A new report on children raised in LGBT households has been released by the Family Equality Council, Center for American Progress, Movement Advancement Project, National Association of Social Workers and the Child Welfare League of America. "All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families" has been described as the "most comprehensive" analysis of the many laws and policies that impact children of same-sex parents, reports the AP.
A growing multitude of American children [are] being raised by gay and lesbian parents, often without all the legal protections afforded to mom-and-dad households. Increasingly, the welfare of these children will be a core part of gay-rights strategies, as evidenced by a comprehensive report [released] Tuesday. Compiled by an alliance of advocacy and child-welfare groups, it 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.
The report estimates that about 2 million children are being raised by same-sex parents. The report builds on data released by the Census Bureau on same-sex couples, income, education and housing.
Among the obstacles faced:
—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.
Overshadowing all these problems is "pervasive social stigma," notes the report.
The AP notes: "The families are striking for their diversity —encompassing many low-income and minority households, and spread across about 96 percent of America's counties." New data show that same-sex couples raising children are more than likely to be Black and live in the South. These are also states that offer the least legal protections for same-sex couples and families. This was in our special for the October 2011 EBONY: "Making It Work: Black Same Sex Couples Raising Kids in the South."
Read the report HERE.
Watch a video PSA on the report AFTER THE JUMP ....