Celebrate. Commit. Connect.
Those are the new year's resolutions for the Family Equality Council, and I hope they will be yours in 2012.
This year, we will mark the 30th anniversary of our organization. Over the past 30 years we have worked tirelessly to strengthen our families by building our community to support parents and children, sharing our stories to open hearts and minds, and raising our voices to create social justice for all families.
Today, because of our work, we have a strong community of parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, who reach across this country. They live their lives, raise their children, worship, and pay their taxes in New York and Los Angeles, Jacksonville and Little Rock, San Antonio and Detroit, and all points in between.
For three decades, we have worked to create a world where those families and all loving families could be recognized, respected, and protected.
This year we will celebrate the positive changes that have made the world a better place for those 1 million families with parents who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
The work has not always been easy, but it has been rewarding.
So this year, I ask you to resolve to join us by celebrating our anniversary, committing yourself to help advance equality on behalf of our families, and connecting on a deeper level with the growing community of families supported by the Family Equality Council.
Come celebrate our community at one of these major events that mark our year-long celebration of Family Equality Council's 30th anniversary.
- At our Los Angeles Awards Dinner on Feb. 11, and at Night at the Pier in New York on May 8, we will gather together our families, supporters, friends, and allies to celebrate our accomplishments and talk about the important and urgent work that still needs to be done to protect our families.
- Join us for our first Family Weekend in Washington, D.C. from May 17 to 19, when families from across the country will learn more about how laws and policies affecting our families are made, talk to members of Congress about issues that are important to us, raise our voices to make sure that our families' stories are heard and validated, and experience the thrill of sightseeing in our nation's capital.
- Celebrate with us in Provincetown at Family Week (July 28 to Aug. 4), or at the Midwest Families Conference (April 27 to 28) and Family Camp (July 20 to 22) in Minnesota, where our children can meet, play, and make friends with other children with LGBT moms and dads.
- Mark International Family Equality Day (May 6), or show your Pride in your family (month of June), and use those opportunities to gather in an environment where our families will be respected and celebrated.
Even in the midst of our celebration, we recognize there is more work to be done for our families. So we have resolved to use this year to recommit our organization to changing the world for future generations of families. Here is how you can resolve to commit yourself to be a part of that change.
- Commit to spreading the word about Family Equality Council to at least three new families this year by sending them this link to sign on as a supporter.
- Commit to sharing your story to introduce more Americans to LGBT families. Our public education efforts help change attitudes and policies so that all families will one day be valued for their commitment to one another.
- Commit to learning about the issues that are important to our families in this election year. Check back soon at our new website to learn how you can influence lawmakers and policymakers with just a simple mouse click. Make sure that in this most heated of political environments, the lies and untruths told about our families don't go unanswered.
Finally, we hope you resolve this year to help connect with families in your community, and with some of the millions of other families across our country.
- Become active in your community by connecting with your local LGBT parenting group. If one doesn't exist in your neighborhood, allow us to help you make the connections that will help a new group thrive and flourish.
- Connect with us online. In a few weeks, we'll be launching a rich, user-friendly new website that will allow you to connect with other families and with us. We'll also be launching a new child development newsletter for new and expecting parents to share useful information about important health and wellness milestones. Stay tuned this month to learn more.
- Connect with us through "Scan & Send It," an upcoming program that will give you an even bigger voice in changing systems to truly include all our family structures.
- Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. More than 3,500 friends joined us on Facebook last year, and our Twitter followers nearly doubled. Follow and friend us for a chance to raise your voices for fairness.
This year, more than ever, we resolve to make a world of difference for all families.
We hope you'll join us in celebration, make a meaningful commitment to fairness for all families, and connect with the growing community of parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren across this country.
On behalf of the board and staff of Family Equality Council, I wish you a healthy and happy new year.