Presidents, Parents, Pioneers, Oh MY!

Any way you slice it, 2008 was a BIG year–historic elections,
historic crises, gains for equality and setbacks, as well. Through
it all we were honored to share our thoughts and perspectives with
you through the Family Equality Council Blog, and to invite your
thoughts and comments, as well. As we gear up for 2009 and the
stories to come, I thought it’d be worthwhile to revisit the
stories YOU paid attention to the most over the past year.

I present you with the TOP 10 MOST READ POSTS ON THE FAMILY

1.  Have You Declared Your Family

In the wake of Prop 8’s passage, families cried out for
a way to express their equality with others, to channel their anger
and frustration into positive change. The Family Equality Council
launched an interactive visibility campaign called “Declare Your
Family Equal”
in the days after the election and announced it
in this blog. More than 11,000 people viewed our visibility video
on YouTube.

2.  John Selig Outspoken Podcast Interview with Tom
& Travis Knoll–A Gay Dad and His 17-Year-Old

Readers of our blog really took to this post by
contributor John Selig. Selig interviewed the family on his
Outspoken podcast, detailing the incredible talents and
intelligence of Travis, the family’s spirituality and Selig’s own
discussion of “verbal gold,” or the power of LGBT parents to make
change just by talking about their families with

3.  Sen. Obama Responds to Jennifer Chrisler’s
Questions on Family Policy

After Sen.
McCain spoke out against gay adoption
in July, Jennifer
Chrisler, Executive Director of Family Equality Council, penned
identical letters to Sens. McCain and Obama asking them, as
candidates for president, to clarify how their administrations
would support all of the many types of families in this
country. Within a week, then Sen. Obama issued his response to
Jennifer, insisting that we must do more to support and strengthen
LGBT families.

4.  REACT EQUALITY: Your Thoughts on Election

Also part of our “Declare Your Family Equal”
post-election visibility campaign, the “React Equality” blog post
chronicled the real and immediate reactions of LGBT parents, their
family members and friends to the mixed results of Election

5.  A Day of Mixed Emotions for LGBT

The day after the election, Jennifer Chrisler posted
this message on the Family Equality Council blog, along with her
official statement to the press congratulating Barack Obama for
winning the presidency. This was days before we knew the final
outcome of Prop 8. Our community hung in limbo.

6.  Del Martin, LGBT rights pioneer, passes away with
wife, Phyllis, at her side

Del Martin and her wife Phyllis Lyon were the first
same-sex couple married in California. They were together for +50
years before Del passed away in late August. Their work for LGBT
equality has broken new ground for half decades.

7.  Transgender Rights Upheld in Maryland–Major

The Maryland High Court invalidated a potential ballot
measure to repeal Montgomery County’s transgender rights act due to
insufficient signatures. This would have been the first time voters
went to the polls to vote on transgender rights specifically, and
could have set a terrible precedent nationwide had opponents of
equality prevailed.

8.  Sharing Our Stories on YouTube

From time to time parents will contact us with a story
to share or, in this case, a media presentation of their families.
Cari Searcy of Mobile, AL sent us her YouTube video a few months
back, detailing the trials and tribulations of her and her
partner’s first child, who was born with a serious heart defect,
and being denied a second parent adoption. It’s a beautiful story
and a great use of new media to change hearts and

9.  Ember Cook: Raised Mormon, Working to Defeat Prop

Ember’s been a part of the LGBT family community since
the 5th grade when her dad came out as gay. These days she’s
working here at Family Equality Council, developing LGBT
family-specific activities for children 8 and under and, most
recently, working to defeat Proposition 8 on behalf of Family
Equailty Council on the ground in LA. Ember’s dedication to family
inclusion made the No on 8 campaign one of the friendliest
campaigns for family involvement to date!

10.  Front Seat Election Coverage ’08–News, Updates,
Resources from Family Equality Council

It was a short night and a long night depending on
which votes you were watching. As Barack Obama accepted the
presidency, the Prop 8 tallies started rolling in. We were right
there with you, and we’ll continue to be right there with you and
your families in 2009 and beyond!

Thanks for being a part of our family in 2008. We look forward to
informing you, hearing from you and serving you and your family in
the years to come.

Happy New Year!