We’re in the midst of a unique moment in the movement for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. As marriage wins continue in the courts, and national attention shifts to work in places where LGBT people aren’t protected from discrimination — strong leadership in the states is more important than ever.
Over the past few months, many of our members have expressed interest in learning more about the Voter Activation Network (VAN).The VAN is a voter database containing information on voters for the purpose of assisting your get out the vote (GOTV) efforts and other areas of your campaigns.
The Mountain West region is notable — not just for its mountain ranges and national parks — but for its commitment to winning nondiscrimination protections for its LGBT communities. As part of the Federation’s Fairness Project, we’re convening a cohort of five states in the Mountain West.
As the head of Equality Federation, which works to ensure that L.G.B.T.Q. people can thrive and provide for their families, I see firsthand how discrimination causes harm. And as an adopted person, I am forever grateful that my adoption agency’s top priority was finding me a home with loving parents, rather than turning people away based on religious beliefs.
Today is a new day for transgender service members. We applaud President Biden and the newly confirmed Secretary of Defense, General Lloyd Austin, for their action today to reverse the discriminatory transgender military ban.
Monday, January 4, began my first official week as the new executive director of Equality Federation. I was ready to hit the ground running by playing a very small part in the massive and successful Georgia Senate get-out-the-vote effort.
Equality Federation has been operating virtually for a number of years and would like to share tip for organizations who are new to the world of working online. Check out our list of resources that will help you navigate your new digital workplace.
Allies, family members, and friends, here are a few ways you can support your LGBTQ loved ones while waiting for the Supreme Court decision.
Here are a few takeaways from the report that paints a picture of an often overlooked segment of our population.
Dione Friends joined Equality Federation as Director of Communications in August 2019. Prior to joining Equality Federation, she spent eight years on the communications team at the ACLU of Texas, where she substantially grew their digital presence, communications capacity, and ability to reach people offline.
15 states filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking them to rule against three individuals who were fired for being LGBTQ. The three cases include the first transgender civil rights case to be heard by the high court on October 8th.
Growing up in Alabama, I loved visiting the farm where my dad was raised. We’d ride four wheelers, hunt, fish, and all pitch in during hay season. Well, mostly my cousins and I got in the way. In some ways, I felt at home in the country, as my family called it.
I’ve spent the last week on the ground in Western Massachusetts running get out the vote for the Yes on 3 campaign, and Tuesday night (Nov. 6, 2018) I got to celebrate a historic win with the amazing people who’ve made it happen.
Last week I traveled to Massachusetts to work with the country’s first ever statewide ballot campaign to uphold protections for the transgender community. The campaign is running an impressive operation, from building a massive volunteer-driven voter contact program to putting up some of the best television ads making the case for dignity and respect under the law.
The current fight in Massachusetts—the birthplace of marriage equality—has been called “the next transgender rights battleground” and “the biggest test to date” on transgender rights. But, without a doubt, this is about more than Massachusetts.
I’m so proud of my dad today, and well, every day really. He’s an honorable man who works hard and owns a business in our hometown, Oklahoma City. Like any family, it was a journey with ups and downs when I came out, but he has always supported me.
In the nearly three years since the Obergefell ruling legalized marriage in all fifty states, we’ve faced an uphill battle. Victory has often meant defeating anti-LGBTQ legislation rather than passing proactive, pro-equality legislation.
In the last five years, Equality Federation has grown by leaps and bounds! Our strategic growth has allowed us to roll out field and targeting support to all 50 states, increase our ability to track and provide rapid response during state legislative sessions, and grow our leadership programs to include training and support for fundraising, communications, and organizing staff of member groups.
The Supreme Court has denied to review two cases that challenged Mississippi‚ dangerously broad anti-LGBTQ law, HB 1523.
Our regional summits are growing! This year’s West by Midwest (WxMW) Leadership Summit was our biggest and best ever. For the third year in a row, we’ve invited members from the Western states to join us at what used to be the Midwest Leadership Summit.
Equality Federation’s Legislative Action Center tracks every piece of LGBTQ-focused legislation in all 50 states, allowing us to deploy critical resources to our state partners at every step of the legislative process. This year we tracked over 350 bills affecting the LGBTQ community. Fifteen states faced down anti-transgender bathroom ban legislation this year and we were victorious in fighting every one of these discriminatory efforts.
Twenty five years ago, I first started working in the LGBTQ movement. Back then I was hopeful for so many things that have since been realized, but one thing has yet to come true: an end to HIV.
We’re taking the month of March to reintroduce ourselves to you, highlighting efforts you might not have heard about yet.
