LGBTQ+ Families Call for Passage of Legislation Protecting Parentage Rights

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Photo via Pexels.
Photo via Pexels.

As MA Celebrates 20 Years Since Marriage Equality

As hundreds of people gathered this month to mark the 20th anniversary of the historic Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling on marriage equality, the Massachusetts Parentage Act Coalition renewed its call for the Massachusetts legislature to pass legislation that would, among other things, protect LGBTQ+ families in forming the legal bond of a parent-child relationship. Massachusetts is the only state in New England without these statutory protections.

"As we celebrate the role Massachusetts has played in LGBTQ+ equality we cannot ignore that there is still work to do," said Polly Crozier, Director of Family Advocacy at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders. "LGBTQ+ families in Massachusetts today do not have the same protections afforded to other children and families, and the Massachusetts Parentage Act corrects that wrong. Every child deserves to have the full protection of our state laws. Children of LGBTQ+ families remain vulnerable in Massachusetts and beyond. Given the tremendous attacks on LGBTQ+ communities across the country, there has never been a more important time to ensure children are secure in their families. We cannot rest on our past accomplishments in Massachusetts."

Governor Maura Healey and Attorney General Andrea Campbell are strong supporters of the legislation and have called on its passage.

The Massachusetts Parentage Act (MPA, H.1713/S.947) is currently being considered in the Joint Committee of the Judiciary. The legislation updates Massachusetts statutes to clarify who can be a parent and how to establish parentage. This bill is critical to ensuring that all children can access the security of legal parentage, regardless of the circumstances of their birth, including through assisted reproduction and surrogacy. The bill's bipartisan sponsors include Democrat Senator Julian Cyr, Republican Senator Bruce Tarr, Democrat Representative Sarah Peake, and Republican Representative Hannah Kane.