Public discussion about American families often assumes the nation is largely made up of married heterosexual couples raising their biological children. Yet less than a quarter of all U.S. households fall into this category. Today’s children may be raised by grandparents, single parents, step-parents, aunts, uncles, or foster parents. Their parents may be married or unmarried. They also may be heterosexual or lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender—LGBT.
Unfortunately, public policy has not kept up with the changing reality of the American family. Indeed, our laws and discourse largely ignore the roughly 2 million children being raised by LGBT parents. They also ignore children in other family configurations, such as those with unmarried heterosexual parents. As a result, most Americans are probably unaware of the many ways in which unequal treatment and social stigma harm the millions of children whose families do not fit into a certain mold.