Susan Roylance has spent a lifetime promoting families at the UN. Her newest book, Family Capital and the SDGs, will be released at the UN Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador this October. There has long been a stand-off between "pro-family" organizations and the LGBT community. An unfortunate side effect has been the absence of family language in UN documents. The Family Capital Project is attempting to bridge that rift by finding common ground and promoting family capital, or the accumulative good families offer, as a means to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Instead of defining families, we are seeking to apply the strengths of families to every household and situation.
“Nine paragraphs [in the New Urban Agenda] talk about ‘children and youth’ but not one about family,” Roylance said. “Family is the basic unit of society — to not even recognize they exist is critical to the discussion.” When pressed if her organization’s definition of family would include, for example, same-sex couples with children, she declined to specify, saying that each country has the sovereignty to define family in its own way."