2013 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, transgender or queer (LGBTQ).

Making Breakthroughs

Advancing 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 2013.

We submitted our Voices of Children amicus brief to the US Supreme Court, which was quoted by Justice Kennedy during oral arguments. The historic SCOTUS ruling overturned DOMA and Proposition 8, a cause for celebration by the entire movement for equality.
We welcomed Family Equality Council’s new Executive Director, Gabriel Blau, and have embarked on developing a new strategic plan which will focus on the lived and legal equality of all our families, especially the most vulnerable among us.
We completed the Breakthrough Conversation Project, which was designed to identify and overcome the psychological, cultural, and emotional triggers related to discussions about LGBTQ people and their families, integrating the core strategies into our premier advocacy programs, Outspoken Generation and Pearls of Wisdom.
We celebrated our families, work, and community at gala events in New York and Los Angeles, where we honored contributions of those who further social and legal equality for all families.

What is family? Some of our incredible supporters lent their voices to share what family means to them.

Working nationally and on the state level
to serve all families

Our years of advocacy across agencies culminated in big wins in 2013. As the federal government becomes more inclusive of our families, parents who are LGBTQ can take advantage of new protections under the law.

We gave children with LGBTQ parents a chance to speak directly to the Justices by submitting our Voices of Children amicus brief to the US Supreme Court in the US v Winsdor and Hollingsworth v Perry cases which would eventually overturn DOMA and Prop 8.
We advanced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status in foster care and adoptive homes.
We lead the campaign to promote a more inclusive definition of family within numerous federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Homeland Security.
We expanded our federal work to include advocacy on behalf of working families, including employment nondiscrimination, housing nondiscrimination, paid sick days and paid family leave, and fair pay.
We produced consumer tools to help LGBTQ parents understand and take advantage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Changing Laws and
Transforming Communities

Family Equality Council’s policy team developed deep and strategic relationships with coalition partners and our families and together mobilized as a force for LGBTQ equality, generating groundbreaking legislative victories in 2013. 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 2013 successes. Learn more about our state policy work and local events at familyequality.org.

Supported passage of a bill eliminating the practice of "reparative therapy" for LGBTQ youth in public schools and the School Success and Opportunity Act.

Supported introduction and advanced second-parent adoption bill in Utah.

Supported HB201 - a bill that would allow courts to order birth certificates for adopted children of same-sex couples that accurately reflects both parents' names.

Part of the coalition to win marriage equality in Minnesota.

Provided technical and drafting assistance to state equality group on a handful of local non-discrimination ordinances.

Engaged in and supported campaign to pass IL marriage equality bill.

Joined two amicus briefs in Michigan second parent adoption marriage case, and successfully defeated a so-called "conscience clause" bill introduced in the Michigan legislature.

Provided technical assistance to Adoption Network - Cleveland in support of developing new policy and legislation supporting adoption and foster parenting by LGBTQ parents.

Assisted state partner Equality Florida with work on a proposed statewide domestic partner registry (SB196).

With coalition partners, helped draft and advance second-parent adoption bill. Supported passage of SB701, a bill to protect LGBTQ state employees from discrimination.

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

Testified before a Maryland Joint Committee on an LGBT-inclusive surrogacy bill.

Worked with local partners to draft a bill to repeal a criminal surrogacy statute and replace it with model surrogacy bill. Testified in favor of the inclusive surrogacy bill at City Council hearing.

Provided technical and drafting assistance on pro-LGBTQ surrogacy bills and advanced the Child-Parent Security Act.

Supported H3907, Massachusetts' anti-reparative therapy bill.

Worked with broad coalition of state partners in Louisiana to defeat anti-LGBTQ surrogacy bill. While this bill eventually passed, the Governor vetoed it.

Began planning for legal clinics to assist LGBTQ families living in poverty.

Worked in coalition with state child welfare agencies and state partners in support of LB385, Foster Care Fairness Act, and advanced LB380, a bill to allow second parent adoptions.

Supported passage of the reparative therapy bill outlawing the use of "reparative therapy" on LGBTQ youth.

Helped to defeat Nevada's SB192 legislation "Preservation of Religious Freedom Act."

Provided technical assistance to an attorney representing a transgender client.

Supported the passage of “Temporary Caregiver Insurance” bill, which provides paid family and medical leave to workers in Rhode Island.

