Tuesday, February 21, 2012

“Letter a Day” Campaign Picks up Speed in Support of ECDF

Last week, PFLAG National sent an Every Child Deserves a Family (S.1770) support letter to the U.S. Senate, urging our Senators to review this life-saving legislation. Our letter was a part of the ECDF Coalition’s “Letter of the Day” campaign, designed to help educate Senators, and key staffers, about this legislation. So far, five national groups including PFLAG have sent in letters of support for ECDF, with over a dozenmore organizations planning to send their own. ECDF has the power to open millions of homes to foster care and adoption-eligible children, thousands of whom age out of the system each year without a permanent home and a forever family of their own, by banning discrimination based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of the protective parent.

While we are raising our voices to ensure that more homes are available to foster youth,, Virginia legislators took action last week to do just the opposite. . Earlier this month legislation passed which allows private adoption agencies—receiving our public tax dollars—to discriminate against parents on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill was publically condemned by U.S. Senator Warner (D-VA) who called the bill “mean spirited” and went on to say, “It is wrong to deny a foster child the opportunity to belong to a supportive, modern family simply because it is led by a same-sex couple in a loving and committed relationship.” Enacting Every Child Deserves a Family Act (S. 1770/H.R. 1681) at the federal level would override Virginia’s uninformed decision.

We applaud Senator Warner for his denouncement of such a despicable bill, and encourage all Senators to demonstrate the leadership condemning similar legislation being considered in other state legislatures which ultimately limits more nurturing and permanent homes hurting those youth in foster care waiting for their forever families.. We are grateful to the nine co-sponsors in the Senate, and ninety three co-sponsors in the House, and would like to thank Representatives Bobby Scott and Gerry Connolly, two Virginia Representatives who have also condemned the recent legislation passed in Virginia.

Take Action: We must act to ensure the consideration of this legislation as soon as possible. ECDF will save lives, build stronger families, and ensure that more children and youth are placed in loving forever homes. There are many steps you can take to show your support:
  • Call or send a letter to your U.S. Senators urging them to review, support, and co-sponsor the legislation. If they already support the bill, consider sending a message of thanks!
  • Schedule an in-state or in-district lobby visit with your chapter to speak with your Members of Congress. Contact PFLAG National for assistance if needed.
  • Sign up for PFLAG Action Alerts to stay up-to-date on crucial national and regional legislation, and continue to check our National Blog for important news.
  • Spread the word! Use information from PFLAG National’s letter of support to spread awareness about the importance of ECDF, or link to our National website’s ECDF information page.

Together we have the power to make a difference for over 107,000 children around the country!