American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER)

American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) Dedicated to achieving marriage equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Sponsor of the federal Virginia marriage equality case Bostic v. Schaefer.
Through its groundbreaking federal court case against California’s Proposition 8, AFER returned marriage equality to the nation's most populous state. The Foundation assembled a legal team led by Theodore Olson and David Boies to demonstrate that Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution by denying millions of people equal protection under the law. The fight continues in Virginia with Bostic v. Schaefer where the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found the state's punitive marriage ban unconstitutional. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed that ruling, and now the Supreme Court will decided whether or not to hear the case.

08/03/2015

Together, we made history.

Nearly six years ago, the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) was created with the specific mission of arguing for marriage equality before the U.S. Supreme Court and to, while doing so, dramatically advance the American conversation on equality.

And we accomplished that … and so much more.

> We returned marriage equality to California—our nation's most populous state—and, later, to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

> With David Boies and Ted Olson as lead counsel, we smashed the partisan barrier that traditionally divided supporters and opponents of marriage equality. Namely, we brought prominent conservative voices to the debate and proved that marriage is not a partisan issue, but an American issue.

> We put equality on trial. For the first time ever, a federal court heard evidence as to why denying gay and lesbian Americans the right to marry is unconstitutional. And, more importantly, for the first time, we forced our opponents to make their best cases, under oath, as to why marriage bans based on fear and hatred should stand. And we shared that story with the world.

> But, perhaps, most importantly, we drew a line in the sand. We demanded that every American—whether a regular citizen, an editorial board writer, a member of Congress, or a Supreme Court justice—not only listen to the stories of Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo—the brave plaintiffs fighting for justice—but that they also take a side.

The results were extraordinary. We saw Americans nationwide stand up to support equal marriage. We saw it in the opinion pages of our newspapers. We saw senators scrambling to change their public positions. And we saw it from millions of ordinary people who proudly posted the “equal sign” logo of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as their Facebook profile pictures, and turned the Internet red.

Today, because of you—and the pioneering work of organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Freedom to Marry, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)—this group of brave plaintiffs and legal teams have finished the work and won every American the right to marry who they love.

But, even as we celebrate this amazing milestone, please remember we’re going to have to work harder than ever before to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans have full federal equality—nothing more, and nothing less.

The fact is that in 31 states LGBT people have very few clear, consistent legal protections against discrimination. They are still at risk of being fired, denied a job, evicted, bullied, harassed, refused service, or denied access to credit because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Last week, leaders in Congress introduced the Equality Act—a comprehensive federal nondiscrimination bill that would guarantee critically needed protections to LGBT Americans, based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, in the workplace, housing, public accommodations, lending practices, education, jury service, and the use of federal funds. With more than 200 cosponsors already, this essential legislation is starting off stronger than any pro-LGBT bill in history.

Led by our co-founder and former chair, Chad Griffin, and the team at the Human Rights Campaign, this effort is being heralded as the next major fight for the LGBT community by both the Washington Post and the Huffington Post, and it is being backed by major corporate giants like American Airlines, Apple, Dow Chemical, General Mills, Levi Strauss, Microsoft, and Nike.

This is a bipartisan issue that is being backed by a super majority of the American people. Likely voters support workplace nondiscrimination protections by a massive 78% to 16% margin. This includes support from 64% (two-thirds) of Republican voters, and 70% of observant Christians. And David Boies and Ted Olson have spoken out about the critical importance of this effort.

So, while AFER may be closing its doors, we are dedicating all remaining resources to the ongoing battle for full equality. It’s going to take all of us to reach the finish line, and we hope you will continue on this journey with Chad and HRC as we turn our sights to securing comprehensive LGBT nondiscrimination protections in this country and to ensuring lasting equality around the globe. (www.hrc.org)

There is much more history to be made. And we hope you will continue on this journey with us.

Gratefully,

Adam Umhoefer
Executive Director
The American Foundation for Equal Rights

BREAKING: The Supreme Court has affirmed #marriage #equality in a 5-4 decision > http://bzfd.it/1JnHri4
06/26/2015

BREAKING: The Supreme Court has affirmed #marriage #equality in a 5-4 decision > http://bzfd.it/1JnHri4

Emily Schall-Townley, the daughter of two of our Virginia Bostic plaintiffs, writes in The Washington Blade about her fa...
04/09/2015
Opinion | ‘We won!’

