How to support the national lgbtq task force

How to support the national lgbtq task force

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The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund builds political power, takes action and creates change to achieve freedom and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and their families.

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1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW
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Phone | 202.393.5177
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The National LGBTQ Task Force and the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund is sustaining a decades long movement standing up for equity and liberation for all LGBTQ people in America.

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We are fighting for Queer Liberation, by Queering Faith, Equity, and Democracy aka F.E.D.

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Help us change the course of history and improve the lives of the LGBTQ community!

Tell Your Senators to Pass the Equality Act

Your voice is needed to change history! It’s been 50 years since Stonewall and 45 years since the first version of the bill was introduced.

Overturn the Hyde Amendment

No one should be denied coverage for an abortion just because they are struggling to make ends meet. Tell Congress to pass the EACH Woman Act now to overturn the Hyde Amendment!

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STATEMENT FROM KIERRA JOHNSON, NATIONAL LGBTQ TASK FORCE ACTION FUND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FOLLOWING SENATE JUDICIARY HEARING ON EQUALITY ACT

“Today, we witnessed history as the authentic lives of diverse LGBTQ people were lifted up, respected, and dignified, and the nation’s need for passage of the Equality Act made clear. The lives of millions of beautiful and diverse LGBTQ people in this country, and our families would be improved through the Equality Act, a fact…

NATIONAL LGBTQ TASK FORCE, NATIONAL LGBTQ TASK FORCE ACTION FUND CALL FOR “IMMEDIATE REMOVAL” OF PRESIDENT TRUMP BY USE OF THE 25TH AMENDMENT

The National LGBTQ Task Force and National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund call for the immediate removal of Donald Trump under the 25th Amendment.

Kierra Johnson’s Testimony on the Equality Act

Kierra Johnson’s official testimony for the record on the Equality Act submitted on March 17, 2021. Dear Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Grassley: Thank you for the opportunity to submit written testimony for the legislative record of S.393, the Equality Act. I write to urge each distinguished Senator serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee to…

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The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund builds political power, takes action and creates change to achieve freedom and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and their families.

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1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW
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Phone | 202.393.5177
Fax | 202.393.2241

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all.

Programs: The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force ? the oldest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization, founded in 1973 ? is to build the political power of the LGBT community from the ground up. The Task Force serves several unique roles within the LGBT movement for equality. First, it operates the movement?s premier think tank ? the Policy Institute ? which conducts cutting edge social science research and policy analysis on the major issues facing LGBT people, same-sex couples, and families. Second, the Task Force?s Organizing & Training department trains new leaders on and assists communities across the country in defeating anti-gay attacks by the radical right, educating legislators and policymakers, advancing pro-LGBT legislation, building multi-racial teams, and working in coalition with other communities. Third, the new Public Policy and Government Affairs department is the only department in a national LGBT organization working to leverage federal resources to support the health and human service needs of the LGBT community. And finally, through our newly created Movement Building department and capacity building work, the Task Force is the only national LGBT organization working to build the infrastructure and capacity of local and statewide LGBT organizations through long-term, comprehensive and intensive investments. The Task Force also serves a vital and unique convening role in the LGBT movement, a role that reflects the respect the organization enjoys among national, state and local organizations, leaders and activists. Currently the Task Force convenes the National Religious Leadership Roundtable (a network of pro-LGBT faith based leaders and civil rights allies), the National Policy Roundtable (a semi-annual meeting of the leaders of all national LGBT policy-oriented groups), and our annual Creating Change Conference (the LGBT movement’s national conference, gathering more than 2,000 people each year). The Institute for Welcoming Resources, an ecumenical group supporting the welcoming and affirming movement within seven Protestant denominations, became a Task Force program in February 2006 and will include organizing the every-few-years ?Witness our Welcome? national conference, which attracts 1,200 people. The headquarters of the organization is located in Washington, DC, with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Cambridge, MA, and Minneapolis, MN.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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I was very disappointed when I learned that the Task Force endorsed an anti-lesbian petition against the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. The Task Force should stand with lesbians, not engage in tactics to batter lesbians who understand how we are oppressed because we are female. I will not give them any more money.

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The Task Force seems to be the only highly-rated organization focused strictly on fighting anti-LGBT initiatives. This is critical work. I don’t have enough knowledge of the organization to give a rating, so I’m just reiterating Charity Navigator’s rating.

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The Task Force completley transformed my ideas of activism and gave me the best opportunity I’ve had so far to truly create change in my community. I wouldn’t trade my experience with Task Force folks for the world. I learned so much!!

