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Campaign Manager Matt McTighe on LGBT Workplace Discrimination

LGBT Workplace Discrimination Matt McTighe
Jeffrey Hogan/Polaris/Newscom

Matt McTighe is the campaign manager for Freedom for All Americans, the bipartisan national campaign dedicated to ensuring every LGBT American is fully protected from discrimination under the law, no matter where they live. He helped lead successful same-sex marriage campaigns in more than a half dozen states, and has more than 15 years of experience in campaign management, public education and communications strategy.

A ruling from the Supreme Court about freedom to marry will affect hundreds of thousands of potential same-sex couples across the nation. But one thing won’t change: Fifty-two percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans will still live in states where they do not receive explicit protections from discrimination in the workplace, housing or public accommodations.

That’s a reality, even though nearly 70% of all Americans support nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people.

But with 28 states lacking any protections for LGBT people, and another five with only partial protections, it’s increasingly clear that the fight for equality does not end after the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage.

That’s why a diverse and bipartisan group of advocates and funders are already planning the movement’s next steps. Similar to the national strategy around marriage, Freedom for All Americans will work to coordinate efforts for securing nondiscrimination protections at the municipal, state and federal levels. The campaign’s ultimate goal is securing passage of a comprehensive federal nondiscrimination bill that covers employment, housing, public accommodations, credit and education.

We need to ensure all LGBT Americans are protected from discrimination. The future involves getting Congress to pass a comprehensive nondiscrimination bill — but to get there we need to create pressure by winning at the state and local level.

The campaign’s support includes both Democrats and Republicans, such as Tim Gill, a philanthropist who founded the Gill Foundation; and prominent center-right philanthropists and hedge-fund managers like Paul Singer and Daniel Loeb. (Note: Loeb is an investor in Penske Media Corp., which owns Variety.) The campaign is supporting efforts in states including Massachusetts, Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

A big part of Freedom for All Americans work will involve elevating the voice of the business community, ensuring it weighs-in more frequently and is vocally in favor of nondiscrimination protections, and against anti-LGBT bills, like the recent one in Indiana.
Businesses know that it’s to their benefit when they can attract and retain the best talent.

Many of the nation’s top brands have nondiscrimination policies in place, but we’ll be focused on getting them to speak out in every community and every state where we’re working to secure these protections.

Matt McTighe is a campaign manager for Freedom for All Americans, dedicated to ensuring LGBT Americans are protected under law from discrimination.