Mission & History
The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people.
We’re building a future where everyone is free to be themselves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we’ve made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. These barriers must go. That’s why the Task Force is training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation to deliver a world where you can be you. Check out our strategic plan.Find Ways to Join the Task Force Today
Task Force History
We are the country’s oldest national LGBTQ advocacy group.
1973. Some of you remember it well and some of you had not been born yet. Most states had anti-sodomy laws on the books – and enforced them. That’s what the Stonewall raid was all about. Besides having laws against it, being lesbian or gay had a profound stigma and homosexuality was still considered a mental illness. It was common for parents to send their child to a mental institution after finding out the child was gay.
The founding members of the Task Force, including Dr. Howard Brown, Martin Duberman, Barbara Gittings, Ron Gold, Frank Kameny, Nathalie Rockhill and Bruce Voeller, knew it was time to create change on a national level. October of 1973 in New York City, the National Gay Task Force was started, then transforming to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. And today, we’re the National LGBTQ Task Force.
“No account of the changes in laws and public policies would be complete without attention to [the Task Force’s history]. The Task Force played a critical role in the campaign to eliminate the sickness classification of homosexuality. It worked to lift the prohibition on federal civil service employment for gays and lesbians. It strove in the 1970s to make the Democratic Party responsive to the gay community. It took the lead in the 1980s in national organizing against homophobic violence. As AIDS began to devastate gay male communities, the Task Force shaped the first serious efforts in Washington to address the epidemic. It was a founding member of the Military Freedom Project, which prepared the ground for the gays-in-the-military debate of 1993. It has worked with the administrations of presidents from Carter to Clinton.”
– From John D’Emilio’s Interpreting the NGLTF Story
Everyone in our community is able to be exactly who they are and able to lead the lives they’re entitled to live. We want you to “be you.”
We’ve made a lot of progress in the past 40 years and we never take that progress for granted. The Task Force community wants more than equality – we want to create a transformed society. Join our community to help us get there.