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stephen.searles Professional with expertise in this field 06/18/2009

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is America’s premier activist organization working for LGBT rights across the country. The work NGLTF does, in conjunction with other national, state, and local organizations, provides our best offense against discrimination. Through real campaigns about issues that matter, the victories won by NGLTF help change our country and world into a better place for queer individuals, couples, and families.

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hmsjohnson Professional with expertise in this field 06/15/2009

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is an amazing organization. I met them in 2005 when they were ran a training for a campaign I was volunteering with. In that first weekend I worked with them I learned so much; about myself, what I aspired to, and how to be a significant part of a campaign. I was inspired as I have never been inspired before. Since they I have worked on a professional level with the Task Force on many campaigns across they county. They continue to support me, teach me, inspire me, and make me strive for the quality of organizing they always exemplify. The NGLTF has had a huge impact on my personal and professional life more than any other organization I have ever come in contact with.

Words by Jimmy Pasch, JVP West Regional Organizer

When I first moved to Seattle, four years ago, I went to an event that crystallized so much for me — I didn’t know many people, wasn’t yet part of the local organizing (or Jewish, or queer) community, and merely saw an event posting that intrigued me. It was for a report-back on a recent controversy involving pinkwashing, a new word to me, in relation to local organizing for justice in Palestine. I had already come to political consciousness around Palestine, having seen enough of Israel’s atrocities and learned enough about its settler-colonial underpinnings to know that the status quo was deeply oppressive to Palestinians, and that it was done in my name, as a Jew. Unsure what to do with that, I learned at that meeting how I was also the target audience for Israel’s latest public relations strategy: selling Israel’s brand to LGBTQ people.

What did it mean for queer identity to be instrumentalized this way — flattened, simplified, and packaged to assure us that Israel was “just like us,” with the disturbing, racist implication that Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims weren’t? This was my first encounter with pinkwashing, and as it mythologized Israeli culture to appeal to (mostly white) queers and liberals, buttressed by American anti-Arab racism, I thought too of the mythic Israel presented to me as a Jew — a promised land to escape our intergenerational trauma, rather than face and transform it. It was both painful and powerful to realize how my identity was embedded in overlapping layers of myth and propaganda that served to distract from, and even defend, the ongoing oppression of Palestinians — enough that it pushed me into action, and to find ways to use my queer, Jewish voice effectively in this movement.

It’s with particular interest, then, that I’ve closely followed the events of the last week, when the leadership of a major LGBTQ conference, Creating Change, cancelled but then reinstated a reception by Israel advocacy organization A Wider Bridge, bringing the issue of pinkwashing to national attention. Since the initial cancellation of the reception, those supporting A Wider Bridge have dominated the media coverage and attempted to bury the core issues under alarmist language, conflating Jews with the state of Israel while appealing to vague notions of dialogue and tolerance.

But what’s getting lost amidst the fray?

Not only a much-needed critical dialogue around pinkwashing and the complicity of LGBTQ institutions in structures that actively oppress members of their own communities, but particularly the lived experiences, urgent realities, and political expressions of Palestinians, including queer Palestinians.

A Wider Bridge has a long history of ignoring and covering up Israel’s human rights abuses against Palestinians by touting Israel’s ‘gay-friendly’ reputation. Upon learning of their participation at Creating Change, a diverse coalition of groups, with LGBTQ Palestinian organizations and leaders at the center, came together to oppose it. The coalition effectively made the case for how support of Israel’s “military occupation, ethnic cleansing, racism, and colonialism [is] incompatible with queer liberation and with fundamental human rights.” Their organizing led to the initial cancellation of the event, but the backlash from institutional players was swift, leading to a barrage of misleading op-eds and the uncertain National LGBT Task Force, which runs the conference, reversing their decision.

The statements from A Wider Bridge and allied groups certainly sound appealing at first — why not just come together for dialogue, include everyone, find the middle road? But, as is so often the case, this conceals the power dynamics at play, and attempts to distract from the real, ongoing violence Palestinians face at the hands of the Israeli state. Distraction and appealing to a simplistic, power-erasing notion of tolerance are key components of any pinkwashing effort. As the over 30 (and growing) organizations who have signed on to the coalition statement note:

Pinkwashing is an explicit strategy that the state of Israel and Israeli advocacy organizations engage in to try to improve Israel’s image which has been tarnished by its global reputation for ethnic cleansing and apartheid. By shifting the focus to a very narrow definition of LGBT rights (exclusive, of course, of queer Palestinians), these Pinkwashing efforts normalize the occupation of Palestinian land by distracting from the violent, inhumane actions of the Israeli settler state.

