HRC Blog

Why We’re Winning: The Week in LGBT Equality

Post submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

From a boost in funding for marriage equality to a summit on bullying, it was another week of forward momentum for our movement.

  • On Monday, HRC announced it was investing another $1 million in the fight for marriage equality in the four ballot states – Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. Each of the four states is receiving $250,000, bringing HRC’s contributions to legislative and electoral marriage issues in the 2011-2012 cycle to $4.8 million.
  • We learned last week that the Democratic Party’s draft platform included support for marriage equality; and this week we got a look at what the draft language looked like – and also saw that the platform includes full support for an Employment Non-Discrimination Act inclusive of both sexual orientation and gender identity. The draft language must be ratified by the full platform committee and then by the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next month.
  • Rep. Tammy Baldwin is leading all of her potential Republican challengers, according to a new poll. Rep. Baldwin is the first and currently only out lesbian elected to Congress, and the founder and co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. Should she win the open seat, Baldwin would not only be the first woman to represent Wisconsin in the Senate, but also the first openly lesbian Senator in the country.
  • Fox News released a poll that shows that when it comes to handling marriage equality, voters give President Obama a hefty lead – 52 percent compared to Mitt Romney’s 32 percent. The 20 point gap was the largest on any issue in the poll.
  • The Department of Education hosted a Bullying Prevention Summit that brought together advocacy organizations and officials from the federal government in order to renew focus on bullying and its corrosive effects on our schools. The gathering reinforced the importance of HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools Program, which takes an LGBT inclusive approach to bullying prevention and school climate in elementary schools.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services issued a response to inquiries from LGBT organizations, including HRC, affirming that the non-discrimination provision in the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sex stereotyping. These protections are critical - as many as one in five transgender patients report being refused care because of their gender identity.
  • HRC hosted a NOH8 photo shoot that drew over 600 people. Volunteers from HRC’s Washington, D.C. Steering Committee were on-hand to sign up new equality supporters, and participants also made calls to shore up support for marriage equality in Maryland

Check out last week’s recap of victories to get a sense of how August is shaping up for our movement.

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