At the end of 2013, New Jersey became the 14th state to extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. This historic victory was the result of the hard work of many LGBT activists and organizations, including Federation member Garden State Equality.
At this year’s Summer Meeting, we invited state leaders to take five minutes to share a big idea, talk through an innovative strategy, or offer up an exciting concept in a FEDtalk. These energetic and captivating presentations about the most innovative parts of our members’ work stood out, once again, as a major highlight of Summer Meeting. So we wanted to share them with everyone, not just the folks who joined us at this year’s meeting.
At this year’s Summer Meeting, we invited state leaders to take five minutes to share a big idea, talk through an innovative strategy, or offer up an exciting concept in a FEDtalk.These energetic and captivating presentations about the most innovative parts of our members’ work stood out, once again, as a major highlight of Summer Meeting.
At Equality Federation, we believe the movement for equality is not done once the freedom to marry has been extended to same-sex couples nationwide. We know we have more work to do.
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.To guide the movement beyond the marriage milestone, we need adaptive leaders.
Protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations has been a priority for the movement since the 1980s. And still, the end goal of prohibiting discrimination nationwide eludes us.
State-based organizations across the country are advancing major progress in the communities we call home — where the work is hard, but the impact is great. Nearly every week, we hear about another victory that provides LGBT people with the protection, respect, and dignity they need and deserve, but far too often, these wins are unrecognized by the broader community.
As marriage litigation makes its way through the courts, state leaders across the country are preparing their communities for the day when the freedom to marry is a reality for all committed couples nationwide. In one state, member organization Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) has created a statewide campaign to prepare the LGBT community in Tennessee for marriage on DAY ONE.
At this year’s Summer Meeting, we invited state leaders to take five minutes to share a big idea, talk through an innovative strategy, or offer up an exciting concept in a FEDtalk. These energetic and captivating presentations about the most innovative parts of our members’ work stood out, once again, as a major highlight of Summer Meeting.
Exclusionary policies go against our movement’s commitment to winning equality for all. But our members stand up against such hurtful practices that leave out people in our communities.Groups like Equality Michigan, who recently publicly denounced the exclusion of transgender women from the state’s annual Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (Michfest), are reaffirming our movement’s commitment to equality for all — with no one left behind.
Many people are surprised to learn that in the fourth largest city in the country, it’s perfectly legal to fire someone, deny them an apartment, or refuse them service at a business simply because of who they are. That’s why, earlier this year, activists in Houston were pushing for HERO, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, a law protecting Houston residents from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, military status, religion, disability, genetic information, and sex.
Every Summer Meeting is special, but the energy of this year’s gathering was as unique as the movement moment we’re in. This energy was felt throughout the Meeting, but especially during our favorite plenary session: FEDtalks.
In Maine, Federation member organization EqualityMaine is working beyond the marriage milestone — proving to Mainers and Americans that we have a lot more to do after winning the freedom to marry. In recent months, since completing its new strategic plan, EqualityMaine has shifted its focus to ending transgender discrimination in healthcare.
Although our country has come a long way in teaching sexual education to adolescents, many states still teach ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs to students. Many of our members live in these states, but are working within their communities to implement more comprehensive sexual education programs that educate students while supporting the sexual health of adolescents. But federal funding plays a huge role in what sexual education programs can be provided.
Each year, millions of students are removed from their classrooms for minor misconduct. This puts them at a significantly higher risk of falling behind academically, dropping out of school, and potentially being forced into the juvenile justice system.
Transgender and gender non-conforming children and youth are disproportionately represented in the foster care population and are particularly vulnerable to mistreatment due to widespread anti-transgender bias, prejudice, and transphobia. Young transgender individuals may face unnecessary barriers while under the care of Children’s Services, such as in foster care or juvenile detention.
Across the country, our members are working hard to ensure that young people feel safe and protected at school. In order to build safe environments for students, we need support from decision makers in the community. But it isn’t always easy to build community support for schools that openly affirm people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Michael Nordman is the Director of Development at Equality Illinois. Since starting in 2012, he has helped the organization raise more than $2.8 million towards their fight for LGBT equality by mobilizing existing supporters and inspiring Illinoisans from all walks of life to join the movement.
