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Hope and Fear: LGBTQ Funding in the Age of Trump

The history of social progress in America tends to be a story of two steps forward, one step back. Marginalized groups may win major legal victories, but there’s always pushback. That’s been the case for women, African Americans and others. Recent history shows the same process in play for the LGBTQ community.

The Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision in 2015 to legalize marriage equality across the U.S. isn’t even two years old, but already that triumphant moment feels like a distant memory amid a politics that’s turned hostile to LGBT rights, with trans people feeling especially targeted. To get a better sense of what’s happening at the forefront of LGBTQ philanthropy, I got in touch with Ben Francisco Maulbeck, president of Funders for LGBTQ Issues, and Lyle Matthew Kan, the organization’s research and communications director. This funders affinity group has more than 80 members. According to its most recent Tracking Report, LGBTQ grantmaking reached a new record of $160.7 million in 2015, up from around $100 million in 2010.

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