It is my privilege as GLAD’s Executive Director to introduce you to the work of this amazing organization, and welcome you into the heart of GLAD’s community. Please explore our special history website to appreciate how far our community has come and how GLAD has made a difference as a civil rights leader.
Meet the attorneys and plaintiffs who have made these advances in LGBT and HIV rights possible: Take a look at the slate of cases currently on our docket to find out how we are working to expand the law right now. Read one or many of the dozens of publications available to inform you of the shape of the law in your home state. Or take a moment to discover how you can join us soon at an upcoming event or other ways you can become involved in GLAD’s work. New England has been fertile territory for increasing the civil rights of LGBT and HIV+ people, yielding successes in every area of importance to our communities. We now have marriage equality in all six New England states. And in all six New England states two adults are able to jointly become legal parents, and case decisions or laws exist recognizing non-biological parents as de facto parents.
All six states also have laws protecting people from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, as well as from hate crimes, on the basis of sexual orientation and HIV status. Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont provide explicit anti-discrimination protections for transgender people. Although the Massachusetts public accommodations anti-discrimination law and all of New Hampshire’s anti-discrimination laws do not list “gender identity” as a protected characteristic, protections for transgender people have been achieved in some cases by using other characteristics like sex, sexual orientation or disability. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont have hate crimes laws that include protections for transgender people. Public school students across the region have strong anti-bullying protections and the right to form GSAs.
These incredible gains have been possible because GLAD has been there to speak on behalf of the community in your name. We have grown and thrived and made enormous progress in advancing the rights and protections of the LGBT community and people living with HIV and AIDS. And GLAD is – when all is said and done – nothing more and nothing less than the handiwork of a community of dedicated individuals – board, donors, staff, volunteers and allies – with a vision of equality and justice. Thank you for joining us in transforming that vision into reality. Despite great accomplishments, we will not rest on our laurels; GLAD continues to expand its capacity to fight in every corner of New England for the equality we deserve. Your continued support and investment in GLAD promises only more profound and lasting advances on the road to “Equal Justice Under Law.” Sincerely, Lee Swislow Executive Director