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COLAGE Net News * May 24th 2006  meredith fenton
 May 24, 2006 12:24 PDT 

May 24th, 2006

In this issue of COLAGE Net News:

COLAGE Updates & Announcements:
1. COLAGE Has a New Office!
2. Participate in the COLAGE Support Our Community Campaign
3. Sponsor a COLAGE Family Week Event
4. Are you participating in your local Pride Celebration?

COLAGE Events:

5. Los Angeles Premiere of In My Shoes
6. COLAGE World Premiere of MYTHSMASHERS in San Francisco
7. Register Today! Family Week in Saugatuck, MI
8. Register Today! Act OUT: the National LGBT Family Conference

Actions, Opportunities and News
9. ACTION ALERT: Blogging for LGBT Families Day
10. NEWS: Court avoids gay parental rights issue
11. NEWS: Judge Strikes Down Okla. Gay Adoption Law

COLAGE Updates & Announcements:
1. COLAGE has a new Office!

Please update your records as COLAGE is moving on to a bigger and better
office space!
The new COLAGE National Headquarters is at:

1550 Bryant Street, Suite 830
San Francisco, CA 94103

Our email, phone and website addresses remain the same.


2. Support Our Community! Become a campaigner, Strengthen COLAGE's

This Sunday, COLAGE will launch the 2nd Annual Support Our Community
Campaign. A dozen people have already stepped up to lead the way as
campaigners for this important fund drive, but we will need at least 40
volunteers if we are to meet our goal of raising $10,000 to support
COLAGE. Last year the first Support Our Community Campaign celebrated
COLAGE's 15th anniversary. This year, our theme is "Strength in
Numbers." The campaign will run from Mothers' Day to Fathers' Day (May
14th - June 18th, 2006).

Why is the theme Strength in Numbers?

There are between 8 and 14 million youth and adults with one or more
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender parents in the United States.
We live in every state and more than 95% of U.S. counties.

Yet, 39 states deny us any legal relationship to our parents. 5 states
prohibit our parents from adopting us. Only a small handful of states
protect us from harassment and discrimination in schools.

To combat these and many other injustices we and our families face,
COLAGE needs your help! In order to change the face of family and
family values, we need to Strengthen OUR Numbers.

We would like to invite you to become a campaigner for the 2nd Annual
Support Our Community Campaign. In order to reach our goal of raising
$10,000 to support COLAGE's work, we need 40 campaigners to raise $250
each. Will you be one of the forty leaders who helps us reach our goal?

There are lots of ways you can reach your $250 goal! And of course, if
you want to set your goal higher, please do! Some of you may know two
people who can each give $125. But if not, maybe you know 16 people who
can give $15.

This year, COLAGE will once again have the ability to help you campaign
online. You can easily personalize a website, write a note about why
you support COLAGE (or how COLAGE has supported you) and plug in the
email addresses of everyone you want to ask. Click send and you're well
on the way to meeting your goal!

If you don't want to campaign online, no worries! COLAGE can send you
information and materials to help you campaign with a letter or over the

Interested in becoming a campaigner? Send an email to jca-@colage.org
and include your:

Preferred Email:
Preferred Phone:

As soon as we hear from you, we'll send a package to help you get
started on the campaign.

Thank you so much for your support and consideration, and thanks in
advance to all of this year's campaigners!

Have questions? Need more information? Call 415-861-5437 or email

3. Become a Family Sponsor of a Family Week Event

The 11th Annual Celebration of Family Week in Provincetown is only three
months away on July 29-August 5! Once again COLAGE is pleased to be
joining the leadership of Family Pride to offer an exciting line-up of
programming for youth with LGBT parents during this magical week.

Now, more than ever, our youth need opportunities to access safe,
supportive communities through COLAGE, to gain leadership skills to
affect change and to find their voices to speak out their truths and
experiences as youth with LGBT Parents. Help make this community a
reality for hundreds of COLAGE participants by being a family sponsor of
a COLAGE event during Family Week. To learn more about sponsorship
opportunities visit:

To learn more about sponsorship, contact dire-@colage.org.


