If you’re on our email list, you recently saw my hopeful predictions for 2011. Here’s a bit more detail about what they mean and why I think they could come true.
Political candidates in majority-unmarried districts will drop their old “families first” slogans and start campaigning “for every single one of us.” An important use of the decennial Census is to redraw Congressional district lines so that each district contains roughly 1/435th of the population (that’s a simplification, of course). After the 2000 Census, our friends at Unmarried America produced a wonderful list of unmarried majority cities. We already have two volunteers willing to help crunch the latest Census figures, and we already have great feedback about what unmarried voters want candidates to say. We’ve sketched out a plan to find and draw attention to Congressional districts where most adults are unmarried. If you’re good with data and/or publicity, we can use your help to get this off the ground!
Scientists will discover that marital status discrimination is bad for people’s health, urging companies to treat unmarried employees fairly as a way to reduce healthcare costs. A fantastic advisory committee is helping us develop a research framework that could demonstrate the impact of marital status discrimination on public health. Our objective is to build widespread, high-level recognition that correlations between marital status and health outcomes are caused by laws or regulations that use marital status to determine access to healthcare. Demonstrating causality will support AtMP’s position that marital status discrimination in healthcare is a social justice problem to be solved.
Congress will rewrite the welfare law, replacing the 1990′s “marriage-only” preamble with words like: “the most important factor in a child’s upbringing is whether the child is brought up in a loving, healthy, supportive environment.” Those very words are in the preamble of the House bill mentioned in my last post – it gained 39 co-sponsors and supportive feedback from the administration last year. AtMP started advocating these changes a decade ago and we’re committed to seeing it through to success.
Major foundations will give AtMP grants to hire a full-time researcher / organizer to advance these and other projects. For the first time, a well-known LGBT foundation has invited AtMP to request a grant, and an experienced grant writer has volunteered to help me write a most compelling proposal. Wish us luck!