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LGBT Family Research Project–Please forward!

Name: Alison Gash
Email: gash@uoregon.edu
Talk to us!: Dear NetworkQ:

I am a lesbian mom and professor at the University of Oregon. My colleague (also a lesbian mom) and I are working on a book project that explores how the current legal and social landscape regarding gay rights affects LGBT parents.  We are currently interviewing LGBT parents to get a sense of how parents protect their children (legally and socially) and present their families to friends, co-workers, doctors, teachers and other individuals who play a role in their family’s lives.  We are especially interested in reaching out to families who live in states that do not offer the benefits of marriage equality.  Would you be willing to forward the project description to your members–or post it to the website–so that those who are interested in participating can contact me?  We have done this with several LGBT family organizations on the East Coast and have gathered some critical and invaluable insights from parents.

If you have any questions about the project please email me at gash@uoregon.edu.  I have written quite extensively on the topic of marriage equality and same sex parenting. If you are interested in seeing my work before forwarding the email you can check out two articles I wrote (one for Washington Monthly and the other for Politico).  I am happy to email the links to you.

Thanks so much for your help and consideration.

Alison Gash, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Political Science
University of Oregon

Here is the project description:

We are Alison Gash and Judith Raiskin, professors at University of Oregon. We are working on a project about LGBT headed families. Specifically, we are interested in how marriage equality (or the lack thereof) influences how LGBT parents secure legal and social ties to their children and how they navigate legal and social hurdles on behalf of their kids. To identify how inconsistent or evolving understandings of LGBT headed families have far-reaching implications for LGBT parents in their efforts to raise their children we are collecting stories from a variety of families through in-person and telephone interviews. We are hoping that you will be willing to participate. No identifying information will be included in the final product and, of course, you are under no obligation to participate. If you are interested or have questions please contact me at gash@uoregon.edu. Here is a brief overview of the project.

The topic of same sex marriage (and consequently LGBT headed families) has come to dominate the gay rights movement — and our understanding of gay identity — in recent times. The net result of this public debate has been both an increased acceptance of LGBT parents and their families as well as a more vehement and public opposition towards these families. As our country moves towards increased acknowledgement of and opportunities for LGBT families, the legal and social setting for LGBT parenting is changing.  This project seeks to understand how evolving legal protections and social acceptance of LGBT parenting, as well as across-state variation in legal and social safety-nets, influences how LGBT parents make decisions about having kids, raising kids, presenting their families, and protecting their relationships with their children.  Relying on interviews with gay, lesbian, and transgendered parents as well as gay rights advocates this project will supplement current literature by exploring how legal structures — or a lack thereof — influence, constrain, and promote certain perspectives and behaviors among gay, lesbian and transgender parents and couples.


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