Inside Game: A Foundation Supports LGBTQ Leaders in the Halls of Power

Monday, September 11, 2017

Inside Game: A Foundation Supports LGBTQ Leaders in the Halls of Power

While it was the nation’s highest court that granted marriage equality to LGBTQ Americans two years ago, the news out of Washington these days isn't so rosy. With social conservatives like Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions in top roles, many LGBTQ funders have been continuing the fight in places away from the capital. In fact, well before Trump's election threw up obstacles to gains at the federal level, these funders were focusing new attention and resources at the state and local level, especially in conservative parts of the country where discrimination against LGBTQ people is both legal and common. This push has been helped along by new funders who've arrived on the scene with a local focus, including community foundations. Most notably, there's been a rising tempo of funding and activity in the South, an area long overlooked by national foundations.  

For the David Bohnett Foundation, one way to ensure a future of LGBTQ equality is to build direct representation in the halls of power, and not just in D.C. There aren’t many LGBTQ elected officials: the foundation pegs the total at 0.1 percent nationwide. The Bohnett Foundation—fueled by the wealth of a tech entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist who we've written about often—sees improving those numbers as a path toward policy victories.  . .

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