Rise Above Coffee is proud to be the LGBTQ+ Coffee that gives back, and each month we feature a non-profit doing exceptional work in the LGBTQ+ community. This April, we’re shining a spotlight on Family Equality Council.
Mission and Founding
Family Equality Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Their mission is to advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families and those who wish to form them by building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Every day, they fight for a world where everyone can experience the unconditional love and belonging of family, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or family structure.
The organization that eventually grew into Family Equality Council began in 1979 at the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. More than 40 years later, FEC is still driven by the same fundamental inequality: loving, caring parents continue to be denied equal opportunity to form and sustain families because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
A Vision for True Family Equality
As a non-profit, Family Equality Council has a grand vision of what true family equality can and should look like. It is a future where every LGBTQ person has the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, national origin, geography, socioeconomic status, disability, or the intersection of any of these characteristics.
It is a world where systems of service and support don’t discriminate—instead, maximizing opportunities for LGBTQ youth in need of permanency and LGBTQ adults seeking family formation through adoption, foster care, assisted reproductive technology or other means.
Most importantly, they envision a world where LGBTQ families live in communities that recognize, respect, protect and value them.
Legislative and Legal Advocacy for Meaningful Change
The Family Equality Council policy team tracks state and federal legislation on a wide range of issues that directly affect existing LGBTQ families as well as LGBTQ individuals who want to form families. These may include adoption and foster care, parental recognition, surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology, working families, religious exemptions, non-discrimination protections and transgender rights.
On a regular basis, Family Equality Council also acts in the courts to advance equality for LGBTQ families. In 2020, they sued the Department of Health and Human Services over a Trump-era policy that allowed discrimination against prospective LGBTQ parents. The following year, under the Biden administration, DHHS terminated this discriminatory policy.
The group has also written several amicus briefs, which state and federal courts have taken into consideration during landmark LGBTQ cases. In 2015, Supreme Court Justice Kennedy referenced a brief written by Family Equality Coalition and COLAGE in his Obergefell decision, establishing the right of same-sex couples to marry in every state and territory in the U.S.
A Wealth of Resources
For existing or forming LGBTQ families, the Family Equality Coalition website offers a deep wealth of resources. The following are just a few:
- Family support resources
- LGBTQ+ books for parents and kids
- Personal stories, including the Equal Treatment Storytelling Project
- The Outspoken Voices podcast
- “Every Child Deserves a Family” and other FEC campaigns
- Recommendations for LGBTQ+ family groups in your area
- Directory of family building organizations
- State family law guides
- Articles, handbooks, and factsheets on a wide range of relevant topics
Coffee for a Cause
In support of the invaluable work being done by Family Equality Council, we’re introducing Inspiration as our April #coffeeforacause. During the month of April, buy Inspiration coffee and a portion of the proceeds will be donated directly to Family Equality Council.
Family Equality Council – References