International Family Equality Day Date in the current year: May 5, 2024

International Family Equality Day International Family Equality Day is observed annually on the first Sunday of May. It was created to increase the visibility of LGBT families and highlight the importance of protecting their rights.

LGBT families are families with one or more children (biological, adopted, or foster children) raised by LGBT parents. This includes same-sex couples, children raised by single LGBT parents, and children raised by parents in a mixed-orientation marriage or partnership. Such families are also called rainbow families as a reference to the LGBT pride flag.

Opponents of LGBT rights claim that LGBT parenting adversely affects children. However, scientific research consistently shows that the sexual orientation of parents has no effect on their children’s development, mental health, or well-being.

The rights of LGBT families vary greatly depending on the state: in some countries, queer couples can freely adopt children and have access to surrogacy; in some, adoption is available only to LGBT individuals, but not couples; finally, there are countries where child protection services can even take a child away from his or her biological parent if they discover that the child is raised by a queer couple.

Even in countries where LGBT rights are more or less protected rainbow families still face stigma and discrimination, and in many more countries, it is very hard and even dangerous for LGBT couples to raise a child or children. Therefore, rainbow families need support and protection regardless of where they live, but even more so in the countries where LGBT people are discriminated against or even outlawed.

International Family Equality Day (IFED) was initiated by Maria von Känel, a Swiss LGBT rights activist who specializes in LGBT family rights. She came up with the idea of creating a special day to celebrate and highlight rainbow families in 2010. The next year, her initiative was supported by the first International Symposium of LGBTQ parenting organizations that took place in Florida, United States.

The inaugural International Family Equality Day took place on May 6, 2012. A number of events were held throughout Europe, the United States, and Canada. Since then IFED has been held annually on the first Sunday of May, and its scale is growing every year: in 2012, events were held in nine countries and 15 cities, whereas in 2020, IFED was celebrated in 62 countries, from Argentina to Venezuela, and 152 cities.

The Council of Europe has officially recognized the importance of International Family Equality Day in combating homophobia and transphobia and promoting a tolerant society. In 2018, IDEF was incorporated under Swiss law as an international NGO.

Its main goals are to ensure that International Family Equality Day remains a neutral and open event unaffiliated with any brands or corporations, as well as to mobilize all relevant parties to enhance the visibility of rainbow families, promote equal rights for LGBT families worldwide, and celebrate family diversity.

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International Family Equality Day, LGBT awareness days, LGBT observances, LGBT families, rainbow families