Pinkwashing is an integral part of Israel’s ‘Brand Israel’ public relations strategy, which appeals to racist and colonial notions of Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims as backwards and intolerant in contrast to the supposedly enlightened Western liberalism of Israel. A simplified notion of ‘gay rights’ has become one of the most effective ways to mark that Western identity, and is used by organizations like A Wider Bridge to build support for the Israeli state, and replace an ongoing history of apartheid, occupation, and settler-colonialism with a feel-good story of liberal tolerance. But, as anti-pinkwashing activists have long observed, there’s no pink door in the apartheid wall — pinkwashing erases queer Palestinians, or uses them as props for a savior narrative, while intentionally distracting from the oppression, violence, and racism all Palestinians face.

The exclusion of A Wider Bridge from Creating Change is not about excluding Jews, as some have falsely charged, but rather to make clear that our struggles for liberation are all interconnected, and that support for occupation, colonialism, and discrimination has no place in our community. There is a wide range of opinion within the Jewish community when it comes to Israeli policy, and growing numbers of us are joining the movement for justice in Palestine. This evening, there will be an alternative Shabbat at Creating Change, led by queer Jews and in solidarity with Palestinians; I hope many conference attendees of all backgrounds come to strengthen and build a community rooted in justice, not a nation-state.

As queer people, we need to continue developing our thinking and approaches to avoid the traps of pinkwashing, to resist single-issue politics that help LGBTQ people in positions of relative social power while ignoring the realities that affect the most marginalized in our communities. Pinkwashing isn’t only about Israel: at the very same conference, the US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency was invited to lead a workshop on immigration, even as ICE actively conducts horrifying raids to deport Central American refugees (fleeing violence that’s rooted in U.S. imperialism). How else can we understand the workshop but as an attempt to pinkwash away their brutality in favor of a more positive, tolerant image? Migrant justice groups organized effectively to cancel that workshop, but rightly continue to demand answers from the National LGBTQ Task Force: Why was ICE invited in the first place?

We must continue to make these demands and hold institutions that claim to speak for us accountable, as we develop our analyses to understand and undermine oppressive power structures, rather than reinforce them. The National LGBTQ Task Force should learn from the amazing, profound work for justice that many of this year’s presenters, attendees, and speakers do, and from the grassroots, international movement for justice in Palestine, by cancelling pinkwashing at Creating Change.

The National LGBTQ Task Force and the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund is sustaining a decades long movement standing up for equity and liberation for all LGBTQ people in America.

How to Act Now

Tell Your Senators to Pass the Equality Act

On February 25th, the Equality Act passed out of the House by a vote of 224 – 206, with bipartisan support! Thank you to the Congressmembers who voted in support of federal nondiscrimination protections. Senator Jeff Merkley and 48 cosponsors introduced the Senate companion bill, S. 393, on February 23rd. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on March 17th on the Equality Act. Please act now by contacting your Senator and urging them to vote for the Equality Act!

Help Overturn the Hyde Amendment

The EACH Woman Act is a bold effort to reverse the Hyde Amendment’s ban on abortion coverage through Medicaid. Pro-choice lawmakers in both chambers of Congress introduced legislation on March 12, 2019 to block the Hyde Amendment and other bans on insurance coverage for abortion care.

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How to support the national lgbtq task force

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Help us change the course of history and improve the lives of the LGBTQ community!

The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund builds political power, takes action and creates change to achieve freedom and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and their families.

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1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW
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Fax | 202.393.2241

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How to support the national lgbtq task force

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Kierra Johnson credits Washington, D.C. as the place “where she grew into her queerness.” More than twenty years later, Johnson is giving back to the LGBTQ community as the Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, a position she started in February 2021. As a bisexual Black woman, Johnson is one of a few out queer women of color heading a national LGBTQ organization, and the Task Force’s first-ever Black executive director.

A longtime leader in the reproductive rights movement, Johnson sees a lot of overlap between reproductive justice and LGBTQ rights. Both deal with the “personal power of controlling your own bodies,” Johnson explains, whether it’s access to abortion or the right for transgender women, especially Black transgender women, to survive.

“The fight for bodies may look different depending on our movement, our context, and our homeland,” says Johnson. “But that quest connects us in really deep ways, and I think it is ultimately at the center of what we do. When we talk about liberation, we’re not talking about it philosophically. We’re talking about it practically. What does it mean to be a liberated community, and to be a liberated person?”

Johnson has been involved with the National LGBTQ Task Force since 2010, when she joined the organization’s National Board of Directors, though she admits that she was a “super fan of the Task Force, even in her baby queer days.” In January 2018, she became the Task Force’s Deputy Executive Director, where she worked tirelessly on intersectional issues like Queer the Census and restoring voting rights to returning citizens in Florida as part of the Second Chances campaign.

