Donors’ generosity will create a lasting legacy for LGBTQ families nationwide.
For Immediate Release — September 18, 2017
NEW YORK — On June 3 of this year, Ric Swezey, beloved husband of Nick Scandalios and father to Kate and Luke, passed away following a tragic accident. That day, a family lost a father, and Family Equality Council lost one of our dearest friends. To honor Ric’s life and to reflect their tireless advocacy for other LGBTQ families, Nick Scandalios asked Family Equality Council to accept donations to honor Ric’s memory.
The response over the past three months has been staggering, and demonstrates the true breadth and depth of Ric Swezey’s friendships, and the positive impact he had on those around him. Tributes, memories, and donations arrived from across the country and from across the globe — from the family’s Church and the children’s school, from friends and family, and from the immensely supportive Broadway theatre community.
This incredibly generous outpouring of love will benefit LGBTQ families nationwide, and it could not come at a more critical time. Nationwide, public support for marriage equality and nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people continues to grow, yet at the same time, our community and our families are facing old and renewed threats from those intent on rolling back existing protections, and those who wish to block further advances for LGBTQ rights. In many states, a same-sex couple can get married one day, and the next, be denied as foster or adoptive parents, or lose their job, due to legalized, state-sanctioned discrimination.
History has shown that shifting public opinion is key to changing conditions for marginalized communities, and we know that we stand on the right side of history. To honor the memory of Ric Swezey, Family Equality Council is proud to announce that the Ric Swezey Memorial Fund will be dedicated to telling the stories of everyday LGBTQ families, contributing to the groundswell of public opinion that will turn the tide on a history of discrimination and inequality for our families.
To this end, Family Equality Council will create a new living library of video content, dedicated to Ric Swezey, documenting the challenges LGBTQ families face in achieving true, lived equality. Family Equality Council has also created a new staff position dedicated to gathering stories of LGBTQ families, and putting these stories to work to realize our vision of a future in which every LGBTQ person has the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live.
Family Equality Council CEO Rev. Stan J. Sloan said: “Nick, Ric and their family have been heroes and spokespeople for Family Equality Council, giving of themselves tirelessly for well over a decade to ensure other LGBTQ families are able to form and able to experience the joyful sense of equality and belonging that all families deserve. We are profoundly grateful to have the opportunity to create an ongoing legacy to Ric’s life, honoring LGBTQ families and their stories nationwide, and allowing them to thrive.”
Contributions to the Ric Swezey Memorial Fund continue to be accepted here: www.familyequality.org/ricswezey
About Family Equality Council
Family Equality Council advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality Council believes every LGBTQ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live.