Two Huge Wins!

posted on Thu, Mar 29 2012 2:05 pm by Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director

Incredible!
 
That’s the feeling I have this week after learning that we’ve notched yet another major win for our families on the federal level.
 
On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Treasury announced a proposed change to the customs rules affecting families.
 
The proposal would allow all families – including those headed by LGBT parents – to file a single customs declaration form upon returning to the United States from travel abroad.
 
No child should have to ask their parent if they really are a family because of an arcane customs form.   

So now the administration is proposing to broaden the definition of “members of a family residing in one household” to include the different types of family relationships that currently exist across the country, including the relationships that exist between LGBT couples and their children.
 
Also this month, another major victory. We learned the Department of Social Security is rolling out a new Social Security application form that for the first time includes a space for the name of the mother/parent and father/parent.  
 
As you know a Social Security number is the gateway for the most foundational aspect of American life. Now because of our work and your consistent support, we have ensured that the diverse composition of our families  will be reflected on one of the most important federal forms in our country.
 
But we know that there are thousands of other forms that our families encounter every day that do not reflect our diversity. That’s why we have launched a unique nationwide call to action for our families.
 
Snap it and Send It is a chance for our families to use modern technology to speak up about the antiquated forms that they come across every day—at schools, soccer clubs, girl scouts, day care providers and doctors’ offices.
 
We’re asking our families to take out their digital cameras or iPhones or any other Smartphone and Snap a photo of the offending form. Then they can Send the picture to us by email at forms@familyequality.org and include a description of how the forms are impacting their family.
 
We’re going to collect these stories and examples of these forms and bring them to the attention of agencies so they can make the necessary changes.
 
On our website, we’re also including a rich list of tips and resources for our families to use so they can work in their own communities to change the forms they encounter every day.
 
As we mark our 30th anniversary, this program will be an awesome example of how we are asking our families and supporters to connect with us around our issues and commit to joining the fight for full family equality.
 
Thanks to you all for your support. Without it, these victories would never be possible.
 
Love and Gratitude
 
Jenn

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