parent \ˈper-ənt\. noun.1 one that begets or brings forth offspring 2. a person who brings up and cares for another.
Take a look in the nearest Merriam-Webster dictionary and you will find that “parent” isn’t defined in gay or straight terms – a parent is simply someone who brings up and cares for another. Sadly, our society discriminates between LGBT and straight parents. Because same-sex couples cannot legally marry, they cannot function as equal parents out in the world like their straight counterparts. Here are a few ways discrimination affects the lives of the families headed by same-sex couples:
- If the parents were to separate, a parent could be completely denied access to the child.
- The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act allow married couples up to 12 weeks off to care for a sick child or spouse. The law does not extend these protections to same-sex couples because they cannot legally marry. As a result, if a child were to become seriously ill, her parent may not be able to take the necessary time off from work to care for the child.
- Same-sex couples are denied many of the financial benefits of being able to marry, creating a smaller economic pool from which families can draw for their basic living needs and inevitably impacting the standard of living of the child.
LGBT parents and their children are not equally protected under law. This is why Atticus Circle is introducing two new campaigns this spring: “All Mothers’ Day” and “All Fathers’ Day.” We want to ensure that every parent in America receives the recognition, basic rights, and “the pursuit of happiness” he or she is promised.
Our “All Mothers’ Day /All Fathers’ Day” campaigns work like this:
1. Sign up on our website. After signing up, we will send you two emails. One will have our “All Mothers’ Day/All Fathers’ Day Toolkit” attached. The other will be a sample of the e-card you will send to your friends, family, co-workers, etc.
2. We will provide you with a link to contact your elected officials. We will provide you with a sample letter to mail to your representatives expressing your support for All Mothers and All Fathers.
3. Don’t forget: Mother’s Day is May 10 and Father’s Day is June 21.