We Will Not Be Invisible

As parents, we know that some things can go on the back burner, and
others just can’t. We can put off the laundry until tomorrow …
get back to the daily run once the baby is a little older …
tackle those closets during the next school vacation.

But the health and security of your family?  That’s a today
thing. Always.

Yet right now, with a decidedly anti-LGBT Congress flexing its
muscle on Capitol Hill, you can be certain that YOUR priorities —
the freedom to marry who you love, equal financial and health care
protection for your family, strong anti-bullying policies in our
schools — are way off the legislative radar. (Or if they are,
it’s only to do the wrong thing, such as circumvent
President Obama’s decision to stop defending the Defense of
Marriage Act in federal court).

Some say that it’ll be impossible to make progress this year —
that the LGBT community should sit back and try to remain invisible
until the next congressional session.

I say: Are you kidding me?

At Family Equality Council, we have no intention of being invisible
during the current session of Congress. We plan to be walking those
halls in force, educating friend and foe alike that our long list
of serious needs isn’t going on anybody’s back

Delivering that message will be a pleasure. But it will also take
resources. That’s why Family Equality Council is launching our

Front + Center
today. I encourage you to take part in it by
making a contribution that reflects the full force of your resolve
that Congress has a responsibility to us … we have a
responsibility to each other … and our families have rights and
needs that will be recognized and acted upon with due speed.

Before this year is over, you can expect a solid bipartisan
majority of Congress to have a vivid understanding of our
families’ needs related to:

■      disparities in state laws and practice in
LGBT adoption and foster

■      progress on the
Every Child Deserves a
Family Act
, so prospective LGBT parents can provide
loving homes to kids in need;

■      progress on the
Uniting American Families
so bi-national couples are free of the threat that a
loving partner will be deported;

■      stopping Speaker Boehner’s cynical and dangerous
effort to undo
President Obama’s
decision to stop defending DOMA in

■      action on the
Safe Schools Improvement
Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act
to protect
all kids from bullying, with policies that specifically
reference LGBT kids and kids of LGBT parents;

■      a vote to finally
pass the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act
and end the scourge of legal
anti-LGBT employment discrimination in 38 U.S. states;

■      full LGBT inclusion in the reauthorization of the

Fair Housing Act

It’s a big agenda. And it doesn’t even account for the scores
of smaller measures needed to make federal and state laws
and policies — right down to federal forms — fully
inclusive of our families.

I have no illusions about how quickly we’ll get our agenda
passed. Legislative progress, especially on LGBT rights, moves
incrementally. But the only way it will move is with an
uncompromising, persistent and determined chorus of families and
policy leaders behind it.

That’s us —Family Equality Council. And it’s

So I hope you’ll
join me in taking
and putting our families front and center in
2011. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your support. We
can’t wait to get started on this exciting new campaign (be sure
to follow our progress on Twitter via hashtag #frontandcenter11),
and I’m so glad to have you with us.