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Our 2016 LGBT Funding Priorities

Thu Feb 11, 2016

Our President & CEO Courtney Cuff talks about this year’s LGBT funding priorities:

With 2016 here in full-swing, I wanted to share with you—our partners, grantees, and friends—a little bit about our funding priorities for the year. Here at the Gill Foundation, we’re looking forward to the opportunity to build on the victories we secured last year, even as we face a barrage of attacks unlike anything we’ve seen before.

We are charging into 2016 with a laser focus on securing equal treatment for LGBT people. That means creating the public imperative for change in states where LGBT people aren’t protected from discrimination, securing critical advances in partnership with pro-equality administrations, and beating back attempts to roll back our progress and hurt our community.

Building the Imperative for Equal Treatment
As we work to protect all LGBT Americans from discrimination, we won’t have any quick or easy wins. But we will have opportunities. Opportunities to start a conversation about the discrimination LGBT people face, opportunities to educate our neighbors about who transgender people are, opportunities to tell our stories with conviction and courage. At the Gill Foundation, we intend to seize these opportunities, and we are excited about working with grantees who are willing to experiment with new ideas and learn from the obstacles we’re sure to meet.

Winning through Administrative Advocacy
With 2016 as the final year of the Obama Administration, we will continue our investments in the Federal Agencies Project. From fully ending the ban on open service for transgender soldiers to eliminating conversion therapy, critical work remains ahead of us. We will also seek opportunities to advance our State Agencies Project agenda. Partnering with pro-equality governors, our grantees will pursue ways to make states more inclusive and supportive of LGBT people—from simplifying the process of updating identification documents to securing bullying prevention policies at the state and local levels.

Stopping the Opposition
Opponents of equality think they can lie about us; they think they can scare us; they think they can derail us. They can’t. From religious exemptions that allow discrimination against LGBT people and others to fear mongering and attacks on transgender people, our opponents aren’t letting up. They’ll do anything to try to hurt us. That’s why we’re partnering with smart leaders and strategic organizations at the state and national level to push back and learn how to most effectively counter their rhetoric. And we won’t let up either.

As always, this year we had to make tough decisions to determine this list of funding priorities. But the foundation’s ultimate goal has always been to protect the greatest number of LGBT people the fastest, and our 2016 priorities reflect our continued commitment to that principle on which we were founded.

All of us at the Gill Foundation are looking forward to an exciting year working in partnership with incredible grantees and partners. Let’s make 2016 one for the history books!

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