We envision a Texas where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans and their families have full equality in the hearts and minds of our fellow Texans and in all areas of the law.
Equality Texas works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.
The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.
Equality Texas and the Equality Texas Foundation work in unison to realize the same mission. They house different components of our work, and each accept donations.
Equality Texas is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, serving as the largest nonpartisan statewide political advocacy organization working for the elimination of discrimination targeting the LGTBQ+ community. This work occurs primarily within, but not limited to, odd-numbered years when the Texas Legislature is in session. During the session, Equality Texas works to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ Texans alongside pro-equality legislators and protects LGBTQ+ Texans from legislative attacks. Because this branch directly lobbies state leadership, contributions to Equality Texas are not considered tax-deductible. Donate here.
Equality Texas Foundation programs are designed to meet individuals where they’re at in their advocacy journey, providing the issue education and skill-building training necessary to confidently exercise activists’ individual and collective power to advance LGBTQ+ rights and fight anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in Texas. Equality Texas Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and donations can be considered tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Donate here.
In 1978, a group of lesbians and gay men recognized the need to have our interests represented in the 66th session of the Texas Legislature. These men and women formed the “Human Rights Advocates.” This organization and its lobbyists were able to defeat an appropriations rider that mandated state-funded colleges and universities to discourage the formation of lesbian/gay student groups.
In 1980, lesbians and gay men again recognized the need to be represented in the state government. Members of the Lesbian/Gay Democrats of Texas and the Texas Gay Task Force hired a lobbyist to monitor the 67th session and lobby on behalf of lesbian and gay interests.
In January 1982, TGTF and LGDT called a meeting to address the lobby efforts of lesbians and gay men. At this meeting, the Lesbian/Gay Rights Advocates was created.
In 1986, LGRA became “LGRL,” or the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas. The Lobby hired a full-time Executive Director to fight for the rights of lesbians and gay men.
In 1990, the Allan G. Calkin Human Rights Education and Research Fund was established and operated as LGRL’s charitable arm. Its goal was to educate the public about how policies regarding sexual orientation affect the lives of lesbian and gay Texans.
In 2006, LGRL became Equality Texas. The change was made to reflect the enormous growth in the organization and represent the strength and diversity of the coalition that was galvanized during the campaign to defeat proposition #2, Texas’ so-called “defense of marriage” amendment to the state constitution.
Equality Texas is now the state’s leading advocacy organization defending the rights of LGBTQ Texans against attack, with tens of thousands of members across the state.