August 5, 2015 at 5:11 pm EDT | by Staff reports
Another LGBT rights group to shut down
American Foundation for Equal Rights, AFER, Adam Umhoefer, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, gay marriage, gay news, Washington Blade

AFER’s Adam Umhoefer urged supporters to back HRC’s effort at passing a federal non-discrimination bill. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

LOS ANGELES — The American Foundation for Equal Rights on Aug. 3 announced it will shut down in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples throughout the country.

AFER Executive Director Adam Umhoefer noted to supporters in an email that his organization “returned marriage equality to California” in 2013 after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the state’s Proposition 8. AFER also represented two same-sex couples in Virginia who successfully challenged the commonwealth’s constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

“We saw Americans nationwide stand up to support equal marriage,” wrote Umhoefer.

Freedom to Marry also plans to close in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Obergefell case. Decreased funding after Maryland voters upheld their state’s same-sex marriage law and a transgender rights statute took effect has forced Equality Maryland to curtail operations.

Umhoefer in his email urged AFER supporters to support the Human Rights Campaign and its efforts in support of a federal anti-LGBT discrimination bill.

  • HRC should have closed and let AFER take the reigns.

    • Leadership and the goals set by it may really be the problem not the name of the organization. Why do we need so many different organizations competing for scarce funds? We should pool our resources.
      We have un-elected self-proclaimed leaders of our community setting the agenda for our struggles. The community as a whole hasn’t much of a forum for setting strategy or priorities. Yet these organizations will take your money and likely the larger contributors drive the vision.

      Sometimes GLBT people are their own worst enemies in getting anything achieved often with all or nothing strategies or constant disagreements on pending legislation, preferring to derail it if the bill doesn’t cover everything in one swoop! Sometimes progress takes steps not leaps!

      ENDA is a perfect example. First we derailed it over trans people not being included then we derailed it for it having too many religious exemptions.

      • “Sometimes GLBT people are their own worst enemies”
        “ENDA is a perfect example. First we derailed it over trans people not being included”

        So are we a GLBT community or just a G and an L and a B and a T community all hanging around together?

        The oppression each of those community members face comes from the same bias, the bias against non conformity to the gender binary model. Possessing and expressing one’s romantic and sexual attraction to someone of the same gender and/or sex is nonconformity to the binary gender model. Possessing and expressing one’s gender in a manner inconsistent to their sex assigned at birth is nonconformity to the binary gender model.

        That is the taproot. Any other delineation is secondary ( i.e. one is about sexual orientation and the other is about how one identifies) and as such inconsequential.

        So, if ENDA was derailed over trans inclusion. Good.

        At some point we will strike all notions that sexual orientation is a perceivable thing, because it isn’t, and that what others are perceiving is in fact, nonconformity to the binary gender model. THIS is the pathway the EEOC is pursuing to protect transgender, bisexual, gays and lesbians under Title VII of the CRA 1964 and Macy v. Holder opened that door.

        The recently introduced Equality Act seeks to continue the delineation in contrast to EEOC’s broad scope approach.

        • All or nothing strategies often leave people with NOTHING. There is nothing good about that. Sometimes we have to settle for getting the most we can get then progressively improve upon that. Saying that ENDA failing because it didn’t include transgender people is good is just selfish, shortsighted and spiteful. If all we could get at the time was an ENDA with GLB then that would have helped most of the community and opened the door to expanding that to transgender people.

          Transgender awareness has come a long way since the days that ENDA was derailed for not including them. But still has a huge way to go. There is a lot of homophobia out there but there seems to be even greater transphobia. That’s just reality.

          • So none of that responses to my question “So are we a GLBT community or just a G and an L and a B and a T community all hanging around together?”

            It’s okay if you do not wish to answer it. Just say, “I don’t want to answer that” and move on. I believe we have a fairly solid image of your perspective. There is no need to rearticulate that.

          • Being a community doesn’t mean you’d rather see your G, B, & L members get nothing unless the T gets something. If the T were to get something that GLB isn’t getting would you say, yes, let’s derail it because the rest of the community isn’t getting anything out of it even if it’s something you’ve been waiting for a long time and could have now?

            You can’t always get everything you want exactly the way you want it. I’d rather get something than have to wait decades to get it all. Some of us won’t be around any longer waiting endlessly.

            What do African Americans get from supporting marriage equality or illegal immigrants getting amnesty? Nothing personally. Just the betterment of their fellow minorities. Yet many will say what’s in it for me. If nothing, then I can’t or won’t support it!

            Why can’t you just admit you’re selfish and think of yourself first before anyone else? That’s not a community action. That’s following self-interest and screw all others if I don’t get what I want!

  • We are not done yet! We need a new and improved ENDA!

    • We are never really done. Even if we get an improved ENDA into law. What is given can be watered down or taken away when people take their grants for granted. The price of liberty is constant vigilance.

      Despite African Americans having more rights under the law than GLBT, they did not disband groups like the NAACP. We see how the Voting Rights Act has been diluted in traditionally racist states under the notion that it’s no longer needed anymore. That’s what social conservatives will strive for.

      We still have the threat of religious liberty laws trying to undermine our gain under the law. Just like conservatives continue to find innovative ways to bypass Roe v. Wade despite that being decided back in 1973, social conservatives will pursue similar tactics for marriage equality and all GLBT rights under the law!

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