On Monday March 15, NEAT hosted a day of virtual events to launch #DecisionDay and #EqualityTime -- initiatives to provide coordinated, turnkey tools for organizations and volunteers to take action related to each event. The webinars were attended by over 250 people representing 200 separate organizations such as the National Center for Transgender Equality, Trevor Project, Our Family Coalition among many others, and included a training by Bolder Advocacy on nonprofit advocacy.
The first part of the event focused on #EqualityTime -- a coalition of organizations taking coordinated actions designed to help pass federal LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections. Led by NEAT and other Organizing Committee members such as Freedom For All Americans and the Human Rights Campaign, the event included remarks from Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), one of the co-sponsors of the Equality Act who also played a key role in its successful passage through the House. Participating organizations learned about tools and resources available to engage their supporters in taking action in support of nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ Americans. Activities include phone banking, meeting with Senators, emailing or calling Senators, and writing letters to the editors of local newspapers telling personal stories of why nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ+ community are so important.
The event also focused on organizing tools for the upcoming #DecisionDay response to the Fulton v. City of Philadelphia case awaiting a decision from the United States Supreme Court. At issue in the case is whether or not private groups that receive taxpayer-funding to provide government services such as foster care, adoption, food banks, homeless shelters, and more can deny those services to people such as LGBTQ+, single women, Jewish, Muslim, or Mormon people. These private groups claim they have a constitutional right to do so because they have a religious objection to serving these groups of people. #DecisionDay events will include a national virtual rally and Town Hall that will include a panel of legal experts who will help break down the decision and its impact.
“From our days as Marriage Equality USA, providing a safe and informative space for our community to gather in response to critical Supreme Court cases has been one of our core activities. With the potential negative fallout from this Fulton decision it makes this organizing all the more critical,” said Brian Silva, Founder & Executive Director of NEAT.
Following the #EqualityTime launch, dozens of organizations have signed on to participate in both the #EqualityTime and #DecisionDay campaigns. If your organization would benefit from learning more about either of these campaigns, head to #EqualityTime and #DecisionDay for more information.