And the Acclaim Award Goes To…

Wow, time flies! It’s the time of year where we come together to honor those in our state who fight for and uplift our community. Please join us at Forum for Equality’s 20th Anniversary Acclaim Awards Gala at the Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday, October 13th!

Honoring Forum for Equality’s 2018 Acclaim Award Winner

Governor John Bel Edwards

Read more about Governor Edwards and his accomplishments here.

2018 has been an exciting year, and we are thrilled to celebrate our victories and prepare for a new year with new challenges and more gains.

Reserve your seat and purchase your discounted Early Bird tickets here!

Do you and your friends want to enjoy the dinner together? If so, sign up to be a table captain! Table captains can buy a table for 10 or put together a group of 10 people who buy tickets to be seated together. We invite all of our table captains to our Patron Party as thanks for their efforts to make the Acclaim Awards Gala the best event of the year! Send me an email at to sign up.

We look forward to celebrating with you at one of the most memorable – and meaningful – events of the year!


Yours in Equality,

SarahJane Guidry

Executive Director, Forum for Equality

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Let the Queens Read!

Libraries are a space for learning and exploration. Over the past few years we have seen an explosion in visibility for the LGBTQ community, and part of that has been through story times hosted all over the country by local drag queens. The positive impact of inclusivity and diversity through these events is felt in the communities we call home.

Members of the local Delta Lambda Phi chapter at UL Lafayette planned to host a Drag Queen Story Time event at the Lafayette Public Library. Some critics began contacting the library and Lafayette Consolidated Government offices to complain. City-Parish President Joel Robideaux decided he would pressure the Lafayette Public Library’s board members to cancel the Story Time event.

Lafayette is a beautiful city with a unique and rich history of diversity, inclusivity, and creative expression in every form imaginable. For many years, Lafayette has provided a safe and accepting home for its vibrant LGBTQ community, and this history includes a long tradition of drag performers having a huge presence in Mardi Gras celebrations, local fundraisers, parties, festivals, drag shows – and now story time readings at the library.

Click here to tell City-Parish President Robideaux that you support our queens’ right to read – and everyone’s right to enjoy their public library as a place where diversity and inclusivity are celebrated!

These popular events are about bringing families together to encourage literacy by reading children’s books in a fun way. Drag queens are performance artists, many of whom have children of their own. And every family should have the opportunity to use the public library as a place to share in our values of love, respect, education and diversity.

The Lafayette Public Library says it best:

All story programs for this age group are designed for families to attend together and involve books, songs and craft activities that encourage interaction among the children. The picture books that are read are content- and age-appropriate. The Drag Queen Story Time will share stories of individuality, openness and acceptance with families seeking an opportunity to show their children that every person is unique and should be treated with equal respect.

With Equality,

SarahJane Guidry
Executive Director, Forum for Equality

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OPEN TO ALL?Our nation decided more than 50 years ago that when a business decides to open its doors to the public, that business should be open to all—a core principle that is at the heart of how we treat one another.

That principle is more important than ever in light of today’s decision. While the Court’s narrowdecision does not create a new license to discriminate, they sided with the baker who discriminated against a same-sex couple. The ruling pertained to the specifics of this case and did not undermine our nation’s core principle that businesses open to the public should be open to all.

“The decision by The Supreme Court on the Masterpiece Cakeshop was based on concerns unique to this specific case. It has reaffirmed the enduring law that states are able to protect its citizens from the harms of discrimination, including against LGBT people. We will continue to fight for these protections here in the Pelican State,” said SarahJane Guidry, Executive Director of Forum for Equality.

That’s why we are a part of the growing chorus of business owners, civil rights advocates, religious leaders, LGBT people and our friends, families and allies that are calling on businesses across our country, to pledge and declare their opposition to discrimination and open to all. It’s time for our state laws to catch up to our state values and protect all Louisianans from discrimination, so that no one can be fired from their job, denied a place to live, or turned away from a business simply because of who they are.

