adopt jointly, while most states are silent on the issue. Stark’s legislation would correct the patchwork system in the best interests of the children involved. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has announced her intention to introduce the bill in the Senate. Congressman Stark announced reintroduction of the Every Child Deserves a Family Act at a press conference alongside two alumnae...

Read More

Every Child Deserves A Family!

At COLAGE we know that it doesn’t matter how many parents a person has, or what sexual orientation or gender identity their parents are. What matters most is that young people have loving supportive families. The Every Child Deserves a Family (ECDF) Act, reintroduced in the House as H.R. 1681 by Representative Pete Stark, (D-CA) on May 3, 2011, would prohibit any child welfare service provider receiving federal assistance and involved in adoption or foster care placements from discriminating against prospective adoptive or foster parents solely on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, or on the basis of the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved. 1. Sign our letter to Congress! 2. Donate to COLAGE so we can continue to amplify the voices of people with LGBTQ parents. 3. Share your story, and let us know if you would be interested in lobbying. 4. Read Rep. Pete Stark’s Press...

Read More

U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Policy Prohibiting Gender Identity Discrimination

Media Contact: Kristina Wertz, Legal Director, Transgender Law Center Office: 415-865-0176 x 302, kristina@transgenderlawcenter.org (Washington, D.C.), April 28, 2011 – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that it will explicitly prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity within the department. New equal employment opportunity policies, signed by Secretary Hilda Solis, include updated policies on prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, including gender identity and pregnancy. The Transgender Law Center praises Secretary Solis for this important step to level the playing field for current and potential transgender employees of the Department of Labor. “We applaud Secretary Solis for acting with fairness and equity for its employees,” said Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. “We look forward to continuing to work with the administration to respond to the employment-related needs of all Americans – including transgender Americans – and ensure equal access to federal employment programs for everyone.” “I am expressing my personal commitment to ensure that the U.S. Department of Labor is a model workplace, free from unlawful discrimination and harassment, which fosters a work environment that fully utilizes the capabilities of every employee,” said Secretary Solis. “It is my goal that we achieve and maintain a high-quality, diverse workforce at all organizational levels throughout the department.” A startling number of transgender and gender non-conforming Californians continue to face workplace discrimination, harassment and unemployment directly linked to their gender identity or expression. As shown in the Transgender Law Center’s 2009 Report, The State of Transgender California, transgender people face twice the rate of unemployment as the general population. The Department of Labor is the federal agency primarily responsible for addressing unemployment. As such, the Department of Labor is well positioned serve as a model employer for transgender people. The Transgender Law Center views this as the first in many steps the Department of Labor can take to alleviate unemployment for transgender people and others who do not fit narrow gender stereotypes. The Transgender Law Center calls on the Department to ensure that all programs funded by the Department of Labor comply with all local and state laws prohibiting discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The department’s policies on equal employment opportunity and harassing conduct in the workplace can be viewed at http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/crc-internal/eeo.htm and http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/crc-internal/Policy-Statement-on-Harassing-Conduct-in-the-Workplace.htm. ### The Transgender Law Center is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. The Transgender Law Center uses direct legal services, education, community organizing, and advocacy to transform California into a state that recognizes and supports the needs of transgender people and their families....

Read More

Don’t Say Gay?

A bill that would prohibit teachers from talking about issues regarding sexual orientation in the classroom before the ninth grade has advanced in Tennessee’s Senate. At COLAGE we know that many people with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) parents face challenges and isolation because their families are not reflected in school curriculum or discussions. We also know that when bills like this are splashed across newspaper pages, twitter, and facebook, people with LGBTQ parents experience increased bullying and discrimination. Families come in all shapes and sizes so it is vital for our youth that all families are celebrated in schools. Stay tuned to COLAGE.org for upcoming related updates and action alerts. Please donate to COLAGE today so that we can continue to advocate for a world in which all families are treated with respect and...

Read More