Economic Downturn Drives Gay Groups to Cut Staff

May gay rights organizations have had to make budgets cuts due to the economic crisis

The souring national economy and resulting drop in donations has already prompted some of the nation’s premier gay rights organizations to make significant cuts in their staffs, reported the Washington Blade on Dec 5.

Among the larger groups, Lambda Legal cut 10 positions in November, while in the same month, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation laid off several staff members. Meanwhile, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is leaving open positions unfilled, and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association reduced its national staff from seven to two. The Human Rights Campaign reports no current plans to lay off staff members.

The cuts, which reach across various departments, come at a time when the gay rights movement nationwide has been awakened by high-profile losses on state amendments, in particular, the Proposition 8 vote to rescind marriage rights for same-sex couples in California.

As non-profits, the gay rights organizations rely on donations from corporate and individual sponsors, many of which have been battered by the decline in stock market and real estate values since the financial crisis emerged full-force over the summer.

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