Earlier this year Texas governor Greg Abbott labeled gender-affirming care for minors as child abuse and called on professionals to report parents to child protective services for providing this care to their minor children. Bans to gender-affirming care are in effect or being considered in more than 20 states across the country.
The Equality Act was reintroduced on June 21st, 2023 in the both the House and Senate, as sexual orientation and gender identity are not (yet) protected classes in the United States. Meaning, like race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and religion, federal civil rights laws do not explicitly protect discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity. The Equality Act would provide protection for LGBTQ+ people in key areas of life.
There have been recent gains in the openness to and legal protection for LGBTQ+ rights (and not without pushback). It’s been less than a year since the Respect for Marriage Act was signed into law protecting same-sex and interracial marriages across the country.
With an estimated 30% of youth in foster care identifying as LBGTQ+, it’s critical for child welfare agencies to protect these youth from discrimination and harm. Leaders, workers, and foster parents must educate themselves around LGBTQ+ issues.
All Children All Families (ACAF) is the Human Rights Foundation’s comprehensive guide for child welfare systems on inclusive practice for LGBTQ+ youth and families. ACAF is also an approved practice on Bright Spots. Impacted parents reviewing ACAF gave further recommendations to provide this critical training to birth families as well, offering support to families struggling with LGBTQ+ issues.
At Alia, we celebrate families of all kinds and believe every youth has the right – no matter what they look like or how they identify – to dream and grow in a family who loves them just as they are. As always, when we’re not sure what to do – do what LOVE would do!
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