Dear Friends and Supporters,
I can hardly believe the words as I write them, but they’re the truth: This year, Equality California celebrates 25 years of fighting for a world that is safe, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. What’s more, it fills me with great pride to say that since 2009, I’ve been part of our organization’s journey to becoming the largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the nation.
When Equality California was founded, we had no idea that in just a few short years, we would be at the epicenter of one of our time’s great civil rights movements — the fight for marriage equality. While we took on that battle — and eventually won at the highest court in the land — we also continued to build our political and people power, passing the strongest civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ people in the country. With every year that passed, we continued to evolve, taking on all kinds of issues that impact our community, from immigration to gun violence prevention, protecting transgender youth to reducing health and economic disparities, and so much in between.
While we have much to look back on and acknowledge fondly, we know the most important fights are those still to come. Even with all we’ve achieved over the last quarter century, we’re seeing a disturbing escalation in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, and far-right extremists attempting to roll back our rights at the local level, in state legislatures, in Congress, and in the courts. Rest assured, we’ve got our eye on the challenges ahead; and though they will be myriad, I am confident we will rise to meet them, especially with your support.
This 25th anniversary year is a special one, so we will certainly take the time to reflect, and to honor the legacy we’ve created. Model legislation for other states to follow, thousands of pro-equality and out LGBTQ+ leaders elected up and down the ballot, bold initiatives to combat real problems that impact our community — all are worthy of celebration. But that doesn’t mean we’re at all complacent about what we’ve yet to face and the fights we’ve yet to win.
Here’s to 25 years of remarkable strides, and to continuing the work for full, lived equality for all.
Thank you for being part of our journey for equality.
Until the work is done,