2012 Annual Report

Family Equality Council is changing attitudes and policies to ensure all families are respected, loved and celebrated - especially families with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Greetings friends and families,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to Family Equality Council’s 2012 annual report.

In the continued effort to make our groundbreaking work accessible to all families, I am excited to present our accomplishments to you in a digital format for the first time ever. And hold on to your seat, because this isn’t the only new and exciting development you’ll see at Family Equality Council; with your help we have reached some incredible milestones, many of which I am able to share with you here.

In 2012, Family Equality Council marked its 30th anniversary as we celebrated a banner year for the organization and for the movement. Momentum is building, culture is beginning to shift in radical ways and Family Equality Council continues to be the powerful force moving the modern family platform forward.

Family Equality Council knows what I know – that children thrive when they are loved.

As a single dad raising three amazing kids, I am committed to creating a world where Isaac, Naomi and Natalie have the same rights and protections as every single one of their friends at school.

I am grateful to Family Equality Council for advocating for legal and social equality for my children and the six million others in the U.S. with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT).

Things are changing around here and I bet you’ve noticed as well. I am proud to stand with Family Equality Council as, together, we build a better future for our children. Are you with us?


Alan Bernstein

Alan Bernstein

Chair, Board of Directors

Family Equality Council

Alan and his kids.
Continue to the 2012 Annual Report

Making Breakthroughs

The powerful force driving the modern family platform

Family Equality Council is harnessing our influence within the institutions that shape U.S. society.
Hover below to see some of the ways we raised the visibility of our families in 2012.

We partnered with the Federal Administration to co-host the LGBT Conference on Families and sponsored three Outspoken Generation representatives to attend the White House LGBT Emerging Leaders event.
We rang the closing bell at the
New York Stock Exchange.
We celebrated our 30th anniversary at gala events in New York and Los Angeles where we honored contributions of those who further social and legal equality for all families.
We partnered with Yale University on a history project chronicling our 30 years of impact on the LGBT-headed family movement.

Watch the Story of Family Equality to see just
how far we have come in the past 30 years.

Expanding government programs
to serve all families

Our years of advocacy across agencies culminated in big wins in 2012. As the federal government becomes more inclusive of our families, parents who are LGBT can take advantage of
new protections under the law.

In times of need, both parents can take time off to care for children and be protected under the Family Medical Leave Act.
All families can utilize HUD public housing, mortgage and voucher programs without discrimination.
Soon families will be able to file a single declarations form and clear U.S. Customs together as a family unit.
In the near future, all federal employees will be able to provide health insurance coverage for the children of their domestic partner.

Lobbying for equality for modern families

Families from across the country made their voices heard at our inaugural Family Weekend in Washington through more than 80 meetings on Capitol Hill, national media coverage on NPR and CNN and a proclamation from the DC Mayor’s office marking our visit as “LGBT Family Equality Day in DC.”

Changing Laws and
Transforming Communities

In collaboration with Family Equality Council’s policy team and coalition partners, our families mobilized as a force for LGBT equality and generated groundbreaking legislative victories in 2012. We also sponsored a record number of events to build support and connect families in
communities across the U.S.

This map represents just a sampling of our 2012 successes. Learn more about our state policy work and local events at familyequality.org.

Facilitated panel discussions with Outspoken Generation members in San Francisco.

Authored an amicus brief in the voices of children with parents who are LGBT challenging Prop 8 and discrimination against LGBT families.

Honored NBC, Chris Kluwe and Dr. Virginia Uribe at our 9th Annual Los Angeles Awards Dinner.

Facilitated panel discussions with Outspoken Generation members in San Diego.

Facilitated panel discussions with Outspoken Generation members in Palm Springs.

Worked with Rapid Response Network against banning LGBT-themed literature from Utah’s Davis County School District.

Sponsored the Bermea family’s trip to Family Week to connect the two dads and four kids to a larger support community after they’d endured months of harassment in Gilbert, Arizona.

Assisted couples with information on the tax implications of their same-sex relationships.

