Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Talking to Kids About Marriage Equality

In breaking news, Maine's representatives have passed the Marriage Equality bill out of committee and it now goes to the Senate. I am desperately hoping that the Senate passes it without attaching an amendment that would send it out for referendum. Maine can not afford a referendum about civil rights right now -- not financially or emotionally.

I have been thinking a lot about how children hear us talk about these issues. It seems so important to talk about why some families might choose to be married and how all families deserve equal rights, but also how some families do not choose marriage and how single parent families and grandparent-caregiver families and foster families are also abundant and normal and healthy places for children to live. We don't want to overstate the importance of marriage, but do want to provide some context for helping kids think about why Gay and Lesbian parents/couples might want to be married.

The following resources provide books and suggestions for helping children (and adults) maintain a broad sensibility about who can be a family and might help children develop some consciousness about exclusion or heterosexism. If the anti-marriage campaign heats up, we're likely to hear a lot more hate speech and will need to develop more resources for helping kids speak up for themselves, their families, and other people's families.

Tibury House publishes Lucy's Family Tree and provides resources to go with it -- the story emphasizes the range of families we live in and problematizes a simply biological approach to thinking about families.

Ava McCall, referenced in my last post, has a 75-book annotated bibliography about families.

COLAGE offers downloadable "respect all families" posters, book resources for LGBTQ parents, and resources for people with LGBTQ parents. They also offer a link to download this report:

Involved, Invisible, Ignored: Collaborative Report on the experiences of Students with LGBT Parents, and LGBT Parents in Schools written by GLSEN, COLAGE and Family Equality Council

GLSEN - the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network also offers a ton of resources for parents and teachers.

Maine's Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence offers testimony and research about the experiences of LGBTQ families in this free report: Honoring All Maine Families

1 comment:

Brita said...

I am keeping my fingers (and toes!) crossed as the Senate begins voting this morning...

Born to Read offers a booklist called "Beyond Heather Has Two Mommies," which you can find here.