Public Policy & Government Affairs

The U.S. Congress

The Task Force has a rich history when it comes to advancing the concerns of our community. Our Public Policy & Government Affairs (PPGA) team supports the values and mission of The Task Force by working on everything from agency-level policy initiatives to connecting grassroots voices of lesbian, gays, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT) people with legislators to pass landmark legislation that builds our community’s political power.

The Task Force understands that racism, classism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, and trans-phobia are experienced by many members of our community, which is why so much of our current work revolves around racial and economic justice. That’s also why we created the Transgender Civil Rights Project and the LGBT Aging Initiative. We’ll continue to fight tirelessly in Congress for employment protections for LGBT people. Passage of these would provide millions of Americans with the opportunity for work based on their skills, not their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In addition to employment, we’re working on a range of issues from the Respect for Marriage Act (DOMA repeal), to the Student Non-Discrimination Act and Safe Schools Improvement Act, which protects students bullied on real or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation. The Task Force also continues our work on progressive issues through coalition building and working collaboratively with other organizations. As Executive Director Rea Carey said during her State of the Movement during Creating Change 2010: “If we are truly a community and a movement committed to freedom, justice and equality then reforming our nation's cruel and broken immigration system must be on our agenda for action.” We’re taking action by partnering with immigrant rights advocates to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

The Task Force has taken advantage of the democratic administration in Washington and seized many new opportunities to advance the needs of our community. One of those is The New Beginning Initiative (NBI), a coalition of more than 25 progressive organizations that have both LGBT and non-LGBT specific missions, but that have come together to produce concrete change for LGBT people by making regulatory changes within federal agencies without the usual lengthy legislative process. One of our most successful campaigns is bringing grassroots activists together to lobby the administration about LGBT data collection. In 2009, the Census Bureau agreed to count same-sex married couples as married in the 2010 Census because of Task Force advocacy. Queer the Census is our ongoing campaign to extend that win to other federal data collection efforts so that the entire LGBT community can be counted.

PPGA has the knowledge necessary to raise our community's voice in Washington and the political savvy to help pass Federal legislation that ensures equal benefits and treatment for LGBT people, couples, and families.

We use our expertise to influence how our nation’s tax dollars are spent, ensuring ensure there are more government resources devoted to LGBT health and human service needs.

Our initiatives include:

Transgender Civil Rights Project
Legislative and strategy assistance for activists and organizations working to pass trans-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinances or include transgender people in existing laws.

LGBT Aging Initiative
Policy advocacy at the local, state and federal levels and with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to ensure the needs of the LGBT community’s aging population are not ignored.

The New Beginning Initiative
advocates for federal administrative regulation and policies that benefit the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as well as other marginalized communities such as people of color, women, youth and elders, people with HIV/AIDS, labor, ability/disability, immigration status, and diverse geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Member organizations enhance the power of the LGBT and allied communities through collaboration on federal administrative policy to amplify our voices.

National Policy Roundtable
Executive directors of national policy-focused LGBT organizations.