Equality California

Equality California

"Equality California" or EQCA is a non-profit civil rights organization that advocates for the rights of LGBT people in California.

ignificant Activities and Programs

Equality California

EQCA has sponsored and helped lobby for the passage of more than 45 bills supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in the California Legislature, including the nation’s first same-sex marriage bill approved by a legislative body (AB 849, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, authored by Assemblymember Mark Leno, D-San Francisco). On behalf of its members, EQCA was the organizational plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Lambda Legal and several law firms challenging California’s marriage laws that exclude same-sex couples. The California Supreme Court on May 15, 2008 ruled that all Californians have the freedom to marry. The landmark decision ended the state ban on marriage for same-gender couples. Same-gender couples were able to marry as of June 16, 2008.

EQCA was also a defendant in a lawsuit seeking to overturn California’s domestic partner laws.

Equality California Institute

Equality California Institute educates LGBT people and the public at large about issues impacting the LGBT community and our allies. EQCAI empowers and organizes individuals, communities and allied groups to work proactively for fairness, equality and justice.

EQCAI leads Let Californian Ring, a public education campaign to open hearts and minds about the freedom to marry, and the Equality Alliance, a broad coalition of LGBT and non-LGBT groups working together to further human rights. The Institute also directs the LGBT Health and Human Services Network and is a sponsor of the California Transgender Leadership Summit and Queer Youth Advocacy Day.

Let California Ring

Let California Ring is a public education designed to campaign for open hearts and minds about the freedom to marry and the respect, support, protections, and responsibilities that come with marriage.

Let California Ring is a project of Equality California Institute, working in a diverse coalition of over 60 national, state and local organizations

Equality California Political Action Committees

Equality California Political Action Committees

Equality California’s Political Action Committees advocate for candidates who support full equality for all Californians and issues that protect the civil rights of all people, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). EQCA’s PACs also work to fight efforts that could delay LGBT progress toward full equality.

NO on 8 – Equality California

NO on 8 – Equality California works in conjunction with NO on 8, Equality for All, a coalition of diverse organizations working to stop and defeat Proposition 8. Prop. 8 is the November 4 Primary Election ballot initiative that would deny same-sex couples their fundamental freedom to marry under California law. EQCA is a founding member of Equality for All and is one of the campaign’s most significant contributors.

Equality California Candidate PAC

EQCA’s Candidate PAC endorses candidates it identifies as fair-minded and supports the campaigns of policy leaders who advocate the fair and equal treatment of all Californians, including those who identify as LGBT. The Candidate PAC works to expand the number of equality-minded representatives in Sacramento, ensuring that the LGBT community can continue progress toward equality. EQCA’s Candidate PAC only endorses candidates that support equality for all members of the LGBT community 100 percent of the time.

History and Leadership

Equality California began in 1998 as the California Alliance for Pride and Equality (CAPE), and the CAPE Foundation was launched in 2000 to expand education and outreach efforts. In 2003, the organizations became Equality California, the EQCA Institute and EQCA Political Action Committee. During that time, the organization grew exponentially under the new leadership of Executive Director Geoffrey Kors, Board President John Duran, PAC President Diane Abbitt and Institute President Jody Cole.

External links

* [http://www.eqca.org EQCA Homepage]

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