We can’t sugarcoat it, we are living in some challenging times. But, from these challenges come opportunities for victories in the LGBTQ community. This month, we’d like to reintroduce ourselves. We’ll tell you more about what we’re doing to make lives better for LGBTQ people from Maine to Wyoming, Florida to Oregon.
In case you missed it, 2016 was a year for the record books. Well over 200 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation kept Equality Federation and our state partners busy in state capitals across the country. That’s the bad news.
Advocates are working all across the country to advance statewide laws and local ordinances protecting LGBT people from discrimination. At the same time, our opposition is mounting an effort to pass so-called religious exemption laws legalizing discrimination against LGBT people in housing, employment, and services.
We’re all holding our breath for the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage, which will be announced any day now. At the same time, we’re also finally catching our breath, because by the end of this month, all but a handful of state legislatures will be out of session.
In the first half of 2015, we have seen many victories and challenges across the nation as advocates fight for protections for LGBT people in their state. In Michigan, opponents of the state’s recently introduced preemption bill have dubbed it a Death Star.
Like its neighboring state of Oklahoma, Texas has seen a dizzying number of anti-LGBT bills this session, 22 to be exact. Federation member Equality Texas helped to soundly defeat four preemption bills that would have invalidated local LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances.
Louisiana set a dangerous precedent this week. Two different nondiscrimination bills -- both positive pieces of legislation that would have extended protections to LGBT Louisianans -- were tabled.
We heard from many of you who participated in the Fairness Project site survey. You told us you want news and resources, and you want them often. We can do that!
Every year, Federation members must complete our recertification survey as part of our Member in Good Standing Policy.Recertification is a chance for you to update the Federation about your work, your priorities, and your team.
The LGBT movement is shifting. We are seeing the tides changing from a focus on marriage to one of states working for protections in nondiscrimination, safe schools, immigration, healthcare, and beyond. But what is constant throughout this change is the intersectionality of our work, and the need to look at each issue through multiple lenses.
So far 2015 has been quite a year. We haven't seen a state-by-state attack on our rights like this since the marriage bans of 2004. There's good news though: we are winning.
On July 4, 1999, I left Alabama, the state I had called home for my entire life. Since the moment that I pulled away from my childhood home in a car packed to the gills, I have considered that day my own personal Independence Day.
Last month I had the honor and pleasure of gathering with Federation members from our Midwest cohort at the annual Midwest Leadership Summit in Chicago. As part of our State Leadership Project, the Midwest Leadership Summit is a chance to share strategies, network, and plan for collaboration in the year to come.
Since 2006, the State of the States report by Equality Federation has documented the strength and sustainability of state-based advocacy organizations that advance equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the communities they call home. Over the past eight years, State of the States has faithfully documented our movement’s triumphs and trials as reflected in the capacity of our state-based organizations.
Equality Federation is pleased to announce the launch of our brand new resource - the Fairness Project site. While 29 states across the country still lack statewide nondiscrimination protections for LGBT individuals -- and another three lack protections based on gender identity and expression -- there are hundreds of local communities where state-based leaders have successfully pushed for municipal protections.
Last week we held a webinar for Equality Federation members about how your organization can engage in Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) advocacy in your states and municipalities by adding an optional question on gender expansive youth.
Summer of Action has kicked off in Phoenix, Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Cleveland! Over the next three weeks we will have thousands of conversations about nondiscrimination with people on their front porches and on the phone!
Because I work in LGBT rights, people are asking me what they can do in response to Orlando. My response: find a vigil if you need healing or want to show support. If you want to do a bit more, here’s what I’ll tell you:
The cornerstone of our Southern Leaders program is our Southern Leadership Summit, an annual gathering that brings together advocates from the region for two days of intensive workshops and discussion. Challenging legislative sessions in all the Southern states gave us a lot to talk about, and leaders shared what they’d learned so far, with many fights still going on.
In state after state this year, opponents have used ever-evolving strategies to legislate anti-LGBTQ discrimination. The two most common strategies are religious exemption bills (so-called “religious freedom” bills) and bills focussed on restroom access.
Now is the time for transgender equality, and more states are doing the right thing. They are no longer forcing transgender people to have surgery or obtain court orders in order to change the gender marker on their birth certificates.
Last week, Governor Cuomo of New York announced regulations that will ban public and private healthcare insurers from covering so-called gay conversion therapy and prohibit state mental health facilities from conducting the controversial practice on minors. This is big news.
Equality Federation is currently tracking over 200 bills, at least 150 of which are anti-LGBTQ, throughout the country. Oklahoma leads the pack with 27 anti-LGBTQ pieces of legislation up for consideration by lawmakers this session.