With the Second Chances campaign, Johnson received some pushback from people in the LGBTQ movement who didn’t see the restoration of voting rights as relevant to the LGBTQ community. But as Johnson points out, “forty percent of women in prison identify as lesbian, bisexual, or queer. . .so this isn’t a solidarity issue. This is our people.”

One of Johnson’s major goals for the Task Force is to shift how the social justice movement thinks about what counts as a queer issue, something she was proud to do with the Queer the Census and Second Chances campaigns. “I want us to see us and think of us even when they are not talking about an LGBTQ-specific issue,” says Johnson. For Johnson, this includes issues such as immigration, equal opportunity in employment, and youth homelessness.

In the near future, Johnson also hopes that the Equality Act will be signed into law. According to Johnson, many people mistakenly believe that LGBTQ people already have federal protections. But to Johnson, the Equality Act is more than just gaining protections from discrimination. She believes, “The ultimate barrier to civil and human rights is when people in control don’t see you as fully human.” And for her, passing the Equality Act would be a necessary step in “the acknowledgement of our whole humanity.”

How to support the national lgbtq task force

Today the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund announced an on-going Queer the Vote multi-faceted campaign to inform, educate and mobilize LGBTQ+ communities as we approach the November 3rd 2020 elections. Tonight, Wednesday October 7 th at 6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT, there will be a Queer the Absentee Vote Text Party. The National LGBTQ Task Force is partnering with Equality Florida to Queer the Vote in one of the most crucial states in the country. You can sign up here to help reach out to LGBTQ+ voters and ensure they are set up to vote in the upcoming general election effectively and safely.

“This is about the power of US and the stakes could not be higher,” said Rea Carey, Task Force Action Fund Executive Director. “It is not news to anyone how critical this election is, we hear it every day, every hour and from everyone. What you may not know is that at least 2 million people identify as LGBTQ+ and are not registered to vote. At the Task Force, we believe that voting should be accessible for everyone. The Queer the Vote campaign will provide everything one needs to vote successfully and make a difference. Only 50% of registered LGBTQ voters showed up to vote in 2016 – that cannot happen this November.”

“In short, our community’s participation could make the difference in who is elected in national, state and local elections this November. This is why we are devoting every day until November 3rd to actions to Queer The Vote,” said Kierra Johnson, Deputy Executive Director of the Task Force Action Fund. “We have seen the erosion of hard-fought LGBTQ+ rights, especially for trans and non-binary people, a mismanaged pandemic that disproportionately impacts marginalized communities, a devastating economic turndown and an uprising crying out for racial justice that continues to grow. We must take our power and obligation to vote seriously, because this election has much more on the ballot than individual candidates, our very democracy is at stake.”

The National LGBTQ Task Force has partnered with LGBTQ Nation on a Voting Center that is designed to help people make their vote plan. The center includes voter registration, vote by mail, and in person early voting deadlines in addition to key races to watch by state. In the midst of a pandemic, it is even more critical that people consider ahead of time how, when, and where they are going to vote and what it means for their life regarding transportation, parking, in some states purchasing stamps, dependent care, voting accessibility, and their employment.

The following Queer the Vote virtual events are being held this month:

Queer the Vote Training Series:

Saturday October 10th at 3:00pm ET / 12:00pm PT

During their virtual Queering Racial Justice Institute, the Task Force will host a 2-hour workshop called “Moving Policy Change from Chants in the Streets to Transformation in Public Safety.” Learn more about policies in Congress that if we get enough advocates elected we can pass and then share best practices on how to hold those advocates accountable in getting it done. Register here.

Wednesday October 13th

6pm ET / 3PM PTVote Planning During a Crisis: This workshop is focused on ensuring LGBTQ and all voters have a solid vote plan in the midst of the health, racial, and economic crises happening in our country. We will also discuss the positions your voting on to help you decide who best represents your ideals for good governance. Register here.

8pm ET /5pm PTHow to Get Out The Vote: When campaigns call your house asking you to volunteer do you know what they are actually asking you to do and how it could impact the outcome of the election? If you would like to know what volunteer opportunities are typically available, we are here to talk you through what they are, their impact on the election, and what skills are needed. Register here.

Vote-By-Mail Kiki Tea Session:

Wednesday, October 14th at 8:30pm ET / 5:30 PT

This event is all about how you are feeling and how we are going to make sure you can safely and successfully vote from home. Some states make this a lot harder than others so if you have any questions about the process or just want to talk join in.

The Task Force has also teamed up with HeadCount to encourage our communities to #VoteWithPride. HeadCount’s Vote With Pride Center was created to empower LGBTQ+ people and allies through information about barriers LGBTQ+ people face and to share tips on how to vote safely.