Critical policy issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families focus of new book

January 31, 2007

"A concise, comprehensive guide to gay-family issues that combines an impassioned progressive sensibility with a firm respect for facts." — Jonathan Rauch, writer for National Journal and Atlantic Monthly

Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications


Press conference and book launch for Policy Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Families

Sean Cahill, Ph.D., co-author of Policy Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Families and director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, and Sarah Tobias, Ph.D., co-author; Terry Boggis, director, Center Kids

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
6–8PM book launch (6–7PM presentation, 7–8PM reception)

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
208 W. 13 St., between 7th and 8th avenues in New York City

Policy Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Families, co-authored by Sean Cahill and Sarah Tobias and published by the University of Michigan Press, provides a comprehensive account of the discrimination that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) families confront and a look at how policy changes could make them more secure.

Now that the dust has settled after the 2006 election, we can take a clear-eyed look at the political debates surrounding legal recognition of families headed by same-sex couples. In the ongoing national debate regarding equality for LGBT people, no issue is more central than family recognition. Mary Cheney’s pregnancy has exposed fault lines within the Republican coalition. In the race for the presidency, we hear Mitt Romney and others denounce marriage equality for same-sex couples because “every child deserves a mother and a father.”

Yet, just as there is a scientific consensus that global warming is a reality, there is a consensus among social scientists and child welfare advocates that children of same-sex parents are not disadvantaged by their parents’ sexual orientation or gender. Just as it is wrong to present global warming and the view that denies a human role in global warming as equally valid views, it is factually incorrect to present the claims people like Romney as equally valid to the views of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Thousands of gay couples and individuals are heading families, and many of us are raising children,” said Tobias. “We refuse to be a political football any longer, and we demand that the media cover gay parenting in an accurate and responsible way.”

Other critical family issues often go unheeded or are overshadowed in this debate. Policy Issues addresses partner recognition, parenting, issues affecting children of LGBT parents, health care, discrimination, elder policy issues and equal access to social services. It also addresses debates within the LGBT community about the focus on marriage equality. 

“While marriage equality is not the only issue of concern to our community, dozens of same-sex couples have sued for the right to marry since 1971,” said Cahill. “The debate about marriage is really a debate about gay parenting and whether we are fully equal citizens. It is a debate that we must engage.”

“For an account of policy issues that frame lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender family lives here in the United States, one need look no further," said University of Virginia psychologist Charlotte J. Patterson. “Sean Cahill and Sarah Tobias supply accurate and up-to-date information about the legal and policy contexts of LGBT lives across the country. This book is sure to be a valuable resource for students and scholars, as well as for others seeking to understand and challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.