4. Are you participating in your local Pride celebration?

June is almost here! And with it comes an onslaught of Pride
celebrations across the country. Each year hundreds of COLAGErs with
their parents and allies march in parades, celebrate at festivals, and
raise visibility of children, youth and adults with LGBT parents through
their participation in Pride celebrations.

If you are planning to participate in your local Pride, COLAGE would
love to hear from you! We can send your resources and materials to give
out to other youth with LGBT parents, perspective LGBT parents, and LGBT
families. We also love to see your photos of Pride. If you plan to
participate in a Pride near you, let us know by emailing COLAGE Program
Director at mere-@colage.org. Happy Pride!


5. Join COLAGE and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Family Services
Program for the L.A. Premiere of In My Shoes: Stories of Youth with LGBT

A youth-produced film by and about youth with lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender parents

Thursday, May 25 • 7 - 9 pm
The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s
Village at Ed Gould Plaza
1125 N. McCadden Place
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Co-sponsored by Beth Chayim Congregation.

This is the kick-off event for the Los Angeles COLAGE chapter! Be among
the first in Los Angeles to see this award-winning film and stay after
the screening for parent and youth discussion groups. The film is
appropriate for youth 7 and up and parents of all ages!

For more information about this event, please call 323-860-7320 or email

For more information about COLAGE and the In My Shoes film project,
visit www.COLAGE.org.

In a time when LGBT families are debated and attacked in the media,
courts and congress, from school houses to state houses across the
country, five young people give you a chance to walk in their shoes– to
hear their own views on marriage, making change, and what it means to be
a family. In My Shoes: Stories of Youth with LGBT Parents was produced
by the COLAGE Youth Leadership and Action Program and directed by Jen

6. COLAGE World Premiere of MYTHSMASHERS in San Francisco

The members of the COLAGE Youth Leadership and Action Program (YLAP) are
thrilled to invite you to a special event celebrating the premiere of a
new play MYTHSMASHERS. Created by YLAP and Fringe Benefits, this play
will be used in middle schools to bust some common myths and stereotypes
about youth with LGB and/or T parents. An event for the entire family,
don’t miss out on the fun. We’ll feature food, a silent auction, a
staged reading of the new play, and lots more fun for kids and parents
of all ages.

June 15th
7-9 PM
at the Brava Theater
2781 24th Street in San Francisco.

For more information or to RSVP contact Ember at emb-@colage.org or at
415-861-5437 ext 103.

7. Register today! Family Week in Saugatuck, MI

Family Week 2006 is gearing up to be another week of amazing
connections, community and youth programming for COLAGE.   At the same
time, 2006 promises to be a challenging one for our community with more
states introducing legislation targeting and attacking our families than
ever before.

Clearly, it will be more important than ever before for LGBT families to
join together. What better place for you to connect to others with LGBT
parents than at:

Family Week in Saugatuck, MI
July 8th – 13th, 2006

Once again COLAGE is joining with Rainbow Families Great Lakes (an
entirely volunteer- run group of folks dedicated to making Family Week a
success) to plan for Family Week 2006. We’ll be on hand with amazing and
empowering programming for youth in addition to a whole schedule of
family events, meals, beach parties, parent workshops, recreational
activities and more.

Sign up your family to join us at this inspiring and unique event for
LGBT Families today. Go to http://www.rfgl.org/Register.html to make
sure you’ll be a part of Family Week 2006!


8. Register Today! Act OUT: the National LGBT Family Conference

Oct. 27-29, 2006
Fairmont Hotel
Dallas, Texas

Come one, come all and spend three fun-filled days with Family Pride and
COLAGE this fall! Hundreds of LGBT-headed families and youth and adults
with LGBT Parents from all over the country will be there, making new
friends and re-connecting with old ones. This weekend is going to be a
great mixture of education and celebration!

• Advocacy, Media & Mobilization Workshops
• Grassroots Organizing Education
• Youth and Adult Leadership Training
• Activities for all Children of all Ages                     

• Family Reception
• Ice Cream Social
• Huge Halloween Party & Family Dance – bring your costumes!

Partnering with Family Pride, this weekend is sure to be a time you will
never forget.
Act OUT will also feature an expo which will be fun for grown ups and
kids alike.

