Our Mission and Vision
Family Equality Council's mission is to ensure 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.
For nearly 40 years, Family Equality Council has worked towards securing justice and equality for LGBTQ families, becoming one of the foremost LGBTQ advocacy organizations in the country – and the only one expressly dedicated to serving families. Through strategic legal advocacy, public education, and community building among LGBTQ parents, caregivers, and youth across the country, we work to advance full legal and lived equality for all LGBTQ families. Our work builds community, changes hearts and minds, and advances social justice for all people, including LGBTQ people who need or desire families: youth seeking permanency and adults seeking family formation.
Family Equality Council’s work has resulted in sustained, demonstrable impact nationwide, across all three of our focus areas (legal advocacy, communications, and programs). Our legal advocacy team has successfully combated discriminatory anti-LGBTQ legislation at the local, state, and federal level, particularly with regard to laws obstructing LGBTQ people from adopting and fostering children and challenging LGBTQ parental rights. Our 17 amicus briefs communicated firsthand the harm done by discriminatory relationship recognition laws through our families’ stories, and were instrumental in securing marriage equality at the federal level in the landmark Obergefell Supreme Court case in 2015.
Complementing our legal advocacy efforts, our communications and storytelling work gives LGBTQ families the opportunity to share their experience on their own terms and utilizing the power of first-person narrative to change hearts and minds. This work captures stories representing the remarkable diversity of our community, working to harness the power of personal narrative and digital story-sharing platforms to build community, preserve LGBTQ history, and contribute substantive testimony to public conversations on LGBTQ families and the policies that impact them.
Our educational and community-building programs serve over 20,000 LGBTQ parents, caregivers, and their children annually, and our comprehensive online resources on state policy; navigating social services, educational, and healthcare systems; and LGBTQ parenting have considerable reach – particularly as our social media presence continues to grow. Events such as our landmark Family Week in Provincetown, MA – the largest gathering of LGBTQ families in the world – as well as Family Weekend in the Midwest, parent cafes across the country, and more, give LGBTQ families the opportunity to connect with one another and educate themselves on issues relevant to their lives. This programming provides vital resources to families who often lack support and community where they live, creating networks of mutual support for LGBTQ families across a wide range of backgrounds.