This month, HRC is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its headquarters in the heart of the nation’s capital. Over the past decade, the groundwork has been laid within the walls of this very building for some of the greatest victories for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
During this time, HRC stood hand-in-hand with Judy Shepard in the battle for inclusive hate crimes legislation at the federal level. We worked to defeat the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006, and to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010. We elevated the conversation around marriage leading up to the Supreme Court marriage cases earlier this year, and turned the Internet red when oral arguments began.
In the states, HRC has led the way in the fight for marriage equality and non-discrimination protections and to elect fair-minded candidates to office.
We have amplified the voices of people of faith at the Clergy Call for Justice and Equality, and have fought for every LGBT young person to have the same chances to thrive as their straight peers. We worked with Department of Health and Human Services leading up to the historic memorandum in 2010 that protects the visitation and healthcare decision-making rights of LGBT people, leading up to the lifting of the HIV Travel/Immigration ban that same year.
HRC has fought to bring transgender issues to the forefront of the LGBT civil rights movement in a number of ways. This paid off most recently in Delaware, when the governor signed a gender identity non-discrimination bill into law. The Corporate Equality Index, the national benchmarking survey and report on LGBT workplace policies and practices among the nation’s largest businesses, has categorically improved the workplace for transgender employees and job-seekers over the past 11 years. And HRC has shared the stories of prominent transgender Americans such as Lana Wachowski, helping to cultivate a national dialogue which will help to ensure that future generations of transgender individuals are able to live openly at home, at work and in their communities.
Staff who work at HRC’s headquarters are inspired by these and other hard-fought victories every day we come to work. And this building is an important symbol for all who visit the nation's capital — a constant reminder to both fair-minded allies and anti-LGBT advocates that HRC will not stop until lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are ensured equality.