Gathering Support

Voices of Children

Our Voices of Children amicus brief powerfully illustrates the stigmatizing effects of DOMA and Proposition 8 on the children of LGBTQ parents. Our brief, for the first time, gave children with LGBTQ parents the opportunity to speak directly to the Court about their families and their lived experiences. The voices of these our children were seen as a key component in two decisions issued by the Supreme Court on June 26, 2013, striking down DOMA and dismissing Proposition 8. We celebrated this historic victory with our partners, allies, and all the families who are now a step closer to lived and legal equality.

“…there is an immediate legal injury or legal — what could be a legal injury, and that's the voice of these children. There are some 40,000 children in California…that live with same-sex parents, and they want their parents to have full recognition and full status. The voice of those children is important in this case, don't you think?”

Justice Anthony Kennedy

Our advocacy is changing the world. By raising the visibility of families with parents who are LGBTQ 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.

A global celebration of families

On May 5, 2013, from families gathering in for a picnic in Vienna, to a photography exhibition in Finland, to waving our rainbow flags at the Munich zoo, we globally celebrated our second annual International Family Equality Day. Our coalition held over 35 celebrations across 20 countries, including several new partners like Australia, Israel, Japan and Lithuania.

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




Treasurer, Board of Directors

Family Equality Council

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View foundation and corporate sponsors
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Building Communities Where Families Thrive

See it, Snap It & Send It

Paperwork is a ubiquitous part of family life, but facing antiquated forms can feel like a daily dose of discrimination. Through our Snap It & Send It program, we’re partnering with parents to speak up for forms that work for all family configurations. We are developing a mobile app to support this program, so stay tuned, speak up, and get involved when you see exclusionary forms!

Advocating for equal rights and protections

In 2013, Family Equality Council made over 200 visits to Congress to educate and advocate on important legislation such as the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, Safe-Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act, Housing Opportunities Made Equal Act, the FAMILY Act and other bills critical to the security and well-being of our families. With your help, we are working to make sure families across the U.S. have the rights and protections they deserve.

Watch the Press Briefing!

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.

Celebrating families together

Our signature events continued to grow in 2013 as over 25,000 people converged at Family Week, the Midwest Family Equality Conference, Families on the West Coast and other community celebrations across the country.

In 2013 we particularly expanded our Pride events, targeting new cities such as Austin, Detroit, Indianapolis and Miami, reaching more families than ever.

Our Program team also worked hard in 2013 to provide additional safe spaces online so that especially parents in rural communities could connect and come together, overcoming more barriers of isolation.

Expect to see Family Equality Council at more events nationwide and make your family’s plans NOW to celebrate Family Week with us!

Moving Forward

Bringing real family
values to the national conversation

Families with LGBTQ parents are largely working families, and in addition to sharing the same concerns about economic security as their straight friend and neighbors, many face high risks of job discrimination with no adequate remedy under federal law. Family Equality Council is addressing these needs by expanding our federal portfolio to include advocacy on behalf of working families. We participate in national coalitions working on behalf of women and families to ease the burdens for all families, especially those who are headed by LGBTQ parents.

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 LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ 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 people with LGBTQ parents with a platform to advocate for equality as they speak out on growing up in loving families with parents who are LGBTQ. Read the stories of our Outspoken Generation members or nominate someone 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 to empower grandparents to share their experiences, show their support across generations and change the national dialogue on family values.

Entering a new era

Family Equality Council was founded over 30 years ago as a group of three gay dads meeting to support each other. Since then we have grown into the premier organization focusing on LGBTQ family rights and issues. 2013 marked an exciting new chapter in our history as we welcomed our new Executive Director, Gabriel Blau. Gabriel’s personal experience, passion for social change, and ambitious vision for the organization has reenergized our board, staff, and allies. Under his leadership we enter a new era, expanding our work into new regions and communities. LGBTQ families celebrated some of the most significant victories in the history of the movement in 2013, but there is still work that must be done. Many of our families are living in states that provide the least amount of legal protections. Family Equality Council works to ensure full legal and social equality for all families. Together we can create a world where all families are respected, protected and celebrated.

Thank you!

We hope that you have enjoyed reading about our 2013 accomplishments. Every contribution of every size has a nationwide impact on families with parents who are LGBTQ. Together we can achieve a word where all families are respected, protected and celebrated. Please click the links below to learn how you can get more involved and support our work.