Groundbreaking public education campaign ‘Familia es Familia’ launches

On Sunday, 21 leading Hispanic organizations in the United States announced the debut of Familia es Familia, an innovative and comprehensive public education campaign that aims to heighten acceptance of LGBT family members within the Latino community. The campaign was introduced in Las Vegas at the annual conference for the National Council of La Raza.

Latinos in the United States are already strongly supportive of LGBT issues, and public opinion polls show that Latinos see the need to advocate for equal rights for all minority groups. An April 2012 survey from the Pew Hispanic Center found that 59 percent of Latinos say that society should accept homosexuality, while 68 percent of second-generation Latinos said the same. 

The Familia es Familia campaign will amplify these voices and empower Latinos to become strong allies with LGBT family members and other individuals. The campaign will be a bilingual effort that will provide resources and cultural information to support Latinos families and communities. The campaign will also serve as a leader in a national effort to education the public about why acceptance matters to the Latino community through a range of viral components. These include an interactive bilingual website rich with videos, resources, and publications; social media platforms and an effort to promote Latino stories and voices in the media. The website will be launching later this week, but you can "like" Familia es Familia on Facebook HERE

Freedom to Marry provided the seed funding and serves as fiscal sponsor for the groundbreaking Familia es Familia campaign. Our founder and president Evan Wolfson said:

growing majority of Latinos in this country know that every gay or lesbian person is part of someone’s family – a son or daughter, a brother or sister, a loved one – and the more conversations we have, family member to family member, the more support for the freedom to marry grows. Latino gay couples seek the freedom to marry to affirm and strengthen their love, their commitment, and their ability to take care of each other and their families; government should not be putting barriers in their way. Freedom to Marry is proud to be supporting the Familia es Familia campaign to lift up Hispanic voices and stories as together we make the case for ending the exclusion from marriage.

Thomas A. Saenz, the president and general counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund (MALDEF), the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization, also reflected on the importance of the campaign:

The polling shows that many in the Latino community already understand that there is one struggle for equality, a struggle that benefits from appreciating common mission. Familia es Familia is a campaign that will help to deepen the understanding that a discriminatory deprivation of rights on any basis is a cause of concern for all. Together, we can overcome all of the irrational biases that adversely affect any member of the Latino community.

Familia es Familia launches on the heels of two landmark resolutions from Latino organizations. In June, the board of the National Council of La Raza passed a resolution affirming support for the freedom to marry, and just two weeks ago, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest Latino civil rights organization in the country, passed a similar resolution. Familia es Familia brings together these powerful voices - as well as the voices of 19 other organizations, listed below - to demonstrate that the Latino and LGBT communities support each other and stand up for one another.

Freedom to Marry applauds the work of all 21 of the Hispanic organizations who have signed onto Familia es Familia. They are:

  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)
  • Cuban American National Council
  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)
  • Cuban American National Council
  • Dolores Huerta Foundation
  • Hispanic Federation
  • Hispanic National Bar Association
  • Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
  • LatinoJustice PRLDEF
  • League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
  • MANA - A National Latina Organization
  • Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF)
  • National Association of Hispanic in Publications
  • National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
  • National Hispanic Council on Aging
  • National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts
  • National Hispanic Media Coalition
  • National Hispanic Medical Association
  • National Puerto Rican Coalition
  • SER Jobs for Progress 
  • Southwest Voter Registration Education Project 
  • US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • US Hispanic Leadership Institute