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More than Marriage: LGBT Parenting and the Fight for Equal Rights

More than Marriage: LGBT Parenting and the Fight for Equal Rights

LGBT Equality Flags

It’s hard to believe that the landmark Supreme Court decision that made same-sex marriage a nationwide right was already four months ago. With one of the larger fights for LGBT equality behind us, we cannot lose sight of all the work that needs to be done before the LGBT community is truly equal in all aspects of our society.

With marriage equality came many state and federal benefits for LGBT married couples, but one area of family life where LGBT people still face discrimination is in the realm of adoption and foster care. In America, there are hundreds of thousands of youth in foster care in need of a loving family and home. There are an estimated two million LGBT people who would consider serving as foster or adoptive parents but currently face barriers that prevent them from doing so. It is a shame that not every child is able to have the support and love that they deserve when it could be available to them. When children grow up in a more permanent, loving and supportive home, they are able to thrive.

Judaism emphasizes that each of us, created in God’s image, has a unique talent, with which we can contribute to the high moral purpose of tikkun olam, the repair of our world. Excluding anyone from our community lessens our chance of achieving this goal of a more perfect world. Ensuring that all LGBT people to adopt children would repair our world in one of the most important ways, because it would allow our children to lead healthier and more successful lives, and also truly recognize equality for LGBT potential parents.

In both chambers of Congress, there is a bill that seeks to address these issues. The Every Child Deserves a Family Act (H.R. 2449/S. 1382) is a federal bill that would restrict funding for states employing discriminatory practices in adoption and foster care placements based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of the prospective parents or foster youth. Currently, ECDF has 87 cosponsors in the House and 19 in the Senate, and with National Adoption month coming up, now is the time to act and urge your Members of Congress to provide safe and supportive homes to children in need.

The LGBT community faces discrimination daily, and it is important that we as a community do not become complacent with our victories, and that we continue to work towards equal rights in all aspects of society. To learn more about issues of LGBT equality, visit the RAC’s issue page

Tracy Wolf was a 2015-2016 Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the RAC), and currently serves as the RAC's Leadership Development Associate. Originally from Syosset, N.Y., she is a member of North Shore Synagogue and a graduate of Dickinson College.

Tracy Wolf

Published: 10/22/2015