Equality Roundup: Breaking Barriers to Family Building
Laurie Hasencamp with API Equality – LA Executive Director Eileen Ma with the Queer Contingent at this year’s Mayday Downtown March
Congrats to Laurie Hasencamp on her award from the National Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association — she’s the 2012 Ally for Justice!
It’s understandable that the barriers to family building for lesbian couples don’t get much coverage — it’s an intimate piece of life for many couples, and the details aren’t usually included in baby shower announcements. But a Jane Doe lawsuit over FDA regulations is helping change that. Basically, the problem is that potential donors only have to be tested once if they’re hetero-married, but have to be tested each time if they’re helping out another couple. So Jane Doe has sued the FDA to remedy that discrimination nationwide.
Here in California, we’ve sponsored AB 2356 along with the National Center For Lesbian Rights, legislation to address this issue and ensure that lesbian women can access fertility services on the same terms as other women rather than being limited to only the least effective and most expensive of fertility services.
We’re proud of Seth’s Law, the comprehensive anti-bullying law we got passed last year, but California’s budget woes have meant that protecting kids is too often a low priority. B.R.A.V.E. Society is working to implement Seth’s Law in areas like San Juan, which have lagged behind larger cities.
We hope regular readers here are familiar with AB 1856, which will ensure safe, supportive homes for LGBT youth in the out-of-home care system (foster care, group homes, etc.). The Williams Institute, a public policy think tank at UCLA’s law school, has released a study that shows 94 percent of homeless youth service providers have LGBT clients, and that service providers estimate 40 percent of the youth they serve are LGBT people. It’s vital for California to make sure these youth are compassionately and effectively served, and AB 1856 does just that.
Congrats to Jim Frazier (AD 11), Cristina Garcia (AD 58), Adrin Nazarian (AD 46), Shirley Weber (AD 79) and Hannah Beth Jackson (SD 19) on becoming the newest five candidates endorsed by EQCA for their 100 percent pro-equality platforms.
Across the country:
Support for the freedom to marry is broader among Republicans than you’d think. Unfortunately a relative handful of extremists have hijacked the GOP in order to attack LGBT equality.
Edith Windsor, an octogenarian lesbian widow, wants the Supremes to take her case against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. The American Civil Liberties Union is pressing her case.
In Texas, awesome lesbian scout leader from Ohio prepares to present petitions to Boy Scout brass and the Portland, Tex. police have released a new sketch of the suspect in the attack on the teen couple.
A California couple sues to stop deportation. Let’s hope DOMA doesn’t break up another family.
Former EQCA board member Jimmy Nguyen on Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel acceptance speech.