Equal Effort

Source: Sylvia Yee, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2014

Behind the recent advance of gay marriage rights lay a decade of careful planning and diligent collaboration… There are, of course, enormous cultural factors in play—the rise of a more socially tolerant younger generation and the increased visibility of gay people in mainstream media, for example. But in my view, the turnaround resulted in no small part from the way that gay rights leaders bounced back after the 2004 defeats and came together around a long-term, cross-organizational strategy for social change. There is still a great deal of work to do to secure equal marriage rights across the country. Even so, the success of the marriage equality fight over the past 10 years holds important lessons for leaders and funders of other social change movements. …