Partners Task Force for Gay and Lesbian Couples, 1986
Partners Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples is an international resource for same-sex couples.
Partners is dedicated to the proposition that all families deserve equal treatment. Partners supports the diverse community of committed gay and lesbian partners through a variety of media.
Gay and lesbian couples are families who need and deserve the same rights and privileges accorded opposite-sex married couples. To that end, the Task Force asserts the right of same-sex couples to marry and to be recognized as domestic partners due equal benefits and treatment.
Founded in 1986, Partners provides information, support, and advocacy for same-sex couples and those who serve them.
The Partners Web site contains more than 400 essays, surveys, legal articles and resources on legal marriage, ceremonies, domestic partner benefits, relationship tips, parenting, and immigration. The director is Demian, who was a co-founder of Partners, and has been active in gay liberation politics since the early 70s.
The Majority of the Gay Community is Coupled
Several surveys conducted during the 90s concluded that more than 60 percent of the gay community was in a relationship.
In spite of this constituency, for decades, the gay and lesbian community paid little attention to its coupled members. Our media and organizations were largely singles-oriented. Family issues were considered the exclusive political turf of right-wing preachers.
It was within this context that Partners Newsletter for Gay and Lesbian Couples was created. The journal evolved into the quarterly Partners Magazine. After seven years, the periodical was discontinued and Partners focused on publishing special issues and videos.
In 1988, recognizing the lack of current, scientific data on same-sex couples, Partners conducted the first major national study of same-sex couples in a decade.
- [See the Survey Report: buddybuddy.com/survey.html]
Among the fascinating, myth-busting results from the survey:
- Fully 71 percent of the couples had experienced some form of discrimination as a couple.
- Parents and the church were the least supportive elements in their lives.
An academic presentation of key findings from this survey appears in a couples-oriented issue of the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services (Vol. 1, #2, 1994) and in Social Services for Gay and Lesbian Couples (Lawrence Kurdick, ed., 1994), both from Haworth Press. Full results are available only from Partners.
- [See Partners Orders Page: buddybuddy.com/orders.html]
World's First Video on Legal Marriage for Same-Sex Couples
In 1996, Partners produced The Right to Marry buddybuddy.com/right.html, a video documentary based on the dire need for equality that was revealed by our national survey. This was the world's first documentary about the struggle for legal marriage.
The video featured interviews with Rev. Mel White, Evan Wolfson, Phyllis Burke Richard Mohr, Kevin Cathcart, Faygele benMiriam, Benjamin Cable-McCarthy, and Susan Reardon.
The original original 72-min. video is now out-of-print. It is now available as a 7 min. excerpt on Demian’s Film & Video Projects - Archive DVD.
- [See Archive DVD: buddybuddy.com/dvd-2.html]
Partners Task Force Outreach
Since March 1995, the Task Force has placed extensive information on the Internet. Anyone with net access and a Web browser can view the Web site [buddybuddy.com] and download more than 400 articles of resources and data on same-sex couples.
More than 20 years of interviewing same-sex couples, news gathering, and survey research have shaped the ideology of the Task Force. These ideas are promoted through the Task Force’s electronic communications, publications, video productions, and frequent contact with the nation’s media.
While the primary contacts to Partners, via phone and e-mail, has been couples, Partners has also been frequently contacted by counselors, clergy, business personnel staff, reporters, researchers, students, and government officials.
The Task Force has primarily been the work of its founder/directors, Steve Bryant and Demian, who has a doctorate in education. Steve and Demian are nationally recognized for their activism and educational work. They frequently addressed same-sex couples’ issues on radio, television, and in the gay and mainstream press. Steve left the group in 2002, and Demian continues as director.