Register today to ensure your family will have a space at one of the
most transformative family gatherings Family Pride and COLAGE will host
this year. Hundreds of other LGBT-headed families will be attending, and
space is limited, so

Register Now for Special Early Bird Rates! Go to
http://www.familypride.org/site/pp.asp?c=bhKPI7PFImE&b=992425 for more
information and Registration!

COLAGE is also pleased to announce the FIRST-EVER COLAGE Chapter
Leadership Institute on Friday, October 27th before the start of Act
OUT. Arrive in Dallas on Thursday night so you do not miss the first
ever national gathering of COLAGE Chapter Leaders.
11AM- 4 PM
Friday, October 27th
For more information get in touch with Meredith Fenton, COLAGE Program
Director at mere-@colage.org

Keep checking www.colage.org for more information!

Actions, Opportunities, and News

9. ACTION ALERT: Blogging for LGBT Families Day

Blogging for LGBT Families Day is a time for bloggers to write about
LGBT family issues and collectively raise awareness of LGBT families,
our diverse nature, and how current prejudices and laws negatively
impact our lives and children. I aim to make people more comfortable
interacting with LGBT families and discussing LGBT families with their
own. I also hope the event will make people more informed voters,
showing them how their decisions at the polls directly affect the
families in their communities.

When is it? June 1, 2006. This date falls exactly between Mother’s Day
and Father’s Day. As such, it honors mothers and fathers equally, but
also conveys that not all families fit into the traditional structure of
one mother and one father. June 1 is also the start of LGBT Pride Month.

Who can participate? Any blogger, LGBT or straight, who wishes to
support the goal above. I expect participants to include LGBT parents
and parents-to-be, children of LGBT parents, parents of LGBT children,
straight parents, other LGBT individuals, and other straight allies.
Why should I participate? By participating, you help show the strength
of those who support LGBT families and their rights. Your blog may also
receive exposure to an audience it wouldn’t otherwise reach.
For more information and to get involved, visit


10. NEWS: Court avoids gay parental rights issue
The U.S. Supreme Court has again avoided wading into the contentious
issue of parental rights for gay and lesbian couples, in effect allowing
a California woman to go forward with plans for a "second-parent"

To read the full story visit:

11. NEWS: Judge Strikes Down Okla. Gay Adoption Law

Tim Talley, Associated Press, May 20, 2006

OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge struck down a 2-year-old law that
prohibits Oklahoma from recognizing adoptions by same-sex couples from
other states and countries.

U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron ruled Friday the measure violated due
process rights under the U.S. Constitution because it attempted to break
up families without considering the parents’ fitness or the children’s
best interests.

Gay-rights organization Lambda Legal had challenged the law on behalf of
three same-sex couples. “Gay and lesbian parents in Oklahoma can now
breathe a collective sigh of relief because their relationships with
their children are no longer threatened by the state of Oklahoma,” said
Ken Upton, an attorney in Lambda Legal’s Dallas office.

One of the plaintiffs, Heather Finstuen, said the ruling will allow her
and partner Anne Magro to focus on being parents to their 7-year-old
twin girls rather than worrying about the adoption law.
“This is really good news for our family,” she said. “It’s a huge

The couple said the law endangered the legal relationship established by
a New Jersey court between Finstuen and her adopted daughters. The girls
were born to Magro.

The ruling was attacked by supporters of the law, which was passed by
the Legislature with bipartisan support in 2004. “It’s another case of
an activist court trying to legislate from the bench,” said Republican
Rep. Thad Balkman. “It’s unfortunate that a single judge is trying to
rewrite the law.”

Thank you for subscribing to COLAGE NetNews!

COLAGE thrives on the involvement and support of all its members and
funders. We acknowledge the generous support of the Gill Foundation,
Haas Jr Fund, Open Society Institute, San Francisco Foundation, San
Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Families, American and all
our members and donors.

COLAGE engages, connects, and supports people to make the world a better
place for children of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents.
Ensure COLAGE's future with your membership
contribution today. Join COLAGE at: http://www.colage.org/join.html
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