Saturday, April 26, 2008
INSPIRATION FROM THE COUNCIL ON CONTEMPORARY FAMILIES ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Thank goodness for the Council on Contemporary Families -- a group of scholars, researchers, and clinicians who care about all families and who respond to the right-wing marriage movement's attacks on family diversity. One highlight of the just-concluded annual conference: A paper from RAND researcher Jui-Chung Alan Li reporting findings, using a large data base, that divorce does not cause behavior problems in children. How silly does the vice-president of the right-wing marriage movement group Institute for American Values sound when she responds by saying: "What he's doing is controlling for so many things he's making the effects of divorce disappear"?? It is precisely because the marriage movement does NOT control for many other factors that they can blame all of our social problems on the decline of life-long heterosexual marriage. The CCF conference also featured unabashed feminists! That shouldn't be news, but all too often is when it comes to family policy discussions. Congratulations to Amy DePaul, who received one of the CCF media awards. Feminist bloggers Deborah Siegel and Veronica Arreola were inspirational. By following Veronica's blog, I learned that a paid sick leave bill has been introduced in the Illinois legislature. It defines "family members" to include anyone the employee has lived with for six months. That's moving us closer to valuing all families...although I still would like a state to adopt the definition of "family member" in federal law, which includes "any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship." If the federal government can allow its employees to care for their families however they define them, why not states and private employers as well??