Category Archives: News

Legal advice for LGBTQ families post-election

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Legal advice for LGBTQ families post-election

The information in this post is also available as a PDF.

Most of us are worried about the future of our families, communities and country. Now more than ever we need our LGBTQ family community. Our Family Coalition remains a strong voice for LGBTQ caregivers in California and we will continue to advocate for the rights of our families.

What does this mean for parental rights?
We cannot say this enough: it is highly recommended that non-biological parents complete a second-parent adoption or parentage judgement. Being on the birth certificate or being married to the child’s biological and/or legal parent does not ensure parental rights. By completing a second-parent adoption the parental legal relationship is secured in states outside of California. We understand that this process can be expensive for working class families and encourage you to contact the National Center for Lesbian Rights for referrals to attorneys who may be able to offer pro bono services and/or reduced fees to those who may qualify.

What does this mean for trans parents?
The federal rights of transgender students and employees should remain secure as those are based on federal statutes and the U.S. Constitution. It is recommended to get your ID documents updated while choosing your gender marker is an option. This includes passport, state ID, social security.
What does this mean for healthcare?
While it is not yet clear what will happen with the Affordable Care Act, any changes will take time. Check to see where your insurance plan is from and if it is covered by the Affordable Care Act and if any LGBT provisions may be affected.

How will the election affect undocumented immigrant people & families?
We encourage folks to contact a legal services provider to be screened for any possible immigration options immediately. The Immigration Advocates Network maintains a national directory of more than 950 free or low-cost nonprofit immigration services providers in all 50 states. We are also collecting stories of LGBTQ immigrant families who may wish to support advocacy campaigns. Please email policy@ourfamily.org if interested in participating.

What does this mean for marriage rights?
It is highly unlikely that marriage equality will be overturned. The process would take years and include replacing several Supreme Court judges and working a case through the Supreme Court. It is also very unlikely that married couples would see their marriages overturned. The law has strong protections against valid marriages being invalidated by subsequent changes law. “For individuals who are not currently married but who may wish to marry in the future, it is also highly unlikely that the fundamental right of same-sex couples to marry will be challenged or that the Supreme Court would revisit its 2015 holding that same-sex couples have that fundamental right.” We highly recommend anyone who counters any problem with your marriage being fully respected to contact our partners at the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

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Our Family Coalition hosted a LGBTQ Family Post-Election Community Call on 12/8, answering questions from the community on LGBTQ family issues including marriage, adoption, immigration, and gender and name changes. A huge thanks to our amazing legal partners Chelsea E. HaleyNelson, partner at HaleyNelson & Heilbrun, LLP, Ora Prochovnick, Director of Clinical and Public Interest Law Programs and professor of law at John F. Kennedy University, and Charlie Spiegel, www.CharlesSpiegelLaw.com, for being present on the call.

Download an audio recording of the conference call here (unedited): MP3, WAV

OFC in-person LGBTQ Family Post-Election Family Forum
1/12 6-8pm, at Laurel Bookstore in Oakland
Our Family Coalition is hosting an in-person Post-Election LGBTQ Family Forum to discuss the potential impact of a Trump administration on LGBTQ families. Emily Doskow, Linda M. Scaparotti and Angela Bean, attorneys with decades of experience working with LGBTQ families and immigration issues, will be onsite to speak and answer your questions and concerns.

Share Your Family Building Stories – LGBTQ Family Visibility Project
Our Family Coalition and SprOUT Family are gathering voices of LGBTQ families in California to assist with support, education and advocacy in the upcoming year. Sharing your family’s story can help move hearts and minds. We welcome stories from LGBTQI parents and caregivers, prospective parents, donors, children of LGBTQI parents, siblings and extended families (PFLAGers). All stories will be edited in collaboration with you and featured on Our Family Coalition and SprOUT Family websites. Email policy@ourfamily.org if you want to share your family’s story to build support for LGBTQI families.

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Resources for talking to our kids and students about the election

resources-squareRight now, we are all being called to the work of explaining these difficult times to our children. There is uncertainty, division, and—most of all—fear. We are committed to supporting families and teachers to be the loving guides children need now.

We have gathered some links and resources to guide you in your discussions with your family. First, check out an Our Family Coalition made resource, What a Trump/Pence Presidency Means For LGBTQ Family Rights. More suggested resources include:

PS: Our Family Coalition is hosting a Post-Elections Community Call on December 8, 12pm, for all of our families who are concerned about our current state of affairs and need to hear directly from our legal team and partners. Register now.