Emily Schall-Townley, the daughter of two of our Virginia Bostic plaintiffs, writes in The Washington Blade about her family's fight for marriage equality: http://bit.ly/1y9F1yX

Our big year of working for marriage equality ended exactly as it should have, with a wedding full of jokes, and tears and joy.

New study shows over half of Americans age 50-64 support #marriage #equality: http://cbsloc.al/1KyrXso 7 in 10 Americans...
03/06/2015
Major Survey Shows Two-Thirds In U.S. Support Marriage Equality

New study shows over half of Americans age 50-64 support #marriage #equality: http://cbsloc.al/1KyrXso 7 in 10 Americans between the ages of 18-24 support the right to marry for same-sex couples.

In the late 1980s, support for gay marriage was essentially unheard of in America. Just a quarter century later, it's now favored by clear majority of Americans. That dramatic shift in opinion is among the fastest changes ever measured by the General Social Survey.

As a case out of Michigan is currently before the Supreme Court, Governor Snyder announced today the state will recogniz...
02/04/2015
Michigan Governor Says State Will Recognize Last Year's Same-Sex Marriages

As a case out of Michigan is currently before the Supreme Court, Governor Snyder announced today the state will recognize 300 lawful marriages of same-sex couples, which took place last year during a short window when it was legal. #marriageequality

"[W]e will follow the law and extend state marriage benefits to those couples," Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says. The move doesn't change the state's defense of the state's marriage ban at ...

BREAKING: Marriage equality is headed back to the Supreme Court: http://bit.ly/1C8lON7 The Justices have granted review ...
01/16/2015

BREAKING: Marriage equality is headed back to the Supreme Court: http://bit.ly/1C8lON7 The Justices have granted review of four cases. #time4marriage #marriage4all

County Clerks across Florida are preparing to issue marriage licenses tonight at midnight to same-sex couples as #marria...
01/05/2015
County clerks prepare for marriage equality

County Clerks across Florida are preparing to issue marriage licenses tonight at midnight to same-sex couples as #marriageequality officially becomes the law of the land http://bit.ly/13SLmAl

Same-sex couples who want to be the first in South Florida to be married should head to Palm Beach County on Monday night, Jan. 5.

2014: The beginning of the end in the fight for #marriageequality
12/17/2014
How 2014 Was the Beginning of the End

2014: The beginning of the end in the fight for #marriageequality

With a slew of legal rulings striking down bans and popular support on an upward path, the past year set the stage for same-sex marriage legalization nationwide.

Momentum is building for Supreme Court review of marriage equality. A case from Louisiana is before the high court which...
12/02/2014
Momentum builds for review of same-sex marriage

Momentum is building for Supreme Court review of marriage equality. A case from Louisiana is before the high court which joins numerous appeals from the 6th Circuit.

A second state -- Louisiana -- told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the Justices should consider taking on the constitutional dispute over same-sex marriage without waiting further. It is important, the state said in urging prompt review of a federal judge's decision upholding Louisiana

BREAKING: Marriages for gay and lesbian couples can begin immediately in Montana http://lat.ms/1qY1JkJ A federal judge h...
11/19/2014

BREAKING: Marriages for gay and lesbian couples can begin immediately in Montana http://lat.ms/1qY1JkJ A federal judge has just struck down the state's discriminatory marriage ban.

A federal judge has ruled South Carolina’s marriage ban unconstitutional http://bit.ly/1wmguzt The decision has been sta...
11/12/2014

A federal judge has ruled South Carolina’s marriage ban unconstitutional http://bit.ly/1wmguzt The decision has been stayed until November 20. South Carolina is the 4th and final state in the Fourth Circuit to win marriage equality since AFER’s victory in Bostic v. Schaefer at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

BREAKING: A Missouri Circuit Judge has ruled that the state’s ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples is unconstitut...
11/05/2014

BREAKING: A Missouri Circuit Judge has ruled that the state’s ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples is unconstitutional http://bit.ly/1pn4BMJ The ruling takes effect immediately in St. Louis and paves the way for marriage equality across the entire Show Me State.

