Demanding better conditions for rainbow families

14/06/2013
Submitted by Swiss Rainbow Families Association

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Experts make the case for more visibility of family diversity in schools

Policymakers need to improve the framework conditions for rainbow families – this is the bottom line of a conference held at the University of Zurich on Friday, 7 June 2013. Around 100 experts exchanged their views on family diversity, demanding, among other things, more counselling services for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans* persons wanting to start a family, and increased research on rainbow families. Classes and school books should reflect the varied life and family structures that are a reality in today’s Switzerland.

The conference was organised by the Swiss Rainbow Families Association under the auspices of the Zurich Pride theme “All Families Matter”. “We want our children to grow up in an environment that strengthens and protects them,” said Martin della Valle, co-president of the association. “We want them to thrive and be able to share their lives without reservations or prejudices.”

Focus on the child’s best interests

State councillor Regine Aeppli of Zurich also put the focus on the interests of the children: “From the child’s point of view, the parents’ gender is irrelevant; what is important is to have someone close by who will provide protection and affection,” the director of education stated, continuing that it wasn’t the job of policymakers to render moral judgment on certain types of family structures but to provide favourable conditions for all of them.

Experts in youth and family counselling, education and care as well as policymakers used the conference to urge government to stand up for a tolerant and diverse society marked by integrity. There was clear consensus that societal or legal marginalisation for rainbow families or for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans* individuals should not be tolerated.

Promoting research on rainbow families

There currently is a lack of specific information on the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans* individuals and rainbow families in Switzerland. It is thus important that the confederation and the cantons include sexual orientation and gender identity in their surveys. Scientific research in this area also needs to be promoted.

The conference “All Families Matter” was organised by the Swiss Rainbow Families Association in cooperation with L-Punkt, z&h (LGBT organisations of the University of Zurich, the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and the polytechnic schools of the Canton of Zurich) and SOS Switzerland – Sexual Orientation & School. The demands collected at the conference will be assembled in a position paper.

Media contact

Maria von Känel, vice-president Swiss Rainbow Families Association

E-mail: info@regenbogenfamilien.ch Phone: +41 79 611 06 71

Photos and additional press releases

http://fachtagung.allfamiliesmatter.ch/presse

Additional information:

www.allfamiliesmatter.ch

The Swiss Rainbow Families Association advocates public recognition and legal equality for rainbow families at the national and European levels. It serves as the contact for authorities, policymakers and the public for all questions related to the topic.


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