White text on background with quotation from Racial Justice Coalition Letter.  Full transcription: "We understand what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don't matter. Today, we join together again to say #BlackLivesMatter and commit ourselves to the action those words require." An Open Letter from 75 LGBTQ Organizations Condemning Racist Violence.

Following the recent protests and concerted action against the epidemic of racial violence, MassEquality is proud join with other LGBTQ organizations in a call to action condemning racism. Along with seventy-five other LGBTQ groups, including the Human Rights Campaign, BAGLY, MTPC, and dozens of our fellow state Equality organizations, we have issued an open letter against racial violence. In signing to this letter, we are not just appending our name to empty words: we know that words need to be backed up with action. At MassEquality, we understand that the LGBTQ community doesn’t exist within a vaccum. We are a cross section of identities, and, as part of our advocacy for LGBTQ equality, we are committed to fighting for equity and equality for all.

The letter is provided below; you can also find it here, hosted by the HRC.


“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Those words, written over 30 years ago by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, remind us that indifference can never bridge the divide of hate. And, today, they should serve as a call to action to all of us, and to the Movement for LGBTQ equality.

This spring has been a stark and stinging reminder that racism, and its strategic objective, white supremacy, is as defining a characteristic of the American experience as those ideals upon which we claim to hold our democracy — justice, equality, liberty.

• We listened to the haunting pleas of George Floyd for the most basic of human needs — simply, breath — as a Minneapolis police officer kneeled with cruel indifference on his neck.

• We felt the pain of Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend as he called 9-1-1 after plainclothes Louisville police kicked down the door of their home and shot her eight times as she slept in her bed.

• We watched the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery by white vigilantes in Brunswick, GA, aware that they evaded the consequence of their actions until the video surfaced and sparked national outrage.

• We saw the weaponizing of race by a white woman who pantomimed fear in calling the police on Christian Cooper, a Black gay man bird-watching in Central Park.

• We have heard and read about the killings of transgender people — Black transgender women in particular — with such regularity, it is no exaggeration to describe it as a epidemic of violence. This year alone, we have lost at least 12 members of our community: Dustin Parker, Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, Yampi Méndez Arocho, Monika Diamond, Lexi, Johanna Metzger, Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos, Layla Pelaez Sánchez, Penélope Díaz Ramírez, Nina Pop, Helle Jae O’Regan, and Tony McDade.

All of these incidents are stark reminders of why we must speak out when hate, violence, and systemic racism claim — too often with impunity — Black Lives.

The LGBTQ Movement’s work has earned significant victories in expanding the civil rights of LGBTQ people. But what good are civil rights without the freedom to enjoy them?

Many of our organizations have made progress in adopting intersectionality as a core value and have committed to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. But this moment requires that we go further — that we make explicit commitments to embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality for LGBTQ people.

We, the undersigned, recognize we cannot remain neutral, nor will awareness substitute for action. The LGBTQ community knows about the work of resisting police brutality and violence. We celebrate June as Pride Month, because it commemorates, in part, our resisting police harassment and brutality at Stonewall in New York City, and earlier in California, when such violence was common and expected. We remember it as a breakthrough moment when we refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living fully, freely, and authentically.

We understand what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don’t matter. Today, we join together again to say #BlackLivesMatter and commit ourselves to the action those words require.