Monica Meyer became the Executive Director of OutFront Minnesota in 2010, after serving as Public Policy Director since 2001. Under Monica's leadership, OutFront Minnesota and Project 515 co-founded Minnesotans United for All Families, the campaign which defeated the proposed constitutional amendment to limit the freedom to marry in 2012 and won marriage equality just seven months later.
In the past year since the Supreme Court struck down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), we’ve witnessed 36 consecutive victories, and zero losses, for the freedom to marry. Twenty rulings have been issued in federal court, 13 in state court, and 3 by a federal appellate court.
State-based organizations across the country are advancing major progress in the communities we call home — where the work is hard, but the impact is great.Nearly every week, we hear about another victory that provides LGBT people with the protection, respect, and dignity they need and deserve, but far too often, these wins go unsung by the broader LGBT movement.
After winning marriage, the next question that’s typically asked is: “What’s next?” For Equality New Mexico, this question has a multitude of answers.
Amber Royster is the Executive Director of Equality New Mexico (EQNM), New Mexico's LGBTQ advocacy organization. Following six years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Master of Public Administration degrees at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.
In just a few days, more than 160 advocates from across the country will gather in Minneapolis to connect and forge relationships, collaborate for future success, and build momentum toward even greater wins in the communities we call home. The 2014 Summer Meeting (July 30 – August 2) will feature informative workshops, inspiring speakers and incredible social events — in the amazing city of Minneapolis, with OutFront Minnesota as our host.
Equality Federation, the strategic partner to state-based organizations advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, is celebrating the signing of two executive orders today. Executive Order 11246 will now prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Curtis Thornhill is the CEO and Founder of Apt Marketing Solutions, an organization that creates tools and services to help marketing teams improve the visibility, accountability, and effectiveness of marketing programs.
Michael Lewis is a Director at PepsiCo, Inc. and works in marketing on their North America beverage business. He started his marketing career in the consumer packaged goods industry over a decade ago at Procter & Gamble and has also worked in marketing for Teach For America.
Julia Rosen is the Digital Director at ActBlue, where she brought a decade of online organizing experience on both electoral and issue campaigns. She comes from MoveOn.org, where she served as a Campaign Director, helping lead their electoral efforts, multi-issue advocacy and fundraising.
Looking for a concrete, meaningful project to engage activists in your state? Consider helping to grow the list of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. Or use the list to help find allies in key districts you may be targeting for nondiscrimination campaigns.
Jenn is the Program Associate at Equality Federation, the strategic partner to state-based organizations winning equality in the communities we call home. In her role, she strengthens our major donor program — from managing a portfolio of our current donors to communicating with prospective donors.
Summer Meeting 2014 is just a few weeks away, and we only have a few spots left for Wednesday’s FREE crash course in the basics of effective management.With support from Arcus Foundation, we’re bringing in our friends from The Management Center to share their Managing to Change the World training with Summer Meeting participants.
Today, Equality Federation Institute released What’s Next: Building Strong LGBTQ Organizations Beyond the Marriage Milestone. This report carefully considers what effective advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) equality looks like after winning marriage for same-sex couples.
For Immediate ReleaseLGBT Movement Leaders Issue Strong Request to President ObamaExecutive Order Shouldn’t Contain Religious Exemptions Beyond the Constitution and Title VII
Hawai’i is often thought of as the state that put in motion our modern march toward marriage equality. Even so, the Aloha State didn’t extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples until last year. But it did so through a dramatic campaign that ended with a special legislative session and the passage of SB-1 — the Hawai’i Marriage Equality Act.
Equality Federation Institute’s annual Summer Meeting is the premier gathering of LGBT movement leaders. The 2014 Summer Meeting (July 30 – August 2) will feature informative workshops, inspiring speakers, and incredible social events — in the amazing city of Minneapolis, with OutFront Minnesota as our host.
Equality Federation Institute’s annual Summer Meeting is the premier gathering of state-based and national LGBT movement leaders. More than 150 advocates from across the country gather to connect and forge relationships, collaborate for future success and build momentum toward even greater wins in the communities we call home.
