Rich-Vaughn-Blog-The-Assembly-Line-194x3002

Election Results Confirm Changing Attitudes Reflected in Del Shores Play

Tommy and I were so honored, with our two boys, Austin and Aiden, to be featured recently in a new one-act play by Del Shores, The Assembly Line. The play, which was loosely based on our family’s story, premiered October 29 at the Renberg Theater in Los Angeles. Proceeds from the one-night-only performance benefited the Family Equality Council, a non-profit organization representing some million LGBT parents and their two million children from all over the United States.

The Assembly Line is the story of a group of women from the Assembly of God faith who get together once a week to stuff envelopes for a southern evangelical preacher. The women’s normal routine is thrown into upheaval when one of the regulars is strangely absent, sending her housekeeper in her place. Through the course of training the replacement (in the exact technique of envelope stuffing), it is revealed that the missing member of the assembly line has gone to Vermont to attend her gay son's gay wedding, her heart having changed with the birth of her grandchildren, the grooms' twin sons. You can read more about the performance here.

At the end of the play, Tommy and I and our boys represented the grooms and their sons in a symbolic wedding scene. The boys were very excited to be onstage but turned out to be little troopers and stayed quiet—they understood that none of us were supposed to say anything. At one point, Austin put his finger in his mouth (sort of in a "what do I do here?" kind of way). Aiden, who I was holding, didn’t know what to do either, so he turned and kissed Papa, and Austin followed suit kissing Daddy, which got a great audience reaction. After the performance, it was great to meet all the actors and audience members, most of whom didn’t realize we were the real-life models for Del’s characters.

I thought about that wedding scene last night, as I stayed up late watching the election results. Not only do we have four more years of an administration that believes in our equal rights as a family, but three states—Maryland, Maine and Washington—made history: For the first time in the United States, voters supported marriage equality at the ballot box. That surely marks the tipping point for LGBT equality in our country. I know it has tremendous significance for same-sex parents who want equal legal status and security for their families.

The Family Equality Council began in 1979 as the Gay Fathers Coalition, which expanded in 1986 to include lesbian mothers as Gay and Lesbian Parents Coalition International, a volunteer grassroots chapter-based organization supporting local gay and lesbian parenting groups and advancing the cause of lesbian and gay parenting. In 1990, a group of youth formed an offshoot of GLPCI called Just For Us, which evolved to become the group Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLAGE). COLAGE became an independent  organization on January 1, 1999. In 1998 GLPCI changed its name to the Family Pride Coalition and finally to Family Equality Council, in recognition of its expanded work as an advocate, in partnership with other progressive groups, for equality for all loving families.

Family Equality Council is a wonderful organization and worthy of your support. Del Shores plans a nationwide theatrical event in which The Assembly Line will be performed simultaneously on the same Monday in 2013 in theatres throughout the U.S., with all proceeds going to the Council. We’ll share the date when we have it. We are proud to be a part of the Family Equality Council family.

 

Rich Vaughn
Richard Vaughn
rich@iflg.net

Attorney Rich Vaughn is founder and principal of International Fertility Law Group, one of the world’s largest and best-known law firms focused exclusively on assisted reproductive technology, or ART, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, sperm donation or egg donation. Rich is co-author of the book “Developing A Successful Assisted Reproduction Technology Law Practice,” American Bar Association Publishing, 2017.

Peiya Wang
PEIYA WANG(王培娅)
Paralegal (律师助理)

Peiya Wang joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2015, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases and provides translation services for many of IFLG’s international clients. Peiya received her bachelor’s degree from Beijing Technologies and Business University, where she majored in Marketing. She moved to the United States in 2012 to attend Northeast University in Boston, Massachusetts, receiving a Master of Science degree in Global Studies and International Affairs in 2014. Peiya moved to Los Angeles in 2015 and received her paralegal certification from UCLA Extension. When away from the office, Peiya is a dragon boat paddler and a ballroom dancer, where she favors Rumbas and Cha-chas. She is fluent in Mandarin and English.

Luis Sosa
LUIS SOSA
Paralegal

Luis R. Sosa joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2016, where he enjoys pursuing his passion for family and reproductive law. While working toward his bachelor’s degree at Florida International University, Luis worked as a paralegal and legal assistant for family law litigation firms in Miami and Washington, D.C. As a paralegal and case manager for IFLG, Luis, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, manages surrogacy, egg donation and other reproductive law cases. In addition to spending time with husband Randy and dog Marty, Luis enjoys being outdoors and appreciating the arts.