  • Affirmations, Dave Garcia, Executive Director
  • AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Aisha N. Davis, Director of Policy
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director
  • Arkansas Transgender Equity Collaborative, Tonya Estell, Board of Directors
  • BAGLY, Inc. (Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth), Grace Sterling Stowell, Executive Director
  • Basic Rights Oregon, Nancy Haque, Executive Director
  • Bi Women Quarterly, Robyn Ochs, Editor
  • Campaign for Southern Equality, Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director
  • Campus Pride, Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director
  • Cathedral Of Hope UCC, Rev. Dr. Neil G Thomas, Senior Pastor
  • Center on Halsted, Modesto Valle, CEO
  • CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, Denise Spivak, CEO
  • Community Education Group, A.Toni Young, Executive Director
  • Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, Sharon Kleinbaum, Senior Rabbi
  • Curve Magazine, Merryn Johns, Editor-in-Chief
  • Equality Arizona, Michael Soto, Executive Director
  • Equality California, Rick Chavez Zbur, Executive Director
  • Equality Delaware, Mark Purpura and Lisa Goodman, Board Chairs
  • Equality Federation, Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director
  • Equality Florida, Nadine Smith, Executive Director
  • Equality Illinois, Brian Johnson, CEO
  • Equality New Mexico, Adrian N. Carver, Executive Director
  • Equality New York, Amanda Babine, Executive Director
  • Equality North Carolina, Kendra R Johnson, Executive Director
  • Equality Ohio, Alana Jochum, Executive Director
  • Equality Texas, Ricardo Martinez, CEO
  • Equality Virginia, Vee Lamneck, Executive Director
  • Fair Wisconsin, Megin McDonell, Executive Director
  • Fairness Campaign, Tamara Russell, Board Member
  • Family Equality, Denise Brogan-Kator, Chief Policy Officer
  • Freedom for All Americans, Kasey Suffredini, CEO & National Campaign Director
  • Freedom Oklahoma, Allie Shinn, Executive Director
  • FreeState Justice, Mark Procopio, Executive Director
  • Garden State Equality, Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director
  • Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center, Fred Swanson, Executive Director
  • Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), Kelsey Louie, CEO
  • Gender Rights Maryland, Sharon Brackett, Board Chair
  • Gender Spectrum, Joel Baum, Senior Director
  • Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network (GSA Network), Geoffrey Winder & Ginna Brelsford, Co-Executive Directors
  • Georgia Equality, Jeff Graham, Executive Director
  • GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO
  • GLBT Alliance of Santa Cruz, Gloria Nieto, Board Member
  • GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Janson Wu, Executive Director
  • GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, Hector Vargas, Executive Director
  • GLSEN, Eliza Byard, Executive Director
  • GSAFE, Brian Juchems, Co-Director
  • Human Rights Campaign, Alphonso David, President
  • Immigration Equality, Aaron C. Morris, Executive Director
  • Ingersoll Gender Center, Karter Booher, Executive Director
  • Lambda Legal, Kevin Jennings, CEO
  • Lesbians of Color Symposium Collective, Inc., Shaunya Thomas, Co – Founder / President
  • LGBT Community Center of the Desert, Mike Thompson, CEO
  • LGBT Life Center, Stacie Walls, CEO
  • LGBTQ Center OC, Peg Corley, Executive Director
  • LGBTQ Victory Fund & LGBTQ Victory Institute, Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO
  • Louisiana Trans Advocates, Peyton Rose Michelle, Director of Operations
  • Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, Tre’Andre Valentine, Executive Director
  • MassEquality, Tanya V. Neslusan, Executive Director
  • Matthew Shepard Foundation, Jason Marsden, Executive Vice President
  • Movement Advancement Project, Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director
  • National Black Justice Coalition, David Johns, Executive Director
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights, Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director
  • National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling, Executive Director
  • National Equality Action Team (NEAT), Brian Silva, Founder & Executive Director
  • National LGBTQ Task Force, Rea Carey, Executive Director
  • National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), Glenn D. Magpantay, Executive Director
  • New York City Anti-Violence Project, Beverly Tillery, Executive Director
  • NMAC, Paul Kawata, Executive Director
  • Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, Joe Hawkins, CEO
  • Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, Erin Uritus, CEO
  • One Colorado, Daniel Ramos, Executive Director
  • One Iowa, Courtney Reyes, Executive Director
  • One Orlando Alliance, Jennifer Foster, Executive Director
  • Our Family Coalition, Sam Ames, Interim Executive Director
  • Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, Erin Uritus, CEO
  • OutFront Minnesota, Monica Meyer, Executive Director
  • OutNebraska, Abbi Swatsworth, Executive Director
  • Pacific Center for Human Growth, Michelle Gonzalez, Executive Director
  • PFLAG National, Brian K. Bond, Executive Director
  • PRC, Brett Andrews, CEO
  • Pride at Work, Jerame Davis, Executive Director
  • PROMO, Stephen Eisele, Executive Director
  • Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County, Kiku Johnson, Executive Director
  • Resource Center, Cece Cox, CEO
  • Sacramento LGBT Community Center, David Heitstuman, CEO
  • San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Joe Hollendoner, CEO
  • San Francisco Community Health Center, Lance Toma, CEO
  • SF LGBT Center, Rebecca Rolfe, Executive Director
  • SAGE, Michael Adams, CEO
  • San Diego LGBT Community Center, Cara Dessert, CEO
  • Sero Project, Sean Strub, Executive Director
  • Silver State Equality, André C. Wade, State Director
  • Tennessee Equality Project, Chris Sanders, Executive Director
  • The Diversity Center, Sharon E Papo, Executive Director
  • The Gala Pride and Diversity Center, Michelle Call, Executive Director
  • The Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, Glennda Testone, Executive Director
  • The LGBTQ Center, Long Beach, Porter Gilberg, Executive Director
  • The LGBTQ Center, NYC, Reg Calcagno, Senior Director of Government Affairs
  • The Pride Center of Maryland, Mimi Demissew, Executive Director
  • The Source LGBT+ Center, Brian Poth, Executive Director
  • The Trevor Project, Amit Paley, CEO
  • Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT), Emmett Schelling, Executive Director
  • Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), Andy Marra, Executive Director
  • TransOhio, James Knapp, Chair & Executive Director
  • Truth Wins Out, Wayne Besen, Executive Director
  • Uptown Gay & Lesbian Alliance (UGLA), Carl Matthes, President
  • Woodhull Freedom Foundation, Ricci Levy, President & CEO
  • Wyoming Equality, Sara Burlingame, Executive Director