Cartoon by Carolina Guillot/Contributing Cartoonist
Lauren Bana/Staff Writer
With the end of the 2012-2013 school year, most students will begin making plans for next year in regards to financial aid.
Many students will be glad to know that a few slight changes will be made to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by 2014 in order to accommodate students with same-sex parents.
I see this as an absolutely marvelous way to recognize same-sex relationships. It is a small change, but I believe it will definitely be making a big difference in the lives of students with same-sex parents.
According to The Huffington Post, the application will have categories as a means of which applicants can indicate whether they live in a same-sex household, such as “Parent 1 (father/mother/stepparent)” and “Parent 2 (father/mother/stepparent).”
Of course, one would wonder what the lesbian and gay communities would have to say about this change, which The Huffington Post reported their response by stating that the “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups, such as the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), praised the upcoming changes.”
“GLSEN has long worked to ensure that sexual orientation and gender identity are not used to discriminate against students in our nation’s K-12 schools, whether that student identifies as LGBT, has LGBT friends, or comes from an LGBT family,” said GLSEN Director of Public Policy Shawn Gaylord to The Washington Blade on April 29.
Gaylord further elaborated on the great appreciation that the GLSEN has for the Department of Education in allowing FASFA applicants to describe their family without any discrimination towards sexual orientation or gender identity.
It’s great to know that this change has been recognized, and that it has made, and will make, such an impact on the lives of people in same-sex relationships as well as those closest to them.
As a child of heterosexual parents, I would never be able to fully understand the troubles of having to deal with the constant reminder of society’s incapability to acknowledge same-sex marriage, but I can see how it would affect students with same-sex parents when an entity as important as the Department of Education outwardly recognizes same-sex marriage as a legitimate form of marriage.
I really think this will mean a lot to people in same-sex households. It doesn’t seem like such a drastic change, but small improvements like this, I believe, will teach a lot of people that love is love, no matter what.
1. “FAFSA Changes To Recognize Same-Sex Parents By 2014,” via Huffington Post
2. “Dept. of Education to recognize same-sex parents,” via Washington Blade