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Equality Kansas, formerly the Kansas Equality Coalition, was established in October 2005. Originally formed by the merger of independent LGBT advocacy groups in Topeka, Manhattan, and Wichita, Equality Kansas is a chapter-based grassroots organization. We currently have 11 chapters and over 2000 members around the state.
Our members are the backbone of Equality Kansas. We are a dues-based membership organization, and are 100% member supported and funded.
Our mission is to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We work towards our mission through education, public policy advocacy, and political action.
During the Kansas legislative session, generally January through May, Equality Kansas maintains a full-time lobbying presence in our statehouse. We advocate for legislation that will advance our mission of ending discrimination, preventing school bullying, preserving LGBT voting rights, and ending the ban on marriage equality. We fight against bills that would outlaw LGBT parenting options, legalize discrimination against LGBT Kansans in the name of “religious freedom,” and all other attempts to restrict or deny rights to the Kansas LGBT population.
Our chapters advocate for local non-discrimination policies and ordinances, work with youth to establish high school GSA clubs, and work with local school districts on bullying prevention and comprehensive sex ed policies. Beyond public policy, our rural chapters provide support and a “social center” for otherwise isolated LGBT Kansans who live and work in the remote parts of our state.
Through our political action committee, Kansas Equality PAC, we endorse and support candidates for public office who are LGBT, or who support our mission in local and state government.
Each of our chapters are autonomous. They are organized and incorporated independently, but all adopt standardized bylaws and adhere to uniform chapter standards. Each chapter elects its own board of directors, and is free to focus on activities appropriate for their local communities and needs. All chapters are led by volunteers.
Each chapter assigns two of its officers to represent it at our Chapter Conference (similar to a board of directors). The Chapter Conference, composed of two representatives from each chapter plus three at-large members, oversees and coordinates the activities of the organization as a whole.
Since 2012, Equality Kansas has employed an Executive Director, whose duties include lobbying the Kansas State Legislature, managing the day-to-day operations of the organization, and providing advice and logistical support to statewide and chapter leadership. The Executive Director reports to the state chair and the Chapter Conference executive committee.