March Forward with Equality Federation: Legislative Action Center
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.
Equality Federation’s Legislative Action Center exists to resist against an emboldened opposition aiming to eliminate hard won victories we have gained in recent years. The Legislative Action Center is here to make sure we move forward, not backward, in states across the nation.
We impact the outcome of legislative battles. Our 41 member organizations rely on us to monitor bills and provide the resources, training, and strategy assistance in real-time. We are the only national LGBTQ organization providing in-depth policy analysis and digital advocacy assistance at this level.
The Legislative Action Center has 3 objectives.
- Defeat bills that are harmful to the LGBTQ community
- Win policies that protect the LGBTQ community
- Empower state organizations to hold their legislators accountable
In 2016, all but a handful of the over 200 anti-LGBTQ bills were defeated across the country, and this year will be just as hard.
One example of a great victory in 2016 happened in Georgia. The Georgia Legislature passed a law giving religious organizations license to discriminate against the LGBTQ community for any reason – including in adoption and foster care, social services, and schooling for our youth.
The battle over the bill ended on the governor’s desk, with a veto. We helped Georgia Equality kill the bill. Our team activated voters to flood legislators offices with phone calls, emails, and visits – all demanding that the bill be defeated. Governor Deal was able to veto this dangerous bill, knowing that tens of thousands of LGBTQ supportive Georgians had his back.