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Queer Families: Past, Present, and Promise

Friday, June 24, 2022
8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Quinnipiac University School of Law
370 Bassett Road
North Haven, CT  06473

Co-sponsored by
The James W. Cooper Fellows of the Connecticut Bar Foundation and Quinnipiac University School of Law


On June 24, 2022, we celebrated and honored Pride Month by presenting a day-long symposium dedicated to the exploration of issues affecting queer families.  This program examined the history and development of the rights of LGBTQ+ families, including parents and queer youth, in the United States and specifically in Connecticut. We defined the status quo in Connecticut, with a focus on the new Parentage Act. Finally, we identified the next frontier: areas that still need work in order for queer families to have true equality, and how Connecticut can avoid the anti-LGBTQ+ fervor arising in other states.

After a morning of presentations, we enjoyed a networking “lunch on your own," and then broke out into smaller groups to allow participants to explore more deeply the various topics addressed during the morning. 

Attendees were able to join us for this special event in person or viewed the program via Zoom instead.  


Program Details

Click here to access the event program.


Module 1: The Past

This panel, comprised of people who were on the front lines in the recognition of queer families in Connecticut, looked at how queer families came to be, the road to recognition and protection, the legal challenges they have overcome, and issues they still face.



Module 2: The Present

Module 2 focused on the present time, and the current state of the law in Connecticut.  Those instrumental in the passage of CT’s Parentage Act discussed both the strengths and shortcomings of this groundbreaking legislation.  We also heard from members of the LGBTQ+ community who shared their stories about becoming a family, and the paths – both smooth and bumpy – that they followed to get there.



Module 3: Promise

The last module of the morning was "The Promise of Queer Families: We are Family."  The progress that comes from action and visibility often correlates with reaction and backlash.  As clouds gather in Connecticut and other states, this module offered a view of the current climate and a frank forecast.  Framed as concerns for ‘the family,’ new obstacles are being erected while some gains are being dismantled.  Queer-identified families and family members are facing mounting challenges here and elsewhere.  The lifework, lives, and stories of queer family members offered insight into how and why rainbows will persist despite fear, bias, bigotry, and other adverse conditions on the ground.




Afternoon breakout sessions included:

  • Parentage Act
  • Discussing Our Future: A Youth Perspective
  • Legal Representation of Queer Families: Practical Tips
  • Queer Activists, Educators, and Allies: How We Do Our Work