How should I support marriage equality?
February 1, 2007 12:34 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to use money to support marriage equality in the US?

So I'd like to donate money to a US organization working in the courts, the legislatures, and with voters for marriage equality. I'd give my money to Human Rights Campaign, but their scores on Charity Navigator are horrible. GLAD is cool, but they're only New England. Anyone have better recommendations or want to defend HRC?
posted by Xalf to Law & Government (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Dunno, but i can tell you that CN's methodology gets a lot of criticism in non-profit circles. Dont just rely on them.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:39 PM on February 1, 2007

GLAD may be only New England, but their work certainly has national implications. They won the marriage case in Massachusetts, after all.
posted by alms at 12:39 PM on February 1, 2007

COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere) has some links to organizations for LGB families.

(My own personal bias, based on both research and anecdote, would lean me toward supporting the idea that gays and lesbians can form families, rather than just marriages (that is, that even lesbian parents who choose not to marry, for example, should have legal rights regarding their relationship and their children), which is why I'm suggesting starting with LGB family links. That focus will probably also give you a few more options for donating your money or time.)
posted by occhiblu at 12:45 PM on February 1, 2007

You can look here. They don't appear to be listed in the Charity Navigator, but you can request a copy of their annual report.
posted by rtha at 12:47 PM on February 1, 2007

Just a tip: Lots of people don't like how the Human Rights Campaign operates, but if you do, go ahead and donate to them. However, if you do donate to the Human Rights Campaign, do it anonymously and in cash if possible. Otherwise, you will be stuck on every LGBT-related mailing list in the entire world for the rest of your stinking life. Be forewarned.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:48 PM on February 1, 2007

Another tack on this would be to consider which states are next inline to support gay marriage. This would include California, New York, and maybe New Jersey. So you could give to organizations working for marriage equality in those states.
posted by alms at 1:39 PM on February 1, 2007

Garden State Equality is working hard in New Jersey and could probably use your help.
posted by bink at 2:05 PM on February 1, 2007

GLAD is cool, but they're only New England.

Focus is good. I'd argue that, rather than spreading your money to gain 32% approval across 46 states, your money would be better spent concentrating on actually winning battles, one state at a time. The local, grassroots organizations tend to be the most effective — partly because, you know, mobilization and "boots on the ground" and all that, and partly because people hear national names like "ACLU" and immediately stop listening.
posted by cribcage at 3:43 PM on February 1, 2007

Response by poster: Good suggestions. Thanks all. If anyone knowledgeable is still reading, I wonder if you have opinions about Marriage Equality USA and/or Freedom to Marry.
posted by Xalf at 3:52 PM on February 1, 2007

I've worked with the Task Force and like the job they're doing with marriage/partner recognition both nationally and state-to-state.
posted by obloquy at 4:48 PM on February 1, 2007

In case you are still looking, here's an e-mail from the Task Force (San Francisco) from today:

It’s that time of year again. The time when we celebrate that brief “Winter of Love” in 2004 when over 4,000 same-sex couples got married at San Francisco’s City Hall sending a message loud and clear to America: This is love, this is commitment, this is equality, this is justice.

My “husband”, Ted, and I were there on the first day and were the twentieth couple to get married. (I often say we came for the rally and stayed for the wedding.) There is nothing like being given the support of the broader community in a ceremony that says that you are accepted and valued as equal citizens under the law.

Many things have happened since then – some good, others not so good – but I continue to draw strength from that time which keeps me going as we continue our community’s struggle to end marriage discrimination.

Another place where I have been able to draw strength is from you: Our invaluable volunteers without whom we would not have been able to do so many of the great things we have accomplished over the last couple of years.

Over the next couple of years it is very likely that California will be deciding, perhaps for the next twenty years, whether same-sex couples will be locked into second class citizenship status or whether we will be granted full marriage equality. We must educate the general public now about why marriage matters to LGBT couples and to society. Our goal is to have one million conversations over the next year. We can’t do it alone.

Here are some ways to help this month and beyond:

Saturday, February 24th – 10am to 2pm – Educational Canvass in San Francisco

This is the most valuable way to help out. We’ll give you: A full 45 minute training that will answer all your questions and prepare you to talk to the public, a partner to work the opposite side of the street so you can check in when you need to, pizza when you return from your two hours of door-to-door, and a wonderful feeling of having done something that makes a genuine difference.

Volunteer Recruitment Phonebanks – 6pm to 9pm

If it isn’t possible for you help out on the 24th, we are scheduling several evenings of phonebanks to recruit other volunteers. These calls are very easy as you will be calling people who have already expressed an interest in volunteering. If you can’t come until 7pm we’ll still be happy to have you. The dates are:

Tuesday, February 6th
Wednesday, February 7th
Tuesday, February 13th
Thursday, February 15th
Thursday, February 22nd

Data Entry Support and/or Phonebanking – 10am to 6pm Monday through Friday

If you are unable to come in at other times, we need help throughout normal business hours as well. Give me a call at 415-377-2804 to schedule a time to come in.

Ways to help on your own schedule:

Host a House Party
This is an extremely valuable way to help. If you are willing and able to invite your friends, supportive family members, neighbors, and coworkers to your home we will be happy to provide a speaker who can talk to your guests about Equality California’s work and how they can help. Call me for further details.

Adopt Your Neighborhood
We can provide you with a list of residents of your neighborhood, a script, handouts and over the phone training to prepare you to talk to your neighbors about marriage equality and help us educate the people we need to reach as well as identify our supporters. Call me for further details.

Collect Names of Supporters
We can send you a signup sheet to collect names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails of people you come across in your everyday life who would be willing to show their support for marriage equality. If you could commit to collecting 10 names a month for the next year we’d have 120 more people we know we can count on when we need them.

Other Ideas
If none of these sounds like a good fit feel free to contact me with ideas of your own. There are all kinds of ways to help. Of course donations are always welcome as well.

Please let me know what you can do. Thanks again for all of your help!

Brian Davis
Statewide Field Coordinator

Equality California (EQCA)
(415) 581-0005 ex. 6# office

Thanks for caring and inquiring.
posted by obloquy at 11:00 PM on February 5, 2007

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