Marriage equality is gaining ground throughout the U.S. at an unprecedented rate, and a new report from the Equality Federation Institute outlines how local and state campaigns have helped build positive momentum for change.
From successful campaigns to win workplace nondiscrimination protections, to defeating antigay amendments, Equality Federation’s new report, Building Momenturm for Change offers a look at the incredible victories achieved in the battle for LGBT equality in the past year.
"This report provides an in-depth look into the power and impact of local and incremental policy campaigns,” said Jace Woodrum, Equality Federation’s director of communications and a co-author of the report. “We talked to dozens of state and national leaders, and one message was quite clear: these efforts drive our movement forward in monumental ways. Even as we see ENDA coming to a vote in the U.S. Senate and marriage cases advancing towards the Supreme Court, we also need to keep investing our time and resources in campaigns to win real protections in the communities we call home."
The report highlights the ways that local and statewide campaigns help shift the national attitude toward equality — including by sparking community dialogue, educating the public, fostering outreach to local lawmakers, and establishing facts on a local scale that's often more comprehensible to the average citizen. All of these factors combine to help create political momentum, which then directly translates into nationwide change, achieved town by town, district by district, and state by state.
"No state has ever achieved statewide discrimination protections for LGBT people without first passing a policy in its major city," said Ian Palmquist, one of the authors of Equality Federation's report. "In every conversation we had with state and national leaders, we heard one message loud and clear: local and incremental campaigns build the capacity of our movement’s organizations and the skills of our leaders — so that we’re ready for the next win. And the one after that."
The work of organizations such as Equality Federation have helped advance critical issues for LGBT people nationwide by winning battles for equality in the communities we call home.
For a detailed breakdown, download Equality Federation’s report, Building Momentum for Change: How Local and Incremental Policy Changes Contribute to Statewide Victories.