Held 30 community-building events throughout Minnesota, including the Midwest Family Equality Conference, Family Camp, Pride celebrations and local parent group gatherings.

Collaborated with PROMO to combat the “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” aimed at prohibiting the teaching of homosexuality in Missouri schools.

Partnered with Equality Illinois to successfully defeat attempts to provide religious exemptions to adoption agencies providing services to couples in civil unions.

Connected with over 200 parents who are LGBT and their children at Lansing’s annual Pride celebration.

Signed onto an amicus brief challenging discrimination in advertising for rental housing in Ohio.

Conducted public education campaigns to connect LGBT families to adoption resources upon the lifting of a 33-year ban on gay and
lesbian adoptions.

Advocated against “conscience clause” legislation that would allow Virginia adoption agencies to deny placements with LGBT families.

Conducted research with the ACLU and MAP to create public messaging guidelines about second-parent adoptions in North Carolina.

Created the Maryland Marriage Equality Action Center and facilitated public awareness campaigns to mobilize Marylanders for
marriage equality.

Led the Bully-Free DC coalition in successfully lobbying for the LGBT-inclusive, anti-bullying bill passed by the city council.

Collaborated with state and city advocates to lobby for legislation ensuring paid sick days
for employees in New York.

Honored Dan Bucatinsky, Jennifer Chrisler and Roberta Kaplan at our 8th annual Night at the Pier in New York City.

Partnered with R Family Vacations for a weekend of fun and educational programming for over 50 families in Kent, Connecticut.

Celebrated the second annual International Family Equality Day with over 30 families
in Dover, New Hampshire.

Organized public education campaigns to mobilize families in Maine’s fight for marriage equality.

Convened over 600 families in Provincetown to celebrate our 17th annual Family Week.

Gathering Support

Changing hearts
and minds

In April of 2012, one of our families was honored to welcome Joe Biden into their Los Angeles home for a campaign event. When the Vice President unexpectedly endorsed marriage equality on Meet the Press a few weeks later, he credited his change of heart to the experience of meeting this loving family.

Our advocacy is changing the world. By raising the visibility of families with parents who are LGBT and ensuring that our families were represented in public discourse, we have seen a giant shift in the opinions of millions of Americans, including leading state and federal officials.

“With so many children waiting for loving homes, it is important to ensure that all qualified caregivers are given the opportunity to serve as adoptive parents, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or marital status.”

President Barack Obama

November 1, 2012

Uniting families worldwide for a global day of solidarity

On May 6, 2012, from families gathering in Germany at the zoo, to Austrians decorating the Augarten with rainbow flags, Israeli families packing a local park with a picnic for 300 and Family Equality Council convening U.S. families in Times Square, we globally celebrated our inaugural International Family Equality Day.

Extraordinary growth, powerful impact

Our rapid growth continues as donors, foundations and corporations committed to progress recognize Family Equality Council as the place to invest.

Growth in Income
  • $3,000,000
  • $2,500,000
  • $2,000,000
  • $1,500,000
  • $1,000,000
  • $500,000
Read the treasurer’s letter

“I am pleased to report that exceptional support from our growing donor base made our 30th anniversary a banner year for Family Equality Council. We surpassed all previous income milestones, raising a record $2.6 million in 2012...”

I am pleased to report that exceptional support from our growing donor base made our 30th anniversary a banner year for Family Equality Council.

We surpassed all previous income milestones, raising a record $2.6 million in 2012. Family Equality Council has experienced dramatic growth over the last three years by consistently delivering on our critical mission, despite a challenging economy and a slow recovery. Since 2009, we have seen a 64% increase in revenue and are on track to meet our strategic goal of establishing a $5 million budget by 2016.

As our resources have expanded, so has our impact. Thirty years of leading the family equality movement culminated in huge electoral victories and significant cultural shifts in 2012.

By prudently managing our finances, Family Equality Council was prepared with the resources to invest when this historic moment arrived and demanded a redoubling of our efforts.

Every dollar entrusted to us by a donor was put to work in service of championing our families and maintaining the momentum of this movement.