Businesses can join the movement here at home by becoming a member of 
Louisiana Equality Means Business. This is a project of the Forum for Equality Foundation that highlights employers in Louisiana that have adopted comprehensive non-discrimination policies and have demonstrated their commitment to valuing and including everyone. There is more information here: 

And you can join the movement as well as we build a state of equality here in Louisiana.You can find out how to join the movement here!

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Look at you, Louisiana!

What a momentous day for the City of New Orleans, and the great State of Louisiana! As New Orleans continues to celebrate its Tricentennial, we mark a new page in history with the first female mayor of one of nation’s greatest cities. We send our sincere congratulations to Mayor LaToya Cantrell on her first day.

Louisiana is making giant strides this year with three of our largest cities – Shreveport, Baton Rouge and New Orleans – now being led by black female mayors. Each of these mayors has worked to integrate equality into their cities, and we are grateful for their passion and conviction.

Mayor Ollie Tyler of Shreveport stood against the discriminatory Marriage and Conscience Act. And Mayor Sharon Weston-Broome of Baton Rouge hired an LGBTQ liaison and is continuing to protect LGBTQ parish employees from discrimination. We have seen the initiative of these strong female leaders from North to South Louisiana. And today, Mayor LaToya Cantrell joined them with a past of strongly supporting our community through initiatives such as the “Welcoming Cities” resolution. She has repeatedly emphasized that the main focus of her administration will be to double down on New Orleans’ reputation as a place of diversity and inclusion.

Almost thirty years after Forum for Equality’s founding, we can see that our voices are stronger together. The strength of these mayors and the boldness of their forward-looking agenda give us hope that Louisiana will one day be a state of equality for all.


With Equality,

SarahJane Guidry

Executive Director

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Show Your Love!

GiveNOLA Day is almost here! Tuesday, May 1st is a day where thousands of people like YOU raise critical funds for organizations across New Orleans. This is a perfect opportunity to get out and give to a fantastic organization. This year, I am giving to Forum for Equality.

By organizing and fighting back, Forum for Equality has proven — since 1989 — that they are standing on the right side of history. They would not be able to do work like this without your support.

Ways YOU can Give:

1) DONATE at You can schedule your gift now or wait till the big day. I know that $10 can go a long way; a gift of every size is appreciated!
2) CHEERS with us at Urban South Brewery on Tuesday, May 1st! Forum for Equality wants to treat all of their #GiveNOLA donors of $25+ to a local brewski. Click here for more information about our extra happy Happy Hour.
3) SHARE GiveNOLA Day with EVERYONE! Shoot a text to your friends inviting them to Urban South Brewery next Tuesday. Email your coworkers encouraging them to give to Forum for Equality. Invite your family members on Facebook to support equality.
Forum for Equality is leading the charge, but we need to be stronger all across Louisiana. Join us as we fight the good fight to bring equality to every corner of the Bayou State. Thank you for standing on the right side of history.
In Equality,
Samuel Bradley, Jr.
Forum for Equality Foundation, Vice-Chair
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#GiveNOLADay 2018

#GiveNOLADay is almost here! May 1st is a day where thousands of people like YOU raise critical funds for organizations across New Orleans. Schedule your gift to Forum for Equality at then join us for Forum for Equality’s extra happy Happy Hour at Urban South Brewery! Facebook event page HERE


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Your Senator Needs To Hear from YOU!

The Louisiana Employment Nondiscrimination Act (LENDA) is coming up for a vote in the Senate and Forum for Equality needs YOU!

All hardworking people should be treated fairly and equally by the laws of our state. Everyone should have the opportunity to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families, regardless of who they are or whom they love.

It is imperative that you tell your Senator right now that you support LENDA, because protecting people from discrimination, including LGBTQ people, is the right thing to do. Click here to send YOUR Senator an email of support for LENDA (SB 219).
We know that over 70% of Louisianans support workplace protections for the LGBTQ community. It is time for Louisiana law to reflect Louisiana values.

With Equality,
SarahJane Guidry
Executive Director, Forum for Equality

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