Tired of the the Republicans’ anti-LGBT and anti-women platform? The Family Equality Council (FEC) has an alternative. The organization yesterday released its Family Platform, calling for “the full inclusion of all families, including families headed by LGBT people and same-sex couples, in the life of our nation.”
The FEC’s platform goes beyond marriage equality (important but not sufficient) and envisions action in a number of areas (below); note that most of them involve action on bills that have already been introduced in Congress (some multiple times). Any other areas or actions not covered here that you would add?
Employment and Benefits
Action: We must pass laws like the Employment Non Discrimination Act that will equalize the playing field for LGBT workers so that they have the same ability to provide and care for their families as all other working families. We must ensure LGBT workers – regardless of whether they work in the private sector, for a government agency or the military – have access to equal benefits, such as health insurance, paid leave and other employer-provided benefits to ensure equal pay for equal work.
Poverty and Economic Security
Action: We must expand and modernize family definitions to ensure access to critical federal safety net programs and services for low-income LGBT families.
Action: We must pass the Every Child Deserves a Family Act to ensure that our most vulnerable children are given every possible opportunity to find loving, stable and supportive families to call their own.
Action: We must repeal the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act.” We must defeat discriminatory constitutional amendments, state laws and other attempts limiting the freedom to marry for same-sex couples; and we must promote full marriage equality in every state.
Action: We must pass the Uniting American Families Act and Comprehensive Immigration Reform to ensure that thousands of children will not have to worry that their families will be forced into exile or torn apart.
Definition of Family
Action: We must modernize federal forms to incorporate parent fields in lieu of the more narrow terms “mother” and “father” to recognize new and diverse family structures.
Action: We must reauthorize VAWA with explicit protections for LGBT people to ensure all victims of domestic violence can access critical life-saving resources. This will also help ensure the emotional, physical and mental health of their children.
Youth and Education
Action: We must pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA) and the Student Non Discrimination Act (SNDA) and create welcoming school communities that fully engage and incorporate LGBT students and LGBT parents and their children.
Affordable Quality Healthcare
Action: We must ensure that implementation of the Affordable Care Act includes across-the-board non-discrimination and inclusion policies and we must update existing laws like the Family Medical Leave Act, COBRA and ERISA to expand the definition of family, spouse, partner and child to better reflect today’s American family.
Action: We must pass the Housing Opportunities Made Equal Act and ensure that LGBT families have equal access to safe and affordable housing in the communities of their choice.