In recent weeks, I have talked to many LGBT leaders, and I've been interested to hear the same thing come up: now that we won Marriage Equality, donor engagement has lessened.
What could be causing this? One could argue that people think the fight is over. They see how we've won marriage equality, we've won DADT, so they think, "What more is left to do. We're set." As monumental as these wins are, the simple truth is that the fight is far from over. In many states, you can get married on a Friday and be fired from your job on a Monday. Adoption rights are still not uniform in all states. Bullying is still an issue in our schools. Trans rights has to be top of mind. And even though DADT is over, that doesn't mean that our LGBTQ veterans are safe and secure. Immigration Advocacy in the community is still very much something we need to advocate for. And every single month, it seems another bigot is trying to take away our rights. Just recently, Alabama's Chief Justice tried to declare gay marriage illegal in his state. And as more "religious freedom" bills pass, our rights will continue to be on the brink of collapse.
We have to make it clear that the fight is not over. Discrimination is still very much a reality. Yes, we won marriage. Yes, we won DADT. We have made incredible, incredible strides. But that doesn't mean our commitment needs to lessen, either. Dollars have to keep going to these organizations. But they're not. And when that doesn't happen, our community hurts. Our brothers and sisters who fight on the inside, who lobby for our rights, they can't do that unless we back them. I hear from colleagues that every month, they wonder how they keep the lights on. I see state marriage equality firms merging with other LGBT legal firms. This has to be due to depleting funds. This is a terrible outcome of success, and it needs to stop.
2015 was an historic year. 2016 has to continue that trend. We can't lose sight of our goals: full equality.