Rainbow Families Moves Forward with Merger

By Lavender March 28, 2008

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Rainbow Families, the organization supporting GLBT families in Minnesota and throughout the Upper Midwest, recently updated its members on a planned merger with the Family Equality Council, a national organization also committed to supporting GLBT families.

The Rainbow Families board of directors unanimously recommended a merger in January, citing mission synergies between the two groups and a belief that services best could be provided by joining forces.

According to a recent press release, both Rainbow Families and the Family Equality Council currently are working through the necessary legal steps required to merge the two organizations.

Addressing concerns that a merger may reduce the level of service, the statement noted, “It is the desire of both organizations that most people will not notice major changes or differences in the local services or programs.”

Rainbow Families, founded in 1997, has become one of the largest regional GLBT family organizations in the United States. Based in Minneapolis, it serves as a resource and provides a number of services to more than 2,000 families in Minnesota and throughout the Upper Midwest. Its annual conference, the largest of its kind in the country, attracted more than 1,200 people last year.

Family Equality Council traces its organizational roots all the way back to 1979, when a group of gay fathers joined together to create a network of support. Based in Boston, the national nonprofit works with national and local organizations to secure family equality.

In addition to providing training and support, it recently announced the launch of Project Harmony, which, according to Family Equality Council, aims to “ensure that the issues and concerns of families of color are part of the national dialogue on family equality.”

Family Equality Council Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler is scheduled to address the Rainbow Families annual conference in April, and explain the logistics of the planned merger. In addition, she will be on hand to meet and discuss issues with attendees.

For more information on the merger, visit www.rainbowfamilies.org.

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