‘Out for Change: The Future of LGBT Rights’

Today at its “Out for Change: The Future of LGBT Rights” event, the Ford Foundation announced its new LGBT initiative, which will invest $50 million over the next 5 years to advance LGBT equality and rights. As part of the announcement, the foundation unveiled a new video to the audience, which you can watch below:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/54385761]

The first panel of the day was “The Road to Equity: Where Do We Need to Go?” moderated by Laura Flanders, host of the Laura Flanders Show. It featured  Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Commissioner Chai Feldblum, Gay-Straight Alliance Network Senior Manager of Racial and Economic Justice Programs Geoffrey Winder and attorney/commentator Richard Socarides.

Commissioner Feldblum talked about the impact of Macy v. Holder and the implications going forward that courts seem to be moved more by arguments about sex and gender discrimination. She continued by acknowledging the limits of Macy, emphasizing the importance of passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act as well as an executive order banning discrimination for federal contractors.

Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey speaks on the panel “The Road to Equity: Where Do We Need to Go?” at the Ford Foundation’s Out for Change event.

Socarides also emphasized the importance of an executive order from the president, and called for it to happen before inauguration day. In addition to U.S. policies, he stressed the importance of social media and building a global movement.

Working with allies was a theme of the panel, and our very own Rea Carey discussed the importance of working with other non-LGBT specific organizations from the NAACP to women’s, labor and other organizations to advance equality. She also stressed that while marriage equality improves many lives, there is much left to be done as four of the states with marriage equality lack nondiscrimination protections on the basis of gender identity.

Geoffrey Winder similarly noted that the next phase of the LGBT movement must be focused on anti-racist, gender justice and economic movement work.

You can follow the daylong event online here.