In a rather surprising move, New York’s biggest LGBT rights groups has announced it’s closing because they have accomplished all their objectives.
Empire State Pride Agenda made the announcement this weekend after 25 years of operation.
When the group was first created it was 1990, and New York had little protection for LGBT people.
But, Pride Agenda have now announced that after the introduction of employment protections for transgender people, it has now fulfilled all of it’s major objectives and the Board of Directors voted unanimously to wind down.
Pride Agenda’s Executive Director, Nathan Schaefer, had this to say: “We have accomplished amazing victories as an organisation and as a community since our founding in 1990. The strides we have made toward equality and justice have been nothing short of extraordinary.”
“It has been a true honour for me to lead this organization during a time of great advancement for our community. I am particularly grateful for the Pride Agenda’s exceptional staff, many of whom will undoubtedly move on to apply their talents to other fronts of the LGBT rights movement.”
The LGBT rights group will begin winding down their operations in the first half of 2016, and will be working to “identify aspects of its policy work to transition to partner LGBT organizations”.
According to Pride Agenda, they have been “been central to over 100 legislative and policy victories for New York’s LGBT community, including adding sexual orientation protections to the state’s nondiscrimination laws, protecting LGBT youth from bullying in schools, and winning marriage equality”.
Andrew Cuomo, New York’s Governor, also paid tribute to Empire State Pride Agenda: “For decades, the Pride Agenda has been a premier champion of the LGBT community in New York – fighting injustice, securing and protecting equal rights, and advancing the principles of dignity and acceptance for all.Over the years this organization has made a difference in – and no doubt saved – countless lives.”
“Together we have restored New York’s status as a progressive beacon for the nation, from securing marriage equality to helping ban transgender discrimination and bringing the end of the AIDS epidemic within reach. I am honoured beyond words to have fought alongside the Pride Agenda and watched its successes over the years. Its impact will be felt for generations to come.”
However, many LGBT supporters have criticised the group for closing it’s doors.
One person wrote via Facebook: “In other words, all of the rich white gay men are now able to marry their partners and they are no longer willing to underwrite LGBT causes now that they got what they wanted and now it’s time for them to move on. This is despite there still be unfinished business in NYS and nationwide.”
Another person also chimed in, saying: “I am greatly saddened by this decision. While LGBT rights have come a long way, there is still much more to do and maintain. The fight is not over. Abortion has been legal since 1973 and yet we still lobby for women’s reproductive rights in New York.”
“The NAACP did not disband in 1964. I really feel that this is a stab in the back to all the amazing Trans* advocates I have met over the years on my trips up to Albany with Pride Agenda.”