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Lambda Legal Receives First-Ever Million Dollar Match Pledge to Support Future LGBT Equality Work

Advocacy Group Launches Campaign Urging Supporters to Say #IDO for Marriage Equality and Beyond

(Chicago, April 23, 2015) – Today, just five days before the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in the case for marriage equality, Lambda Legal’s Board Co-Chair Karen Dixon announced that she and her wife Nan Schaffer are donating a $1 million match to the organization that will support future work to achieve equality for LGBT people and people living with HIV. The largest match in organizational history, Dixon and Shaffer are challenging people across the country to meet the match and ensure that Lambda Legal will receive the full $1 million – directly turning the donation into important legal and advocacy work.

From now until the Supreme Court decision date (presumably late June), Dixon and Schaffer will be matching donations – dollar for dollar – as well as online actions that show support for equality. A full list of actions and ways to participate can be found at www.lambdalegal.org. People from across the country are saying “#IDO” in a new campaign video, created by the organization. Throughout the campaign, supporters and celebrities will be sharing their “#IDO” message – showing the united front of the LGBT equality movement.

“Even as we’re poised to win what we hope will be a big victory for marriage, we have well-funded opponents who are more determined than ever to turn back our advances,” said Dixon. “And the day after marriage equality is legal in all 50 states, employment discrimination against LGBT people will remain rampant, too often leaving exceptional workers suddenly holding a pink slip. We need to increase our team of experienced lawyers and advocates to make sure that if you post your wedding photos on Facebook, you won’t be fired the next day.”

Since Lambda Legal’s founding, they have had one singular mission: achieve the full civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV. In recent years, there has been a groundswell of support for marriage equality and many groups have devoted a lot of resources to that. On this issue, Lambda Legal has led the way, working in the courts and the courts of public opinion for decades. However, they have also consistently led the fight in protecting and advancing the rights of the LGBT community and those living with HIV in all aspects of their lives. Marriage is an important battle – and bigger fights are still to come.

“I am proud that Lambda Legal’s decades of victories have helped bring us so close to a victory on marriage equality, and immensely grateful that Karen and Nan have the vision and generosity to fuel the battles our attorneys fight every day in the courtroom,” said Kevin Cathcart, Lambda Legal’s Executive Director. “We are far from done – our Legal Help Desk gets thousands of calls every year from people facing discrimination across the country. Our opponents aren’t done either and we need to defend our freedoms against their attacks and so-called religious freedom laws. This kind of gift is transformational – it lifts up our work and our organization and invites others to join us.”

From now until the Supreme Court decision date (presumably late June), Dixon and Schaffer will be matching donations – dollar for dollar – as well as online actions that show support for equality. A full list of actions and ways to participate can be found at www.lambdalegal.org. People from across the country are saying “#IDO” in a new campaign video, created by the organization. Throughout the campaign, supporters and celebrities will be sharing their “#IDO” message – showing the united front of the LGBT equality movement.

“Karen and I believe that Lambda Legal is the best organization to safeguard our marriage victories, to stop anti-gay opponents like Indiana’s Governor Pence from turning back the clock for civil rights, and to carry on in the fight to see us all respected equally under law,” Nan Schaffer added about the gift. “As a couple, we were able to say “IDO” to one another because Lambda Legal fought for that right. Now we are saying “IDO” to the future of equality for everyone.”Dixon chimed in. “Every donation will be doubled by our challenge match, so please say “IDO” by giving generously to Lambda Legal now. Please make us pay to ensure equality for all!”

Visit www.lambdalegal.org to show your support by saying “#IDO.” Say “#IDO” for people across our country who need allies and supporters.

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