About Garden State Equality

The 13 Garden State Equality Caucuses. Garden State Equality has developed a pathbreaking Caucus program to diversify New Jersey’s LGBT rights movement. Garden State Equality has 13 Caucuses, each of which serves a different demographic community and has a large and active membership. Communities of color and other constituencies have praised Garden State Equality’s Caucus program as a pioneering national model. Here are Garden State Equality’s 13 Caucuses, which you can email by clicking on their respective links:

Garden State Equality African-American Caucus
Garden State Equality Catholic Caucus
Garden State Equality Couples Caucus
Garden State Equality Clergy Caucus
Garden State Equality Corporate and Professional Caucus
Garden State Equality Immigration Caucus
Garden State Equality Labor Caucus
Garden State Equality Latino and Latina Caucus
Garden State Equality People of Faith Caucus
Garden State Equality Real Estate Caucus
Garden State Equality Straight Caucus
Garden State Equality Women’s Caucus
Garden State Equality Youth Caucus

Volunteering at our offices. Garden State Equality has an extensive volunteer program in our statewide headquarters in Montclair. We also have volunteers working in our Trenton office when the legislature is in session. Our volunteers work days, nights and weekends as their own schedules allow. If you would like to volunteer for Garden State Equality, please complete our volunteer form.

Canvassing. Garden State Equality’s volunteers have gone deep into New Jersey’s many communities, including downtown areas, shopping centers, houses of worship, you name it, to collect letters and postcards in support of marriage equality. If you would like help Garden State Equality canvass a community in New Jersey, please complete our volunteer form.

Garden State Equality’s Legends Dinner. Known and beloved by the entire state as simply “Legends,” our black-tie, star-studded annual gala has become New Jersey’s equivalent of the Oscars®. Legends is also one of the landmark stops on the national LGBT civil rights circuit, attended in recent years by 700 to 1,000 guests. Speakers and entertainers have included Governor Mario Cuomo, Senator Frank Lautenberg, actress Fran Drescher, actress Cynthia Nixon, comedian Judy Gold, actor Anthony Rapp, Dreamgirls’ Jennifer Holliday, and many members of Congress and state legislators.

Equality Walk. Each year, Garden State Equality holds an Equality Walk in which our members get sponsored by their family and friends, and do a two to three mile walk on a Sunday. The walk ends at a pub, where hundreds of walkers celebrate the Equality Walk’s success. Our annual Equality Walk has now become as popular as Legends.

Casual fundraisers with changing themes. Complementing Legends, these casual fundraisers have included Shore Sensation, a rock-and-roll clambake on the beach; the Blue Jean Ball, a country-and-western gala at a working farm; and SEAquality, a luxurious day cruise off the Jersey Shore. Our casual fundraisers also include low-dollar fundraisers like our pub quizzes – trivia contests held at pubs across the state.

Anti-bullying training. As the organization that wrote New Jersey’s anti-bullying law with legislators, Garden State Equality knows the law like no one else. We visit schools constantly, charging nothing, to train administrators, teachers and other staff about the new law, and how to comply with it in a practical yet effective manner. We also conduct a different kind of training geared especially to students, and tailor these trainings to be age-appropriate to the schools we visit. If you would like Garden State Equality to visit your school to do an anti-bullying training, please email your name, position, school, town and phone number to Schools@GardenStateEquality.org or call Garden State Equality’s Anti-Bullying Hotline at 1 (877) NJ-BULLY.

Anti-Bullying Helpline. Click here to read more about Garden State Equality’s hotline that receives reports from parents, students and others about incidents of bullying against students.

Speaker’s bureau. Garden State Equality visits all kinds of organizations to speak on every LGBT civil rights issue imaginable. If you would like a Garden State Equality speaker, please email your name, position, organization, town, phone number, date and time of the event, and the issue on which you’d like us to speak to Speakers@GardenStateEquality.org or call us at (973) GSE-LGBT.

Town meetings. This is the program which put Garden State Equality on the map. Tens of thousands of New Jerseyans have attended our town meetings on marriage equality across the state, held throughout the year. Our town meetings have packed houses of worship, municipal halls, community centers, gymnasiums and hotels to the rafters. The town meetings have not only smashed attendance records everywhere in the state, but they’ve also drawn massive coverage from news organizations in New Jersey, the region, the nation and the world.

Neighborhood Summits and Regional Ramp-Ups. Smaller, more personal versions of our town meetings geared to educating particular legislators about marriage equality.

Strategy Summits. Exclusive gatherings at members’s homes where activism happens right on the spot. At each Strategy Summit, one to two dozen activists call their legislators, call other activists in that legislative district, write letters and postcards, and strategize on other ways to influence the local legislator.

Legislative dinners. Assembly members and state Senators meet Garden State Equality members at the members’ homes. Much of the New Jersey legislature has attended at least one town meeting or legislative dinner.

Activist Institutes. Garden State Equality’s Activist Institutes train different constituencies in state-of-the-art organizing skills. Our Clergy Activist Institute, for example, attracted more than 300 pro-marriage equality clergy from across the state.

Telephone town meetings. In Garden State Equality’s telephone town meetings, a public official is on a conference call with as many as 200 people.

“Helping You Personally” seminars. In these seminars, experts talk on legal and financial issues of particular importance to the LGBTI community – and help people understand how unprotected they are without marriage equality, thus intensifying their activism.

Lobbying Days at the State House. Garden State Equality meets with legislators and their staff constantly throughout the year in Trenton and in the legislators’ own districts. We have an office across the street from the State House. We also mobilize our members and allies periodically in formal lobbying days at the State House.
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© Copyright 2013 Garden State Equality
40 S Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey 07042
Garden State Equality is a member of the Equality Federation