Donors committed to creating change have endorsed Family Equality Council as a sound investment for philanthropic dollars. In 2012, we cultivated several strategic corporate partners at breakthrough sponsorship levels, including Target, Children’s Tylenol, ToysRUs and Centropolis Films. The majority of our 2012 funding came from dedicated individuals who continue to demonstrate confidence in and commitment to Family Equality Council year after year. Over 74% of our major donors renewed their annual support, and almost 1,100 new families gave to Family Equality Council for the first time in 2012.

As contributions continue to grow, Family Equality Council remains an outcomes-focused organization, committed to prudently leveraging our resources to make a difference in the lives of families. We are grateful to each of our supporters for working with us to create a world where all loving families are respected, loved and celebrated.


David Spector

Treasurer, Board of Directors

Family Equality Council

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View foundation and corporate sponsors
View 2012 financial statements

Building Communities
where Families Thrive

Changing the world,
one form at a time

Paperwork is a ubiquitous part of family life, but facing antiquated forms can feel like a daily dose of discrimination. Through our new Snap It & Send It program, we’re partnering with parents to speak up for forms that work for all family configurations.

Advocating for equal rights and protections

In 2012, Family Equality Council made over 200 visits to Congress to promote the need for support on legislation such as the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, Respect for Marriage Act and safe-schools legislation. With your help, we are working to make sure families across the U.S. have the rights and protections they deserve.

Building better bookshelves

One of the most popular features of our new website is the
Book Nook, a carefully curated virtual library of LGBT
family-friendly books for readers of all ages.

Coming together
in community

Our signature events continued to grow in 2012 as over 5,000 families converged at Family Week, the Midwest Family Equality Conference, Families on the West Coast and Pride celebrations across the country. Make plans now to celebrate with us at an upcoming event.

Moving Forward

Bringing real family values to the national conversation

We launched the Modern Families Platform in 2012 as a roadmap for creating laws and policies that support full inclusion of all families in the life of our nation. As we confront the ten key areas where our families are denied equality, visibility and security, we will create lasting change for millions of American families.

Supporting families at all stages of life

Modern families can be found at every stage along the arc of life. Anyone contemplating starting a family, parenting a child of any age, transitioning to an empty nest, or relishing life as a grandparent has a place in the Family Equality Council community.

Family Creation
Outspoken Generation
Pearls of Wisdom

Family Creation

Family Equality Council is breaking down barriers that inhibit family creation. Our policy team fights discriminatory legislation and actively promotes practices that are inclusive of LGBT parents, including leading the coalition to pass the federal Every Child Deserves a Family Act. Additionally, we work with experts across many fields to provide parents with the tools and information they need; see what they have to say.


Family Equality Council supports parents who are LGBT and their children by providing educational and advocacy resources to meet their unique needs and by connecting modern families to nurturing communities across this country. Find or start a parent group near you.

Outspoken Generation

Thirty years into the LGBT family movement, there are many children coming of age as thriving adults and eager to share the success stories of their families. Outspoken Generation is empowering these young adults with a platform to advocate for equality as they speak out on growing up in loving families with parents who are LGBT. Read the stories of our Outspoken Generation members or nominate some you know to join by clicking here.

Pearls of Wisdom

Under the leadership of award winning Broadway producer and Grandparent, Daryl Roth,
Pearls of Wisdom was launched in 2012 to empower grandparents to share their experiences, show their support across generations and change the national dialogue on family values.

Entering a new era

With a leadership shift underway, we are brimming with possibility and eager to see what talents the new Executive Director will bring to our work. At the same time, we say goodbye with heavy hearts to Jenn Chrisler, whose extraordinary vision and expert management have transformed both Family Equality Council and the landscape for families with parents who are LGBT over the last seven years.

Thank you!

We hope that you have enjoyed reading about our 2012 accomplishments. Your support has had a nationwide impact on families with parents who are LGBT. Together we have taken major steps toward achieving a world where all families are respected, protected, and celebrated. We hope you will continue your involvement with Family Equality Council – please click the link below to learn how you can get more involved and support our work.More ways to get involved