Come together tonight: Post-election gathering in San Francisco

Dear families, partners, and friends,

I woke this morning with my heart so broken, and yet so full.

12923333_10156741658315035_8320178196639789420_nLike you, Our Family Coalition staff and I are overcome with feelings of disappointment, shock, sadness, anger, and confusion. Yesterday, voters demonstrated where we are as a nation. And that place is unwelcoming – even openly hostile – to far too many of us.

Trump’s campaign appealed to people’s fears, and to the underlying anti-immigrant, misogynist, transphobic, racist, and homophobic sentiments that have been gathering strength underneath the surface of our nation’s fabric for many years.

In the wake of this election, most of our families are rightly concerned about our children’s and our community’s futures. Those of us who are Muslim, those of us who are immigrants or in bi-national families, those of in Black and brown communities, rightly worry that the threats of violence against us and our criminalization will rise.

rumiquoteAnd yet we must not despair.

First, we must take time to hold each other close and process through what is a genuine shock to many. And then? We get up and fight like hell again. We fight for our children; we fight for our kin; we fight the vision of a just world where all LGBTQ families are seen, dignified, and celebrated.

It will not be easy. But we owe it to those who worked so very hard for the progress we’ve made thusfar. And we know we can do this. Because we will do this just the way we’ve done so much up to this point: together, animated by the twin loves of our children and of justice.

Tonight, Our Family Coalition’s San Francisco office will be open to all who may want or need a place for support, and to start rebuilding our LGBTQ family community in the wake of these heartbreaking results:

LGBTQ Family Post-Election Gathering
Our Family Coalition office
1385 Mission St, #340, San Francisco
5:30 – 8pm

Please email shareena@ourfamily.org to let us know you’re coming so we can ensure we have enough food and refreshments for all.

The event we had planned for tonight was to be a DIY family craft workshop, with a photographer on hand to take family portraits. We will still offer these opportunities for your kids to be creative, and your family to go home with a beautiful portrait.  

And we hope you go home with that and more: with a fuller heart, and the knowledge that your community is strong. If you can’t be there, please know we are here for you and your family. And thank you for being here for us, through all the work that you do.

Let us celebrate the precious time we have with our kids. And let us remember now more than ever the why behind what we do.

Heartbroken (and on fire),

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Renata Moreira
Interim Executive Director

We stand against fear and for love.

Dear OFC Community:

Orlando vigilOur hearts broke when we learned of the hate-based gun violence in Orlando this past Sunday at a gay nightclub celebrating Latin Night. Many in our community are shaken to the core. We want to reach out to connect to you, and let you know we are processing this together with you.

Our hearts and minds are with the families and community members who lost loved ones in Orlando. We stand with all who are the victims of violent hate crimes. It seems like the number of people who are victims of violence is mounting, from the senseless massacre in Charleston just one year ago today, to the invisible, ongoing violence against transgender people of color every day, to the random acts against our Islamic brothers and sisters.

We stand against fear and for love.

We stand in solidarity with and support of Islamic queer families in our community whose religion has been singled out as the cause of this terrible tragedy, when  homophobia and easy access to firearms are in fact at the core of this attack. We stand with President Obama who said yesterday afternoon, “This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country.”

For our community, this event is sure to resonate deeply and widely. We are committed to doing all that we can to work together to come to grips with this, which strikes close to our hearts. Please stay in touch with us and we’ll relay to you all that we are learning and doing. Together.

In solidarity,

Our Family Coalition

Resources on how to deal with trauma and talk about tragedies with your kids:

Common Sense Media: Explaining the News to Our Kids

VillageQ: Tragedies in the News: A Resource List for Parents

Mental Health America: Helping Children Cope With Tragedy Related Anxiety

The Washington Post: How teachers and parents can talk to kids about the Orlando shootings

Huffington Post: When I told my gay son 49 people died for being just like him

We Are Orlando – resources, information about vigils and how to help out

The core messages:

  • Role model the calm you’d like your kids to have;
  • Let your kids know that your family is safe;
  • Do what you can to eliminate repetitive iterations of the news via background TV or radio (or online) news;
  • Consider your own kids’ temperament as you engage the subject;
  • Keep communication lines open;
  • The younger the kid, the less likely they either have heard of the event, or can process it. The older the kid, the more likely, and the more important it is to let them express their feelings.