#BuildBackBetter: Why LGBTQ+ Families Need Paid Family and Medical Leave

By: Gabrielle Avellaneda

Family Equality is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ families have the time they need to care for themselves and their families. Fortunately, the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program is a part of Congress’ and the Biden-Harris administration’s #BuildBackBetter proposal! With this national, federally funded program, people can manage their health and the health of their families. Keep reading to learn more about how #BuildBackBetter legislation can help our families—and what you can do to support it.

What does the #BuildBackBetter paid family and medical leave program do?

The program ensures workers receive partial wage replacement to take time to:

  • Bond with a new child,
  • Care for a seriously ill loved one,
  • Deal with a loved one’s military deployment,
  • Find safety from sexual assault, stalking, or domestic violence,
  • Heal from their own serious illness, and
  • Take time to deal with the death of a loved one.

Furthermore, the proposed program guarantees 12 weeks (or 60 days) of paid parental, family, and personal illness leave.

How would a paid family and medical leave program help LGBTQ+ families?

Our families need paid family and medical leave programs. In fact, 37%  of working LGBTQ+ adults report not having access to paid family or sick leave through their employer. And, in a nationally representative survey, only 48% of respondents reported that their employer’s policies cover new parents of all genders equally. Only 49% said that the policies are equally inclusive of the many LGBTQ+ paths to parenthood. 

Additionally, this plan is inclusive of chosen family (or “families of affinity“). The plan’s broadened definition supports the many LGBTQ+ people who rely on their chosen family for caregiving support. After all, according to a nationally representative survey from the Center for American Progress: 

What can you do to help?

In summary, the bold solutions outlined above will help all families survive and thrive in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we need your help to get this plan enacted! Use this simple tool to urge Congress to address the needs of LGBTQ+ people, families, and communities by supporting #BuildBackBetter legislation!

Text that reads, "Tell Congress to Fight LGBTQ+ Poverty" with a photo of an LGBTQ+ family.

Tell Congress to Support LGBTQ+ Families with #BuildBackBetter Legislation

Urge your Congressmembers to fight LGBTQ+ poverty with comprehensive solutions!

Read More About #BuildBackBetter Legislation