The Family Equality Council (formerly Family Pride) is a national advocacy organization committed to securing family equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer parents, guardians and allies.[1]



In 1979 a group of gay fathers got together and formed the group that would eventually become Family Equality Council.[2]


Originally called the Gay Fathers Coalition, in 1986 this fathers’ group expanded to include lesbian mothers, prompting a name change to the Gay and Lesbian Parents Coalition International (GLPCI), a volunteer grassroots chapter-based organization whose primary purpose was to connect with and support local gay and lesbian parenting groups, while advancing the cause of the lesbian and gay parenting community.[3]

According to the Family Equality Council, children of LGBTQ parents have unique needs and learn, grow and find support with one another.[4] In 1990, a group of youth convened and initiated a new program of GLPCI, called Just For Us. By the mid 1990s that group had established a steering committee and separate program status, and shortly thereafter the group changed its name to Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLAGE). In 1999, the GLPCI Board of Directors endorsed the wishes of COLAGE to become an independent organization, operating under its own tax-exempt status. COLAGE became an independent organization on January 1, 1999.[5]

In 1998, recognizing the growing movement and the need to lead by being inclusive examples, GLPCI changed its name to the Family Pride Coalition in order to include bisexual and transgender parents.[6] In 2007, in order to better capture the full breadth and scope of our work and our collective vision of a world that treats all loving families equally, Family Pride changed its name to the Family Equality Council. According to the Family Equality Council, the new name and expanded vision reinforce the commitment to working across communities and issues and to joining forces with other progressive advocacy groups to create meaningful change for all loving families.[7]

Present Day

Family Equality Council is the only non-profit organization dedicated entirely to securing family equality in the United States.[citation needed] The Family Equality Council website states that the organization believes "that the laws, provisions and ordinances that hurt LGBTQ-headed families also hurt so many others—single parents, blended families, families of color, etc. To that end, Family Equality Council is standing strong to defeat anti-family legislation and promote pro-family legislation."[8]

In the past few years Family Equality Council has enjoyed unprecedented growth, including attaining a creative, robust and committed board of directors now numbering 18 strong. The website was relaunched with the name change in October 2007.

Headquartered in Boston, MA, Family Equality Council continues to work with other progressive national and state-based organizations, local parents groups and families, friends and allies to promote common goals[9]

Executive Director

The Executive Director for Family Equality Council is Jennifer Chrisler. Jennifer has become a national spokesperson for Gay and Lesbian Families. Jennifer is often seen on television taking the side of gay families in debates on gay adoption. Jennifer has become one of the leading advocates in the United States for gay families.

Jennifer is an advocate for LGBT rights, and has extensive experience in all aspects of nonprofit management. She was a fundraising consultant for political campaigns and LGBT organizations and served as Finance Director for special election in the Massachusetts 9th Congressional District. She was honored for her work in the LGBT community in 2002 by the Massachusetts Freedom to Marry Coalition and in 2001 by the Human Rights Campaign. Jennifer also served as director of operations for SoftBank’s i-Group and as director of corporate communications for American Science & Engineering, Inc. She spent five years as a staff director in the Massachusetts State Senate. Jennifer and her spouse, Cheryl Jacques, reside in Boston, MA with their five-year-old sons. She earned her BA degree in Elementary Education from Smith College in 1992.


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