Before embarking on any journey, it's important to be clear about the destination. That's why we outlined our goal for an end state of equal opportunity for all.

In this year's annual report, we focus on progress in important aspects of this journey as it affects self, family, career, society, and spiritual life. On all levels, 2007 was a banner year, and while continuing the work, we celebrate our victories and those who made them possible.

The importance of fostering a lifelong, personal dedication to equality, starts in our youth. So, we are increasing emphasis on safe schools as evidence mounts that bullying leads to among other things poorer performance in school and decreased interest in extracurricular activities. We believe the next generation will have more opportunities because of the innovative films of GroundSpark, which let children talk freely about themselves and their families; the growing national Safe Schools Roundtable that encourages the growth of Gay Straight Alliances; and the wonderful work of philanthropists, such as David and Ruth Waterbury, which have all given us hope that the next generation will have a brighter future.

Further, we must be free to seek and find love, establish relationships, and build families. On this front we have seen progress in a number of states. We can thank the many people who work tirelessly in the courts, in their communities, and in their daily lives to tell real stories about loving families and how discrimination impacts them. Mary Bonauto at the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, who has been litigating these issues since 1990, notes that the “outbreak of happiness“ that followed legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts is catching.

Beyond personal and family life, we believe the end state of equality means freedom from discrimination in the workplace and in our larger social networks. We need equal access to education and fairness in employment to support our families. Last year was an especially productive year for winning nondiscrimination legislation at the state level. Collaborative efforts driven by organizations such as One Iowa and the Equality Federation Institute are critical to success in this arena.

Finally, we believe the end state of equality includes freedom from religious vilifications and freedom to worship and find support within our chosen faith. We are encouraged by the efforts of allies such as People for the American Way, whose work with African-American clergy has made a significant difference. We look forward to continuing our collaborations with them and other amazing groups.

Together, we are all strengthening our vision of what the end state of equality will be, making strides every day to arrive at our destination.

Tim Gill