Friday, November 4, 2011

Report details how lack of marriage hurts kids of gay parents

From the AP:[
A report] Compiled by an alliance of advocacy and child-welfare groups, ... summarizes how laws and social stigma create distinctive challenges for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families.

"There are myriad ways that our families are discounted by government at all levels, and children are hurt the most," said Jennifer Chrisler of the Family Equality Council, one of the three groups authoring the report. ....

Among the barriers and inequities they face, as detailed in the report:

—Many government safety net programs use definitions of family tied to marital status which may exclude same-sex partners.

—Because of lack of legal recognition for their unions, gay and lesbian parents can face heavier tax burdens, higher costs for health insurance, and diminished financial protections in the event of death or disability.

—When same-sex parents separate, one parent may lose custody or visitation rights, even in cases where he or she had been a child's primary caregiver.

...Many of the obstacles and inequities outlined in the new report would be addressed if same-sex marriage — now legal in six states and Washington, D.C. — were legalized nationwide and recognized by the federal government. However, the report includes numerous recommendations for less sweeping changes that would benefit children with gay parents

See the full report, All Children Matter

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