The Society for the
Study of Social Issues

SPSSI Policy News RSS Feed - March 5, 2010

By Jutta Tobias

SPSSI members,

Please review this event alert of particular interest to those located nearby the Washington, DC area.  Thank you.


Chris Woodside, SPSSI Policy Coordinator

March 5, 2010
Contact:            SPSSI Contact: Jutta Tobias, 202-675-6956
                        APA Contact: Kim Mills, 202-336-6048
Press Release
The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) and the American Psychological Association (APA) will come together with the Family Equality Council and Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) on March 11, 2010, from 1:30 – 3:00 PM EST, in the U.S. Capitol, Room H-137, Washington, D.C., to co-sponsor a panel discussion hosted by Representative Pete Stark (D-CA), upon the reintroduction of the “Every Child Deserves a Family Act.”
This legislation would increase access to permanent homes for children in the foster care system by collaborating with states to eliminate discrimination against potential adoptive and foster parents based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.
Dr. Charlotte J. Patterson, Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, a Fellow in both SPSSI and APA, will provide an overview of her research on child development in the context of lesbian- and gay-parented families.
Dr. Patterson will be joined by Uma Ahluwalia, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services for Montgomery County, Maryland, and Dr. Gary J. Gates, Senior Research Fellow at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, a leading expert on the demography and geography of the gay and lesbian population. Panelists will also include alumni of the foster care system and parents who have been prevented from adopting their foster children due to state legislation denying adoption by gay and lesbian couples.
In the United States, thousands of children are in need of a safe and permanent home, because not enough qualified individuals are willing to foster or adopt a child. While currently one-third of all child welfare agencies reject adoption applications from gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, same-sex couples are equally fit to become parents of healthy and well-adjusted children as their heterosexual counterparts.
According to Dr. Patterson, an internationally recognized authority on children raised by gay and lesbian parents,  “a parent’s sexual orientation is unrelated to her or his ability to provide a healthy and nurturing family environment. Overall, research suggests that the development, adjustment and well-being of children of same-sex parents do not differ markedly from those of children of opposite-sex parents.” 
The panel discussion is free and open to the public. All are invited to attend this important event.
The Family Equality Council works to ensure full social and legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families by providing direct support, educating the American public, and securing inclusion in legislation, policies, and practices impacting families.
PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights.
The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues is an association of approximately 3000 psychologists, allied scientists, and others, who are interested in the application of research on the psychological aspects of important social issues to public policy solutions.
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.

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                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin