Equal Rights Washington
MottoEqual Rights Washington (ERW) works to ensure and promote dignity, safety, and equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Washingtonians.
HeadquartersSeattle, Washington

Equal Rights Washington (ERW) is Washington’s largest state-wide LGBT advocacy and community outreach organization. ERW's mission is to ensure and promote dignity, safety, and equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Washingtonians.

Equal Rights Washington consists of three organizations: ERW, a 501(c)(4) organization which focuses on political advocacy, the ERW Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization which focuses on public education with regard to LGBT issues in Washington, and the ERW PAC, a registered political action committee which exists to provide support to equality-minded candidates for elected office in Washington state.

History[edit | edit source]

ERW was founded in 2004 to assist in the passage of Washington State's LGBT anti-discrimination bill, which for 28 years had been introduced in the state legislature, but never passed. In 2006, ERW played a crucial role in securing the passage of this legislation. ERW was also a central player in the fight to have the Washington State Supreme Court give marriage rights to same-sex couples. In 2006, the Court decided not to grant those rights. In 2007, ERW supported the successful passage of Washington State's domestic partner law, which grants a few of the rights of marriage to same-sex (as well as 65+ same sex unmarried senior) couples. In 2008, over 100 additional state-level benefits of marriage were added to the original domestic partnership law. ERW's goal, however, is for full marriage for same sex couples. In addition to discrimination and relationship issues, ERW also actively lobbies on behalf of LGBT youth, transgender issues, health concerns impacting the LGBT community, and other issues.

Operations[edit | edit source]

ERW has a staff of fourteen, including Connie Watts, executive director; Michal Wiesbrock, development coordinator; and Joshua Friedes, advocacy director. It operates out of an office in Seattle, Washington's First Hill neighborhood.

External links[edit | edit source]

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