The effort for more federal protections for LGBTQ people against discrimination has just earned two major contributions.
According to the Washington Blade, the San Francisco-based Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund collected and donated $6.5 million worth of grants in an effort to push the equality act and similar protections. Specifically, the donation is meant “to educate the public and policymakers about the need for a federal response to anti-LGBTQ discrimination,” according to a statement.
“It’s long past time for the federal government to respond to the profound harms caused by pervasive discrimination against LGBT people,” added Cathy Cha, CEO of the fund, which has existed for more than two decades and previously contributed $39 million to the marriage equality movement.
The Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund wasn’t the only organization behind the $6.5 million, however. The Gill Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Horizons Foundation, the Overbrook Foundation, the Pride Foundation, and more contributed to the overall amount.
That said, the donations aren’t solely meant for the Equality Act. This is because the contributors are 501(c)3 tax-exempt foundations, which are unable to endorse specific pieces of legislation. That said, some of the $6.5 million can, and most likely will, go towards the effort to pass the Equality Act.
This isn’t the only campaign and coalition pushing to support the Equality Act and similar protections. A new national campaign titled Freedom & Opportunity for All has launched to advocate for passing the Equality Act. The effort is led by 16 organizations and surmounts an initial monetary investment of $4 million. Though the campaign is expected to grow to eight figures in the future, according to the Advocate.
“With the support of these organizations, the campaign will work to grow support for the Equality Act, educate Americans on the urgent need for the Equality Act, and engage and mobilize supporters to take action and reach out to their lawmakers,” said the campaign in a press release. “The campaign will do this through a mix of activities including legislative advocacy and lobbying, building and implementing national advertising campaigns, and executing traditional communications tactics and social media campaigns.”
“The lives of millions of LGBTQ people in this country and our families would be improved through the Equality Act, best exemplified by the comments of Rep. Marie Newman (D) at the recent Senate Judiciary hearing: ‘No American should have to live a lie … you will feel deep depression, anxiety, and yes, suicidal,’” Kierra Johnson, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, added. “This is what is at stake for our community. Our lives. Our children’s lives. Our friends’ and families’ lives. The gift and opportunity of this moment is to look deep inside of our collective selves and ask, ‘What are the limits of Love and Justice?’ We believe they are unlimited. We will do the work to prove it and are proud to be part of Freedom & Opportunity for All.”
The 16 organizations the founded and initially funded the campaign include the Center for American Progress, Equality Federation, Freedom for All Americans, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, GLSEN, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National LGBTQ Task Force, National Women’s Law Center, PFLAG National, SAGE, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, and the Trevor Project.