In the world of LGBT legislation, the biggest trends this season are marriage and bathrooms. Through our newly launched Legislative Action Center, the Federation is currently tracking an unprecedented 200 bills, including a slew of anti-transgender bills that focus on preventing public facility use in 11 states and religious exemption bills targeting marriage in over a dozen states.
Equality Federation’s Legislative Action Center (LAC) is a proactive state legislative tracking and assistance program that will serve Federation partners, coalition members, and movement leadership and staff.
Advocates from across the United States traveled to Phoenix, Arizona last week to participate in the inaugural LGBT-University hosted by Freedom for All Americans.
How many of you have HUGE lists? Fifty, sixty, one hundred thousand supporters? Good for you! Now, how is that list performing? You probably track opens, actions, and donations to help you write the most effective emails to engage your members.
It's an exciting time here at the Federation! Each year, we ask our beloved members to complete our recertification survey. Recertification is a chance for you to update the Federation about your work, your priorities, and your team. It’s also an opportunity to let us know of any changes we can make to improve your experience as a member.
When the legislative session began in Utah this year, Equality Utah (EQUT) felt prepared to pass a nondiscrimination bill -- they had spent years building relationships on both sides of the aisle, had worked closely with the LDS church, and were planning to run a robust legislative campaign to show lawmakers that the public supports a law allowing gay and transgender Utahns to live free from discrimination in housing and employment.
All young people deserve the opportunity to feel safe and protected at school in order to learn. That's why the Equality Federation and our members are committed to building welcoming and just schools where students are free from bullying, harassment, discrimination and harsh discipline policies that push our young people out of school.
In 2013, the board and staff of the Equality Federation completed an exciting branding process to reinvigorate and reenergize our brand, message and story. During this process, we modified our logo, updating it with bright new colors that have been integrated into all of our communications.
It's that time again! The State Equality Fund (SEF) has issued an open invitation for letters of inquiry (LOI). The Cycle 2 LOI deadline is January 27, 2014. This is your last opportunity to apply for 2014 funding!
With all the excitement and energy around recent marriage equality wins, it can be easy to forget that despite our monumental progress on marriage, LGBT people are still under attack in many places.
Too often, LGBT immigrants are forced into two closets — one because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and the other because of their immigration status. At the Federation, we believe that it’s time for all immigrants, including at least 267,000 LGBT immigrants, to be able to come out of the shadows. And we believe that our members can be a powerful voice in helping this dream become a reality.
On October 5, more than 80 cities across the country will host marches and rallies for the National Day of Dignity and Respect in support of immigration reform. Immigrant communities in America as well as faith, labor, and civil rights groups will join together to call on Congress to pass immigration reform in 2013.
The State Equality Fund (SEF) has announced its new guidelines for 2014 and issued an invitation for letters of inquiry (LOI).For the past eight years, Federation members have used support from SEF to make huge policy advances that improve the lives of LGBT people in their state. And at the Federation, we're eager to help even more of our state groups take advantage of this critical funding stream.
In much of the United States, it’s hot, humid, and sticky. Back-to-school ads are starting to show up on TV. And every time you send an email, you're greeted with an out-of-office reply about someone's last-ditch-effort summer vacation.
You may have noticed a few changes lately at the Equality Federation – a new website, new member newsletter, new logo. We're working hard to elevate our brand so that we can better tell the story of the state-based movement for equality.
Like many of you, the Equality Federation team was glued to SCOTUS Blog yesterday morning. And like you, we were elated when the decisions were released. DOMA struck down. Marriage restored in California. A giant weight was lifted off our shoulders, and we breathed a sigh of relief. We won.
This Pride season, we have so much to celebrate in our community. I’m proud of the marriage victories and non-discrimination wins that Federation members have had a part in this year. I’m also extremely proud of the stand that the LGBT community, including many Federation members, has taken on immigration reform.
In November 2012, three states -- Maine, Maryland, and Washington -- extended the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. And in the past few months, three additional states -- Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota -- have followed suit, reaching 12 states in the nation that allow all loving couples to share in the joys and responsibilities of marriage.
The Federation is proud to welcome Wyoming Equality as one of our newest members, though they have been around for over three decades. They’ve accomplished a lot in their state, especially in the past year, and have big plans for the future. I recently spoke with their Public Education Coordinator, Laura Weatherford, to learn more about the organization’s history, recent victories and current priorities.
With your support, we'll be able to continue our work to build the leaders of today and tomorrow, strengthen state-based LGBTQ+ organizations, and make critical progress on the issues that matter most—like protecting transgender people, ending HIV criminalization and ensuring access to care, and banning conversion therapy across the country.