In an unprecedented decision this week, the Supreme Court ruled that employers can use their religious beliefs to deny their employees access to benefits that they are guaranteed by law to receive.
Seven cities in Idaho protect LGBT individuals from discrimination. But that number almost dropped to six — until advocates ran a robust campaign to keep the challenged law in place. In 2013, Pocatello, Idaho adopted a local nondiscrimination ordinance barring employers, landlords and most businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its highly anticipated decisions in two cases that were brought by for-profit companies arguing that requiring them to include contraception in their employees’ health plan violates their religious liberty rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The workshops at Summer Meeting 2014 are going to blow you away. All the topics you care about, all the speakers you want to learn from, all the opportunities you need to strengthen the work you're doing. Just check out our full list below!
In states across the country, Federation members are working hard to advocate for statewide and local nondiscrimination laws that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers.
Getting ready to make plans for Summer Meeting? Not sure if you're joining us? Itching for more details?Check out our just released preliminary schedule now! And go ahead and register now to reserve your spot before the early bird discount expires on July 1!
Dear President Obama, as advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans and their families – including an estimated 267,000 undocumented LGBT Americans – we write to join the call for you to take swift executive action to suspend mass immigration detention and deportations.
Summer Meeting 2014 is just a few months away, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet — especially with the addition of a special members-only program. This year, with support from Arcus Foundation, we’re bringing in our friends from The Management Center to share their Managing to Change the World training — only with Federation members.
Nearly 200 leaders from Equality Federation’s state-based partner membership as well as leaders from national LGBTQ organizations attended our annual Leadership Conference this July in Portland, Oregon. Local hosts Basic Rights Oregon supported the efforts and an array of new sponsors ensured the event was a smashing success.
HRC Foundation in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, announced that a record-setting 88 cities across the U.S. earned the highest possible score in the eighth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI). The MEI is the only nationwide assessment of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law, policy and services.
Popular culture images of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people suggest that most LGBT people live in cities or on the coasts. Yet an estimated 2.9 – 3.8 million LGBT people call rural America home. Today, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) released a new report, Where We Call Home: LGBT People in Rural America, which examines the structural differences in rural life and their unique impact on LGBT people in rural areas, who are both more vulnerable to discrimination and less able to respond to its harmful effects.
Big congrats to Freedom Oklahoma!The organization has recently welcomed their new executive director Allie Shinn.
Today Equality Federation lauded the reintroduction of the Equality Act by Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in the House and Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) in the Senate. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has made passage a top priority for the new Congress.
Four anti-transgender bills were defeated in South Dakota’s legislature this month! HB1225 and SB 49 would have made it difficult for transgender youth to participate in school sports and programs; HB1108 would have banned discussion about gender identity and expression; and HB1205 would have allowed parents to deny healthcare for transgender children.
Today Equality Federation is excited to introduce our new Director of Advocacy and Civic Engagement, David Topping. In this role, David will work with our member organizations to craft smart, effective legislative and electoral campaigns that build political power and allow supporters to take action in their communities.
Today Equality Federation celebrates the launch of OutNebraska, formed from OutLinc, Lincoln’s LGBTQ community center, which will serve as a statewide organization to secure fairness and equality for LGBTQ+ Nebraskans and their families.
Today New York’s legislature passed GENDA, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, that will ensure New Yorkers are protected from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The legislature also passed a ban on the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.
On Monday, January 7th, Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order banning discrimination against LGBTQ state employees and Wisconsin’s Governor Tony Evers signed an executive order expanding nondiscrimination protections to transgender state employees.
We have something new, to bring in the new year! In January/early February, we are pleased to offer How State Agencies Protect Transgender Rights: A Series with the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Equality Federation is partnering with The Last Weekend to connect you with a local campaign that is on the edge of flipping toward pro-equality candidates who will fight Trump.
The Trump administration has made a heartless, extremist political attack on transgender and nonbinary people. By threatening to enshrine a narrow definition of gender into law, it is clearer than ever they are willing to disregard science, medicine, and decency in order to push their own dogma.
Kavanaugh is an immense threat to the rights of LGBTQ people. A Supreme Court with Brett Kavanaugh will be far more likely to give a license to discriminate to business owners, health care providers, adoption agencies and others who object to LGBTQ people or to same-sex relationships, marriage, or parents.
