We Stand For
Gay and Lesbian Equality

Across much of the United States, we are closer to legal equality for gays and lesbians than ever before, but we still have a long way to go. It’s time to give all gay people and their families the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

Moving Hearts and Minds

Freedom and equality are not new values. They define our collective aspirations as a nation, as a community and as a people.

When gay people are allowed to participate fully in society, it benefits our communities, the economy and millions of American families, gay and straight alike. Winning marriage equality was an important part of ending discrimination, and a defining step toward full equality and inclusion of gay people in American life. But there is still work ahead.

Love Won

We’ve come a long way.

In 2001, the Haas, Jr. Fund became the first foundation to support marriage equality. Fourteen years later, with the Supreme Court’s historic Obergerfell ruling in June 2015, the freedom to marry was extended to gay and lesbian couples from coast-to-coast.

Profound Shift

America’s embrace of marriage equality was the result of a profound shift in our culture toward acceptance and understanding.

Fairness and Justice

It also was the result of a powerful movement for fairness and justice—people and organizations working at all levels to change public opinion and policies on marriage.

A Heroic Movement

The Haas, Jr. Fund applauds our partners in this heroic movement for helping to make the United States a more equal nation.

But the job isn’t finished yet.

  • The work continues

    Marriage equality is now the law of the land, but protecting the freedom to marry will continue to demand hard work.

  • Safeguarding the freedom to marry

    Today, some are arguing that government officials shouldn’t be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, or that businesses can refuse services to those couples.

  • Fighting for nondiscrimination protections

    In addition, gay and lesbian people in many states still do not have basic protections from employment and housing discrimination.

How We’ll Get There

Securing the Marriage Win

We took a stand for the freedom to marry. Now, we’re determined to defend that freedom. The Fund is supporting efforts to:

  • Defend marriage equality and the civil rights of gay people through litigation.

  • Educate the public about how the freedom to marry does not infringe on religious liberty.

  • Raise awareness about the harms caused by anti-gay discrimination and the need for protective policies.

Even as marriage equality becomes a reality in every state in the nation, the struggle for LGBT equality continues.

All men are created equal. No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.

Harvey Milk