Last edited: February 14, 2005

Human Rights Campaign Awards $104,000 in Equality Funds to State Organizations

Human Rights Campaign, Oct. 31, 2001
For Immediate Release

Liz Seaton
Deputy Field Director
Human Rights Campaign
919 18th Street, N.W., Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 216-1507 phone
(202) 347-5323 facsimile

Providing Assistance to Groups that Advance LGBT Equality at the State Level is a Priority, Says HRC

WASHINGTON—The Human Rights Campaign announced today it has awarded twenty-three Equality Fund grants totaling $104,000 to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender state lobby groups across the nation. The grants should help these organizations further advance LGBT equality at the state level, says HRC.

"The Equality Fund grants have become an essential component in the struggle for equality and shows HRC’s dedication to achieving success at the state level," says HRC National Field Director Seth Kilbourn. "Unlike most of the grants that tend to be available to organizations, the Equality Fund grants can be used directly for lobbying purposes. This means that GLBT groups can spend more time working to directly impact the decisions of lawmakers."

"I truly believe that the work being done on the grassroots level, state by state, is absolutely essential to the success of our movement not just locally, but nationally," says Beth Robinson, chair of Vermonters for Civil Unions, which is the lead lobby group working to protect civil unions from those who seek to overturn them. "HRC’s allocation of significant resources to state organizations to do that work is vitally important."

Thirteen of the 23 grants totaling $62,000 will be used for lobbying efforts to advance state legislation. Two $5,000 grants will help pay for voter file projects that will help to pass further nondiscrimination legislation and three $10,000 grants will be used towards ballot measure campaigns.

South Carolina’s Alliance for Full Acceptance has been awarded $3,000 to arrange for a strategy meeting with LGBT organizations. Two states have received $5,000 grants that will help in their process of each hiring a field organizer to help mobilize the grassroots on legislation efforts. Polling has also become a key issue in helping to achieve equality, and two states will be receiving $4,000 and $5,000 grants respectively to help with these strategies.

The $4,000 grant HRC awarded to Unity Utah, a new state political action committee, will help them launch the group’s inaugural advocacy efforts.

"In this, our first year, this grant is incredibly important as we lobby the Salt Lake City Council to permanently codify sexual orientation as part of the city’s anti-discrimination policy. The grant allows us to mount a viable campaign for the change in policy," said Unity Utah’s executive director Michael Mitchell.

In several states with organizations receiving a grant for a second year, the grant money will assist in funding the continuation of the project that began last year. Equality North Carolina, for example, is continuing its efforts to repeal the state’s "crimes against nature" law by conducting a poll that will determine effective messaging for the legislative campaign. OutFront Minnesota is also carrying on their work from last year by continuing to advocate for domestic partner benefits in the state employee’s contract. The California Alliance for Pride and Equality has received a $5,000 grant in order to continue their work of compiling a database of one million pro-gay voters, which will help with grassroots lobbying efforts.

Seven new state organizations receiving Equality Funds are the Arkansas Equality Network, the Delaware ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, Idaho’s Your Family, Friends and Neighbors, Inc., Nebraska’s Citizens for Equal Protection, Oklahoma’s Cimarron Alliance Foundation, South Carolina’s Alliance for Full Acceptance, and Unity Utah. These organizations have projects ranging from conducting polls on hate crimes and discrimination to hiring a lobbyist that will help to pass a sexual orientation nondiscrimination bill. All of these organizations are playing key roles in the struggle for equality and HRC is proud to be able to work with their individual efforts.

In the next grant cycle a new staff member dedicated to state level work will manage the Equality Fund grants program. Kylar Broadus, a transgender attorney who is currently serving on the board of the state lobby group For the Personal Rights of Missourians (PROMO) and is on National Stonewall Democrats Board, will begin serving as HRC’s state legislative manager and counsel on January 2, 2002. Broadus brings local policy expertise as well, having served on the City of Columbia Human Rights Commission.

"The experience and perspective that Kylar brings, from having worked with state and local policymakers in a heartland state, will add another dimension of depth to our field team," said Kilbourn. "We expect that he will help us to meet the increasing number of requests for project partnerships and assistance from the state lobby groups."

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian and gay political organization, with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.



Arkansas Equality Network: $5,000 for voter file project, which will be used to advocate for hate crimes and safe school legislation

California Alliance for Pride and Equality: $5,000 towards compiling a database of one million pro-gay voters that will help lobby and legislation efforts

Connecticut’s Love Makes a Family: $5,000 to fund a legislative effort for marriage/civil unions

The Delaware ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights Project: $5,000 to hire a lobbyist for their sexual orientation nondiscrimination bill

Idaho’s Your Family, Friends & Neighbors, Inc.: $5,000 to mobilize grassroots lobbying to help repeal sodomy laws

Maine Lesbian and Gay Political Alliance: $5,000 to retain a professional lobbyist that will represent the LGBT community in the state legislature

Maryland’s Free State Justice: $5,000 for message development for referenda campaign on the newly-passed Anti-Discrimination Act of 2001

Michigan Equality: $2,500 to train political volunteers that will fight local anti-gay ballot initiatives

Michigan’s Triangle Foundation: $2,500 to detail staff to work with campaigns against local anti-gay ballot measures

OutFront Minnesota: $5,000 to advocate for domestic partner benefits in the state employees’ contract

For the Personal Rights of Missourians (PROMO): $5,000 to assist in the funding of a field organizer for grassroots efforts on a non-discrimination bill

Nebraska’s Citizens for Equal Protection: $5,000 to hire a professional lobbyist to advocate for laws to protect lesbian and gay families from housing and employment discrimination

Equality North Carolina: $5,000 for a poll that will determine effective messaging for the legislative campaign to repeal the state’s "crimes against nature" law

Coalition for Equality in New Mexico: $5,000 for lobbying efforts that will help to create an anti-bullying bill to protect students

Oklahoma’s Cimarron Alliance Foundation: $4,000 to conduct a poll to guide the development of strong messages, with special emphasis on hate crimes and discrimination

Pennsylvania joint grant to the Center for Lesbian and Gay Rights, Pennsylvania Rights Coalition, and the Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Alliance: $5,000 to work on LGBT hate crimes bill

South Carolina’s Alliance for Full Acceptance: $3,000 for a strategy meeting with LGBT organizations and allies to develop a strategic plan for the state

Texas Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby: $5,000 to support lobby efforts to defeat bans on same-sex marriage and civil unions and to advance a safe schools initiative

Unity Utah: $4,000 to lobby the Salt Lake City Council to codify an existing mayoral executive order that prohibits discrimination in city employment based on sexual orientation

Vermonters for Civil Unions Legislative Defense Fund: $5,000 for lobbying efforts to keep the legislature from denigrating the legal status of civil unions as a marriage-equivalent

Virginians for Justice: $4,000 to use polling data developed last year to educate legislators on the need for repeal/reform of the state’s criminal sodomy law

Washington’s Fairness Lobby: $5,000 to hire a part-time field organizer to help coordinate legislature efforts, such as the civil rights bill and safe schools bill

West Virginia Lesbian & Gay Coalition: $4,000 to hire a new lobbyist to reach out to the state’s rural communities and create further support for hate crimes and nondiscrimination bills

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