Thank you to the sponsors of Equality Federation’s 2018 Leadership Conference. Over 230 leaders from the state-based LGBTQ movement convened to strategize for a more fair and just America, and we couldn’t have done it without the generous support of these companies. Watch our opening reception above for inspiring remarks from Lyft, Clarity Campaigns, and Tito’s!
You won’t want to miss this moving speech from Equality Federation’s 2018 Leadership Conference. Nadine Smith of Equality Florida is a powerful storyteller and leader in our movement for justice and equality.
Over 230 LGBTQ leaders from the state-based movement for equality will convene in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the end of July for Equality Federation’s 21st annual Leadership Conference.
Equality Federation unequivocally condemns the Trump Administration’s cruel and unnecessary efforts to tear children away from their parents at the border. This practice is the most egregious example of Trump’s actions to erode America’s civil rights and human decency, and is widely condemned by leaders of faith, doctors and childcare professionals, and lawmakers across the political spectrum.
Today the Court recognized the harm of discrimination and reaffirmed that states can act to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. The Court’s 7-2 decision in favor of the baker in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case is limited specifically to the unique circumstances of this case and calls into question actions from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission—but it leaves intact Colorado’s LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination protections, as well as similar protections in 19 states and 200+ cities and towns.
Equality Federation stands with our member organization Freedom Oklahoma in our disgust at the passage of SB 1140.
In 2016 we published a blog post on the growing threat – the use of preemption legislation. Today, we’re proud to participate in the release of a new report led by Movement Advancement Project in partnership with A Better Balance, Family Values @ Work, and the Local Solutions Support Center.
Equality Federation staff will hold parties featuring live goats on both coasts this spring, and anyone who contributes to the organization’s Give OUT Day efforts will be added to the guest lists. Give OUT Day, held on April 19th, is a national day of giving for LGBTQ organizations raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the movement.
HIV is still very much an LGBTQ issue. Yet, for the past two decades, HIV has not been a high priority for many LGBTQ advocacy organizations; it’s past time for that to change. HIV organizations and advocates living with HIV are doing important and successful work but there are significant gaps in HIV advocacy capacity in many states.
Our families are under attack. From the White House to state legislatures across the nation, right-wing politicians are trying to prevent justice and equality under the guise of protecting religious freedom.
The Education Department has said it will not investigate or take action on any complaints of discrimination filed by transgender students who are not permitted to use the facilities that match their gender identity.
Four bills that would have updated Virginia’s laws to include LGBTQ people in nondiscrimination protections were killed in a committee despite the broad support of fair-minded Virginians. Two of the bills had passed in the state’s Senate with 75% of the vote.
This is urgent. Trump’s extremist, anti-LGBTQ nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Stuart Kyle Duncan, could be confirmed as soon as Wednesday.
Explore why aging must be part of the LGBTQ movement’s work in this guest post by Dan Stewart, Program Coordinator of SAGE of PROMO Fund (our Missouri member organization) featuring a fabulous FEDTalk by PROMO executive director Steph Perkins!
Equality Federation’s Executive Director Rebecca Isaacs provided commentary, analysis, and background information for this in-depth article from VOX about what a year under Trump has meant for the LGBTQ community.
President Trump’s reported decision to upend Health and Human Services (HHS) rules could create a dangerous license to discriminate, and while LGBTQ people and our families along with anyone seeking reproductive health services are no doubt the targets of this overhaul, any person or family could be at risk of discrimination as a result.
The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to issue a ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case involving a business asking the Court for a Constitutional right to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
Today, Equality Federation Institute and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and the released their annual State Equality Index (SEI), a comprehensive state-by-state report detailing statewide laws and policies that affect LGBTQ people and their families and placing states in one of four categories based on their pro- and anti-LGBTQ state laws.
Today is #GivingTuesday, a national day of charitable giving, and we need you to support the state-based LGBTQ resistance.
Update: Raven Matherne won a seat on the Stamford Connecticut Board of Representatives and is believed to be the city's first openly transgender lawmaker.On Tuesday, November 7th EIGHT transgender candidates made history!
