Equality Network is a nonprofit, grassroots activist organization focused on creating change at the Federal level for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. By building a movement that is committed to non-violent direct action, training, and education, we are determined to win the fight for full equality, which will overturn laws that discriminate, and enact laws that protect and recognize LGBT people as fully equal, legitimate Americans.
Equality Network was formed in the aftermath of the passage of Proposition 8 in California, in November, 2008.
For more information about our charity work, please see the Equality Network Foundation.
While we spent a good deal of 2009 working on repealing Proposition 8 , we’ve come to the conclusion that the state-by-state battle for civil rights is both immoral and unwise for the LGBT movement. Many of the ballot propositions throughout the United States were put on our doorstep by the enemies of civil liberties, personal freedoms, and equal rights for all – despite what they preach as their platform for government. But it’s time for us now to stop engaging in these costly, emotionally draining, essentially unwinnable fights. People should not be voting on our civil rights!
As such, we are turning our focus to the Federal level of government, and working to educate and empower the people of the United States to use non-violent civil disobedience and direct action for the aims of compelling their Congressional representatives, and the President, to do what’s right for LGBT people. This means, at the very least, repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, repealing the “Defense of Marriage Act”, finally passing a fully-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and enacting legislation to ensure the full equality of LGBT people, without compromises.
The successful Teach-in for Equality in May of 2009 showed us that there is a hunger for knowledge both about our history as an LGBT movement and about how we can ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself in discriminating and vilifying LGBT people. From that lesson, we have launched a plan for 2010 to set the groundwork for a country-wide grassroots movement that will finally bring about the change we so desperately need.
For more information on the many marches, rallies, fundraisers, and educational events we’ve held, please see our Actions page.
For more information about how you can get involved, be sure to keep an eye on the main page of our site to learn about upcoming meetings, or check our Calendar.
Wait – are you lobbyists?!
Heck no! Lobbying is for groups like Equality California, and the Human Rights Campaign. We’re grassroots activists, which mean that we empower and educate our fellow citizens on how to compel their representatives with non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to create or amend whatever legislation necessary to gain full LGBT equality with no compromises.
What makes you different?
First and foremost, if you’re used to the Equality California and Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center way of doing things, welcome to a breath of fresh air! While we appreciate their contribution to the LGBTQ movement, and wouldn’t trade them for the world, we’re all about the grassroots. That means that you can help shape the movement, including where our organization goes. We want everyone to have a say in how this movement is built, and we also want to empower people who normally aren’t a part of these kinds of efforts to feel like they can become a leader.
How is the organization structured?
Because we believe a hierarchical power structure allows people to disengage from the action-element of grassroots, our group is loosely structured to allow the maximum amount of flexibility.
Specifically, there are a core group of people who generally participate in most meetings, attend most events, and usually spend quite a lot of time making sure that both meetings and events go smoothly. Membership in this core group is open to anyone who is willing to dedicate their time, effort, and leadership skills. You induct yourself by simply showing up consistently, and taking on an organizing role!
Not willing to make that kind of commitment? That’s okay, too! We also need people to just “show up” and be a part of our actions. So it’s up to you: do you want to use your leadership skills, and help guide our organization? Or do you want to be an enthusiastic volunteer, who helps makes actions happen, as they’re happening?
How can someone get involved?
Welcome to the grassroots movement! The best way to get involved is simply to start showing up to events, and if you’d like, to our meetings. We list all our events on the Calendar page.