Danish Supermodel, Josephine Skriver, Joins Family Equality Council’s Outspoken Generation® Program
“It’s important for me to use my voice to help the world understand and become more open minded about LGBTQ families.”
Washington, DC, April 3, 2014- Family Equality Council®, the national organization which connects, supports, and represents the estimated three million parents who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer in the United States and their six million children of all ages, today announced that Danish supermodel, Josephine Skriver will join its Outspoken Generation® Program, which empowers those with LGBTQ parents to speak out for their families.
Mississippi’s legislature just passed the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”. I say “so-called” because the Act does not actually restore anyone’s religious freedoms. What the legislation does do, is allow a person’s religious belief alone as sufficient justification to deny goods and services to the LGBTQ community that are otherwise offered to the general public.
I am tempted to write this off as simply another example of the extremes that conservative, ultra right-wing zealots are willing to go to deny to the LGBTQ community the equality and freedoms that others enjoy. The rhetoric in newspapers, legislative chambers and even comments on blog posts would have you believe that refusing services to gay couples and families is a fundamental part of Judeo-Christian belief that has been unfairly encroached upon by our secular system of laws. I have so many objections to this position that I cannot list them all; I am tempted to merely say I am confident that, with the passage of time, this law and the attitude that supports such laws will be appropriately consigned to the dustbin of history. Everyone is entitled to their own religious beliefs, but when you operate a business or run a publicly funded social service agency open to the public, those beliefs do not give you a right to discriminate.
There were many things in life I thought I would be.
As a young child, the world seemed so BIG and possible.
There never appeared to be a limitation on what I could be, what I could do.
I don't really know when the dreams began to drift away.
When did they go from filling my spirit with such intensity and joy to becoming distant memories that somehow started to feel so silly, so un-real?
When does the sense of endless possibility turn to the feeling that certain keys to certain doors are simply out of reach?
Ah...I wish I had that answer but I don't, as they say, when man plans…
At this moment while I write these words I am far better served by pondering over the things in life I thought I would never be.
The below letter was written by Kent Love-Ramirez in response to an opinion piece featured in Michigan's Grand Rapids Business Journal.
The article outlines how Michigan officials seek diverse talent while simultaneously making their state unwelcoming to people from diverse communities. Currently Michigan has a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage and does not allow same-sex couples to share custody of their children. Kent Love-Ramirez shares how this has affected his family.
I read with interest your recent article titled “The Importance of Being Welcoming to All.” I want to thank you for shaping the issue with such simple eloquence. I also want to thank you for your remarks in Bridge Magazine's recent article "Are Michigan’s restrictions on gay and abortion rights holding state back?," which spotlights my family's plight. Michigan business leaders and policy makers would be wise to heed your words. It is not just rhetoric, but reality for many families like mine.
Today, a federal district court in Michigan begins hearing testimony challenging the state’s ban on allowing same-sex couples to marry. Opponents of marriage equality are, yet again, dragging out the same tired arguments and the same discredited “studies” that attempt to disprove what we all know to be fact – and what more than 30 years of research proves – that children raised by same-sex couples do just as well as kids raised by different-sex parents.
While there are numerous marriage equality cases making their way through both state and federal courts across the country, DeBoer v Snyder is a bit different. The case in question was originally filed by a lesbian couple, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, seeking only to complete 2nd-parent adoptions for their three children. Michigan law restricts adoption to single people and married couples, so even though DeBoer and Rowse have been raising their three children together since 2010, each child has only one legal parent, while the other is considered a legal stranger.