Today the Equality Maryland Board of Directors sent a message to the organization’s supporters in regards to the decline of monetary funds. The message states: “While Equality Maryland has continued to make immense progress for LGBT Marylanders, financial support has significantly declined and we want to be direct with you – the community – about where we are and difficult decisions ahead”.
Despite continued policy advocacy and educational programming, funding sources for the organization have dwindled in recent years following victories on such major issues as marriage equality and a transgender-inclusive anti-discrimination law.
Equality Maryland played a significant role in leading the rest of the nation in championing rights and protections, such as the achievement of marriage equality and transgender-inclusive anti-discrimination protections. In 2012, Maryland was the first state to successfully defend marriage equality at the ballot box, and in 2014 won one of the country’s few trans-specific anti-discrimination law campaigns. Much of that leadership was due to the tireless efforts of Carrie Evans, Equality Maryland’s executive director for the past five years, whose last day with the organization was June 5.
The Equality Maryland board believes passionately that the organization ought to continue to play a critical, central role in the coming years for the community, but is facing one of two possibilities for the future: drastically scaling down operations, with a reduced capacity to serve its many constituencies across the state, or suspending operations entirely. The board intends to make a final decision regarding the future of the organization in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, they are asking LGBTQ members and allies to show support for their work and their future by donating to the “Save Equality Maryland” campaign.