Two Million Kids Left Behind
By Jon Roth
The LGBT community has been fighting for the right to marry with increasing success over the past few years. While progress has been made, advocacy groups are now demanding gay couples be recognized on a state and federal level for the benefit of a more vulnerable minority: their children.
Today in Washington, a coalition of organizations (including the Family Equality Council, The Center for American Progress, the Movement Advancement Project and others) will present their report "All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families" to a group of high-ranking politicians, including the Maryland Attorney General Douglas Ganser, whose state will be addressing the issue of same-sex marriage next year.
The report exposes serious gaps in protection for the children of LGBT parents, almost all of which stem from the fact that their marriages aren't recognized on a state and/or federal level. These children can lack access to their parents' health insurance, legal ties to both parents in case of divorce, financial protection in the event of a parent's death, and medical decision-making (or even visitation) rights for both parents.
While the US Census Bureau doesn't record the number of children being raised by gay and lesbian parents, demographer Gary Gates, who consults for the census, estimates the number to be around 1.2 million, and the 'All Children Matter' report takes that number to 2 million, factoring in bisexual and transgendered parents. That's a vast population of American youth denied basic rights through no fault of their own.
Are you part of a gay couple raising children? Have your kids been victims of these inequalities? Visit All Children Matter to tell your story and show solidarity with this cause.