Dear friends, allies, and supporters of LGBT equality:
We are writing to inform the community of a critical situation with respect to Equality Maryland. You have entrusted us with the stewardship of this organization. So we feel it's necessary to share with you an accurate picture of the state of this important community resource and what our hope is for Equality Maryland's future.
Based on our listening tour across the state, we know that you want Equality Maryland to survive and succeed. Equality Maryland needs your support, including financially, to make that happen.
Since late 2010, when we assumed our leadership roles on the Board of Directors, we have become increasingly aware of deficiencies in the organization. We realized early on that we had to take action to rectify these problems. At the same time, we were focused on advancing the gender identity anti-discrimination and marriage equality bills, which had their first real opportunity for success in the 2011 General Assembly. We thus attempted to manage the organization's problems through internal controls without making any changes that could undermine the viability of either bill.
As you know, the gender identity and marriage bills did not pass. However, they progressed significantly further than ever before, and are positioned for a successful outcome in the near future. For this, we owe much gratitude to all who made this achievement possible, including Maryland's LGBT community, the staff of Equality Maryland, state and national partner organizations, Maryland's openly gay and lesbian legislators, and all our allied legislators and public officials.
Last month the board of Directors took a step that we had hoped to avoid, but was necessary to restore the organization's integrity and viability - we voted to remove the Executive Director. We took this action with regret, but because our duty as guardians of Equality Maryland compelled it. We also regret that the Executive Director resigned while we were in the process of negotiating an amicable separation.
We subsequently received assistance from the Equality Federation in obtaining an Interim Executive Director who could stabilize and assess the organization. Based on an analysis that revealed certain factors previously unknown to the Board of Directors, we now understand that Equality Maryland's financial status is in worse condition than we had realized.
We intend to take additional steps to keep Equality Maryland viable. We also want you to have a voice in the organization's future and need your assistance to keep the organization alive. Please support and stand with Equality Maryland.
Equality Maryland Board of Directors - Chuck Butler, Patrick Wojahn, Lisa Polyak, Rosemary Nicolosi, Darrell Carrington, David Lublin, and Mark Yost