It’s a Simple Idea: Every Child Deserves a Family

June 29, 2015 

Bend the Arc along with its partners at the Family Equality Council and PFLAG National have been working this spring to build support for the Every Child Deserves a Family Act.

This bill, reintroduced in Congress this May, seeks to remove barriers that keep thousands of children from being placed with a loving family by stopping discrimination against prospective parents on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. The bill goes even further by protecting children in foster care from discrimination based on their own sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.

At its heart, the Every Child Deserves A Family Act (ECDF) is a child welfare bill, designed to protect children in need by allowing them access to the greatest possible pool of qualified potential parents. Even in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s historic decision to bring marriage equality to our whole nation, it is important to remind ourselves that the fight to protect LGBTQ families does not end there. Marriage equality is a giant step towards ensuring full and equal rights are extended to all our citizens but it is not the final step in this journey as a patchwork of state laws still leave LGBTQ parents and their children often in legal limbo. The passage of ECDF would ensure that we as a nation move one step closer to an America where all are afforded the same rights.

Bend the Arc has been tireless in its advocacy for this important piece of legislation. On April 17th, Arielle Gingold, Associate Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action, spoke on a panel of leading voices pressing for the passage of the bill. As the representative of the leading faith aligned organization in the coalition, Arielle was asked to speak about the multi-faith backing for ECDF and why the bill must remain free of the kind of religious exemptions proliferating across the U.S. as so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Acts.

Congress must pass this important piece of legislation. That is why Bend the Arc is asking all of our supporters to contact their members of Congress and urge them to cosponsor the bill.