Family Equality Urges the Senate to Reconvene to Pass Build Back Better Legislation and Voting Rights

In response to Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) announcement that he is withdrawing from negotiations about the Build Back Better Act, Family Equality released the following statement: 

“We hope that all Senate Democrats can reconvene and work together to quickly pass the Build Back Better Act legislation into law, which includes urgently needed supports for families—including affordable high-quality child care and universal pre-k, paid family and medical leave, expanded health care coverage, job creation, addressing climate change, and, critically, continuing the expanded Child Tax Credit into 2022.  We also urge Congress to act immediately, in light of the upcoming anniversary of the 2021 United States Capitol Attack, to protect voting rights across the U.S. from threats at the state, local, and national levels. 

These should be top priorities for every elected official. The future of America’s children should not be negotiable and Congress must ensure that all families have access to the economic and social supports that help keep kids safe and healthy. 

Family Equality is particularly disappointed by Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) announcement that he is withdrawing from negotiations about the bill because the provisions in Build Back Better are critically important to LGBTQI+ families in West Virginia and across the country who, like other families, received their final monthly child tax credit payments on December 15—unless the legislation is passed. Passage of Build Back Better will help to ensure millions of children lifted out of poverty by the expanded child tax credit can continue to thrive. 

In addition to providing a permanently expanded child tax credit, the Build Back Better Act would improve the lives of LGBTQI+ families across the nation, who are still suffering disproportionate health and economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Just last month, the Census Bureau released new data highlighting the harsh effects of the pandemic on the LGBTQI+ community. The report found: 

  • 13.5% of LGBT adults lived in a household where there was sometimes or often not enough to eat in the past seven days, compared to 7.4% of non-LGBT adults.
  • 35.6% of LGBT adults lived in a household that had difficulty paying for usual household expenses in the previous seven days, compared to 25.8% of non-LGBT adults.
  • 21.6% of LGBT adults lived in a household with lost employment income in the past four weeks, compared to 16.0% of non-LGBT adults.

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, LGBTQI+ families, particularly families of color, experienced disproportionately higher rates of poverty compared to their non-LGBTQI+ counterparts. 

January 15, 2021 should be a joyous celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday. But, it will be a sad day if Congress has not acted to address the terrible setbacks in voting rights that so many Americans sacrificed their lives to achieve. Without Build Back Better, it could also mark the first time families do NOT receive their monthly child tax credit payment since last July.  

It doesn’t have to be this way. We urge the Senate: act now to protect voting rights and pass Build Back Better for LGBTQI+ families across the country. “

About Family Equality

Family Equality advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality believes every LGBTQ+ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at

# # #

Press Contact

Anna Libertin,
Chief Communications Officer/
646-880-3005 ext. 157