BREAKING: A federal judge has ruled Kansas’ ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples is unconstitutional! The ruling ...
11/04/2014

BREAKING: A federal judge has ruled Kansas’ ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples is unconstitutional! The ruling is stayed until November 11 pending appeal. Order > http://bit.ly/10rGWPv

Today, The Virginian Pilot shared its story about life after victory for our plaintiffs, Tim Bostic and Tony London http...
11/03/2014

Today, The Virginian Pilot shared its story about life after victory for our plaintiffs, Tim Bostic and Tony London http://bit.ly/1unsXI3

In the week since Arizona’s ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples was struck down, all 15 counties in the Grand Ca...
10/28/2014
Marriage licenses issued in every Arizona county for same-sex couples

In the week since Arizona’s ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples was struck down, all 15 counties in the Grand Canyon State had issued marriage licenses to loving same-sex couples http://bit.ly/1oW4ho3 Over 300 licenses have been issued since a federal judge ruled the state’s marriage ban unconstitutional.

Clerks in all 15 of the state's counties say they have issued at least one marriage license to same-sex couples.

Yesterday, in his home state of Alabama, Apple CEO Tim Cook challenged the southern state and the nation to do more to p...
10/28/2014

Yesterday, in his home state of Alabama, Apple CEO Tim Cook challenged the southern state and the nation to do more to protect the rights of the LGBT community: http://bit.ly/10x3L55

Apple has been a champion for marriage equality in the business sector signing on to amicus briefs in both the Perry and Windsor cases advocating for equality at the nation’s highest court.

In an interview with USA Today’s Capital Download, Ted Olson said that the Supreme Court has reached the “point of no re...
10/27/2014

In an interview with USA Today’s Capital Download, Ted Olson said that the Supreme Court has reached the “point of no return” on marriage equality. http://usat.ly/1wCw6k3

Yesterday, Laramie County performed its first marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple as Wyoming became the 32nd state w...
10/22/2014

Yesterday, Laramie County performed its first marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple as Wyoming became the 32nd state with marriage equality. http://bit.ly/1wapU69 Like and share this graphic to celebrate the progress we have made in the fight for equality.

President Obama agrees that #marriageequality is a constitutional right guaranteed to all Americans http://nyr.kr/1nx50L...
10/20/2014

President Obama agrees that #marriageequality is a constitutional right guaranteed to all Americans http://nyr.kr/1nx50Ll

BREAKING: A federal judge has struck down Wyoming’s marriage ban! http://bzfd.it/1CxJwjc A temporary stay has been issue...
10/17/2014

BREAKING: A federal judge has struck down Wyoming’s marriage ban! http://bzfd.it/1CxJwjc A temporary stay has been issued. Like and share this image to celebrate #marriagemomentum

Marriage momentum continues across the country as marriage licenses are now being issued to loving same-sex couples in A...
10/17/2014

Marriage momentum continues across the country as marriage licenses are now being issued to loving same-sex couples in Alaska and Arizona. Here’s what our marriage map looks like right now, though looking at the speed of things, who knows when it’ll change next?

47 pro-equality decisions have been issued in the last 15 months (http://bit.ly/AFERRulings), and we’ll be looking out for a decision in Wyoming on Monday! (http://bit.ly/11EC36s) #time4marriage #marriagemomentum

This morning a federal judge struck down Arizona’s marriage ban! http://bit.ly/1xYQvAY Like and share this image to cong...
10/17/2014

This morning a federal judge struck down Arizona’s marriage ban! http://bit.ly/1xYQvAY Like and share this image to congratulate all the loving couples!

American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER)
10/16/2014

American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER)

BREAKING: Judge strikes down marriage ban in North Carolina http://bit.ly/Zj6GN8 #DayOne Like and share this graphic to ...
10/10/2014

BREAKING: Judge strikes down marriage ban in North Carolina http://bit.ly/Zj6GN8 #DayOne

Like and share this graphic to congratulate all the loving couples.

BREAKING: Marriage equality is officially the law of the land in Nevada http://bzfd.it/1BYEkEG Congrats to all the lovin...
10/10/2014

BREAKING: Marriage equality is officially the law of the land in Nevada http://bzfd.it/1BYEkEG Congrats to all the loving couples there and to the plaintiffs and Lambda Legal on this victory!

Governor Tomblin of West Virginia has instructed state agencies to comply with the 4th Circuit’s binding decision in our...
10/09/2014

Governor Tomblin of West Virginia has instructed state agencies to comply with the 4th Circuit’s binding decision in our Bostic case http://bit.ly/1oV5ZjS Couples can apply for marriage licenses immediately! Like and share this graphic to spread the news.

American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER)
10/18/2013

American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER)

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6565 W Sunset Blvd
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(213) 785-5368

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