Minneapolis will host more than 160 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocates next week for an annual summer meeting, where participants will celebrate the passage of recent same-sex marriage measures and continue discussions about how to push the movement forward.
The three-day gathering, called Summer Meeting 2014, will run from July 29 - Aug. 2. Equality Federation Institute, a partner with state-based LGBT advocacy organizations, sponsors the event which attracts gay rights supporters, national leaders and lobbyists looking to build support for equality.
Officials said Minnesota was chosen to host the meeting because of its “spectacular three years” in advancing rights of gay and transgender people – including defeating a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage in 2012, legalizing same-sex marriage in 2013, and passing antibullying legislation in 2014.
“We wanted to shine light on the work that’s happening and the work that’s still being done in the state,” said Jace Woodrum, director of communications at the Equality Federation Institute.
Minnesota is one of the first states to hold an equality meeting after legalizing same-sex marriage. The gay rights movement has been defined by the issue of marriage for so long, Woodrum said, that now state leaders are trying to envision what it looks like to advocate for gay and transgender people after marriage is legal.
“It’s a really unique time to be in Minnesota and it’s a perfect place to wrestle with some of those big questions,” Woodrum said.