Toni Hughes
TONI HUGES
Paralegal

After receiving her B.S. in Business Management, Toni joined IFLG to pursue her dream of working in the legal field. As a Paralegal with over 10 years of experience in the assisted reproduction technology field, Toni is our Managing Paralegal, responsible for training and managing our paralegal staff. From drafting legal documents to assisting our clients with post-birth matters, Toni embraces the challenge of learning something new in this field each day. Besides spending time with her son, Jordan, Toni enjoys exploring new things, cooking, spending time with family and friends, and serving as a Youth Advisor for “Next Generation.”

Miesha Cowart
MIESHA COWART
Financial Coordinator

Miesha Cowart joined IFLG as a financial specialist in 2014 following a successful career in development and business finance. Miesha previously worked for 10 years in the construction industry as a controller and for 13 years as Development Coordinator for the non-profit U.S. Fund for UNICEF. In her free time, Miesha works with “Next Generation” at her church. “They are my heartbeats!” she says of the youth in her community.

Kim
KIM DEVEREAUX
Paralegal

Kim has over 25 years of experience in the legal field and has worked exclusively in surrogacy and assisted reproduction law since 1999. Kim is a senior case manager of surrogacy and egg donation cases, and is also responsible for managing parental establishment cases and interacting with IFLG’s Of Counsel attorneys across the country. With three children of her own, Kim understands the importance of family and finds working in this area of law a rewarding experience.

Rich Vaughn
RICHARD B. VAUGHN
Founder

Attorney Rich Vaughn combined his personal passion as a father of twin boys born via assisted reproductive technology (ART) with more than 20 years of experience in business and technology law to build International Fertility Law Group. Today IFLG is one of the most successful and best-known law firms in the world focused exclusively on fertility law, helping thousands of intended parents through empathetic listening, thoughtful and compassionate guidance, and unmatched legal expertise. As an advocate for reproductive freedom, Rich also contributes his knowledge and time to improving the understanding and practice of ART law. He is immediate past chair of the American Bar Association ART Committee, which develops model legislation governing assisted reproductive services, and is a popular presenter to law students, faculty and advocacy organizations all over the world.

Elizabeth Tamayo
ELIZABETH TAMAYO
Paralegal

Elizabeth received her Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California State University of Los Angeles. Shortly after graduating, she continued her education at the University of California, Los Angeles where she obtained her Paralegal certificate. Elizabeth is fluent in Spanish and has been in the legal field since 2009. She is excited to be a part of the IFLG Team helping families realize their dreams.

Tania Steele
TANIA STEELE
Legal Assistant

Tania Steele joined IFLG as a legal assistant in early 2016 and has since been immersed in the complexities of assisted reproductive technology law. Tania received her Bachelor of Arts degree at Chapman University in Orange, California, and a graduate degree from University of Leicester in England, where she pursued an interest in art. In 2013, she accepted a volunteer position at Legal Aid Society of Orange County, where she helped with the intake of new clients and was inspired to obtain a paralegal certificate from Fullerton College. As an undergraduate, Tania lived in Italy and studied the Italian language. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian and enjoys assisting as a translator for many of IFLG’s international clients. Outside of the office, Tania enjoys concerts, films, reading and travel.

Linda Garrett
LINDA GARRETT
Legal Assistant

Linda Garrett graduated in 2010 from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a major in Sociology. Shortly after, she enrolled in a paralegal course at West Los Angeles College, where she fell in love with the field. In 2017, she earned her paralegal degree and joined International Fertility Law Group as a Legal Assistant. In her free time, Linda enjoys outdoor adventures and spending time with her nieces and nephews.

Sunny Chien
SUNNY CHIEN
Paralegal

Sunny joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2017, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases for many of IFLG’s international clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from California State University of Los Angeles, where she graduated cum laude. Sunny is bilingual in English and Mandarin and has extensive experience as a legal assistant and paralegal at Los Angeles-area law firms. She is excited to be part of the IFLG team. In her spare time, Sunny enjoys spending time with her family and their dog, going to the beach, cooking, and being outdoors.