Latino Coalition Launches ‘Familia Es Familia’ LGBT Equality Campaign

Thomas Saenz speaking at 2010's Creating Change, The National Conference on LGBT Equality.

A coalition of 21 Hispanic organizations announced yesterday that they are launching a public-education campaign called Familia es Familia aimed at building support for LGBT equality within the Latino community. According to the press release announcing the campaign’s launch:

Familia es Familia will be a bilingual campaign providing resources and information that are culturally appropriate to empower voices within and from Latino families and communities. In addition, the campaign will provide training, technical assistance, and support to the 21 Hispanic organizations and will spearhead a national effort to educate the public through a range of viral components including: an interactive bilingual website rich with videos, resources, and publications; social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube; promoting stories and voices in the media; and an organizing campaign to engage the community through their mobile devices.

Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF), described the impetus for the effort:

SAENZ: 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.

An NCLR poll in April found that 54 percent of Latinos support marriage equality, and a Pew survey in May found that 59 percent of Latinos believe homosexuality should be accepted by society. Among the groups supporting the initiative are the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), both of which recently passed resolutions supporting marriage equality.

Meanwhile, the U.S. embassies in many Central American countries have been joining in Pride celebrations, further emphasizing the intersections between the LGBT and Latino communities.