Equality Federation is proud to participate in the annual Municipal Equality Index with HRC, which illustrates both the tremendous progress we have achieved as well as the challenges that still lie ahead in our fight for equality in the communities we call home. This important tool provides a roadmap to a future in which every LGBTQ person experiences fairness and equality no matter where they live. Click here to see your city's score!
Equality Federation joined an amicus brief (see below) filed by Lambda Legal in what is shaping up to be one of the most significant LGBTQ equality cases of our time, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Don’t be fooled by the name or the right-wing’s arguments; This case is not just about cakes or one small business, it is about whether laws against discrimination can continue to be enforced without sweeping exemptions.
Equality Federation is committed to promoting racial justice and equity in all facets of our work. When we began our racial justice initiative in 2014, we decided that it was not enough to have a stand-alone program or project.
Equality Federation members scored key municipal policy wins this year. While we often focus on statewide wins, these city and county victories are critical components of the fight for equality in the communities we call home.
Equality Federation’s conferences, convenings, and trainings provide an extraordinary opportunity for member organizations to learn from and support each other.
Equality Federation congratulates Equality California as Governor Brown has signed seven of their sponsored bills that will ensure fairness and equality for LGBTQ Californians! The groundbreaking roster of legislation includes a bill that will allow for a nonbinary gender marker on state issued IDs, a bill of rights protecting LGBTQ seniors, and an update to the state’s HIV criminalization laws.
Our BIG LGBTQ MIXER event has become a San Francisco institution! Hundreds of locals, from tech gurus to artists, come out to have a good time for a good cause.
Right now, all across the country, there are dozens of outdated laws based on old stereotypes, not science, that treat people living with HIV differently. California is now leading the nation in changing course with the passage of SB 239. Federation member Equality California prioritized this legislation for 2017.
Equality California has filed a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s Aug. 25 directive prohibiting transgender people from joining the military and banning military healthcare plans from providing vital services to transgender servicemembers. Equality California is an organizational plaintiff in the lawsuit, together with seven transgender individuals impacted by the ban.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions just issued guidance granting an anti-LGBTQ “license to discriminate.” Federal government staff and contractors will now be able to claim a broad religious exemption from federal laws, rules and regulations meant to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Sept 26, 2017) — After a public hearing and over five years of groundwork, the Birmingham City Council has passed a fully inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance, and Mayor William Bell has committed to signing the ordinance into law immediately.
Equality California’s #TakeIt:I’m PrEP’ed program is a statewide educational campaign to educate the LGBTQ community and healthcare providers on the availability and benefits of PrEP, the daily pill to prevent HIV, as well as other forms of HIV treatment and prevention. More broadly, this program falls under our broader efforts to end the HIV epidemic in California by “Getting to Zero” – zero new HIV transmissions, zero HIV-related deaths and zero HIV stigma.
Equality Federation applauds Transgender Law Center and Federation member Equality California for their leadership on this legislation and calls on Governor Brown to sign it into law.
Nancy Haque, leader of Basic Rights Oregon, made us laugh, cry, and feel charged up and ready to resist the Trump Administration’s attacks on all our communities. In this FEDTalk, she describes her reaction to the election as a single mom and having an immigrant family.
President Trump’s announcement that he will end DACA, a program that protects undocumented young people who grew up in America from deportation, is a cruel and heartless attack on 800,000 families.
Equality Federation recently held our annual Leadership Conference, featuring our fabulous FEDTalks – 5 minute talks given by the leaders of the state-based LGBTQ movement. We’re proud to debut Sara Burlingame’s (Wyoming Equality) hilarious talk 5 Ways to Stay Active in the LGBTQ Movement (Without Succumbing to Abject Martyrdom)!
Today President Trump signed an unnecessary and divisive directive that bans the military from recruiting transgender service members, and bans the Department of Defense from providing necessary medical care for current transgender service members. At press time, it is unclear if currently serving members will be able to continue since The White House has left questions unanswered.
Today we join transgender Texans and their families in celebration because, after many months of courageous storytelling and coalition building, the efforts to pass anti-transgender bathroom ban legislation have FAILED.
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.