Indiana Equality will kick off the Fairness 200 Campaign today at 2pm according to a press release by the organization. The Indianapolis Star, Indiana Daily Insight and WIBC already have stories up about the launch of the campaign - and most have quotes from bilerico's own Jerame Davis as the IE Communications Chair.
The campaign will raise $400,000 to hire staff and secure office space for the state's largest LGBT organization. The IE Fundraising Committee will be soliciting 2000 donors to give $1000 each for a total of $200,000. A matching gift of $200,000 is being given by Otis Vincent, co-founder and president of the Northeast Indiana AIDS Memorial.
Jerame Davis, communications chairman for the coalition, said the money will be used to pay for a staff for the mostly volunteer group. He said the funds are needed because the group has grown from about 1,300 members a year ago to more than 6,000, and because the General Assembly plans to vote on a ban on gay marriage and possibly a ban on gay adoption next year.
"We want to be prepared to battle legislation coming at us and be able to pursue our own legislation to enhance civil rights laws for LGBT people," Davis said.
Vincent, who joined the group two months ago, said he was eager to support it. His son died from AIDS 10 years ago at the age of 30.
UPDATE: At the press conference, Otis announced that he was increasing his gift to $275,000 - a quarter of a million dollars!