Matt Foreman, former executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and current director of gay and immigrant rights programs at the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, writes at The Huffington Post on the extraordinary progress on LGBT equality across the nation in the past several decades.
Let’s start with some facts. By any objective measure, the LGBT movement has made extraordinary progress in a short period of time. In just the last 10 years:
–The number of states (including the District of Columbia) protecting lesbian, gay and bisexual people from discrimination almost doubled to 22, and these states cover 44 percent of the U.S. population.
–The number of states (including the District of Columbia) extending marriage equality or “all-but-marriage” rights to same-sex couples grew from just one to 14 (including three more this year), and these states cover 36 percent of the U.S. population.
–The number of states (including the District of Columbia) protecting transgender people from discrimination jumped from one to 16 (including three more this year), and these states cover 29 percent of the U.S. population.
–Anti-gay policies going back hundreds of years have been repealed in four of the five leading mainline Protestant denominations (including the Presbyterian Church USA in May).
He also includes a brief shout-out to Equality North Carolina:
At the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, we have been privileged to support a variety of LGBT organizations at the national, state and local levels. They range from the Palm Center at UCLA, whose research helped make the case for overturning the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, to Equality North Carolina, the driving force behind the first LGBT-inclusive safe schools law in the South. Organizations like these are working every day, often against considerable odds, to keep the cause of LGBT rights moving forward, and to prevent the movement’s opponents from keeping our society and our communities mired in an unequal past.