Staff Spotlight: Sarah Vaughan Brings Deep Expertise to Fight for Non-Discrimination

By Shane Stahl • December 21, 2017 • 9:49 am

The second of our Staff Spotlights series features Freedom For All Americans’ VP of State Campaigns, Sarah Vaughan. In her day to day work, Sarah leverages relationships and collaborates with lawmakers in several states to craft and pass comprehensive non-discrimination legislation. An accomplished legislative consultant, Sarah is also the only member (so far) of the Freedom For All Americans team raising children. 

Freedom for All Americans: Tell us a bit about yourself!

I was born and raised in North Carolina and got into politics early as an outlet to fight against people like the divisive NC Senator Jesse Helms. I followed my big brother to Colorado, spent one summer on his couch, and then made Colorado my forever home. I graduated from CU–Boulder and have my masters degree in Public Administration from CU–Denver where I currently, happily reside with my husband, 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.  I have spent the last 15 years of my career working around state legislatures and advocating for issues I believe in.

How did you get involved in the movement for LGBTQ non-discrimination?

I was living in Washington, DC and working in partisan politics, and I saw that a lot of my friends weren’t being treated equally under the law.  I realized I could leverage my relationships with state lawmakers to pass pro-LGBTQ bills in the states I had been working in for years. I  immediately identified the LGBTQ organization I wanted to work for and began convincing them to hire me full-time!

Is there a particular moment you’ve experienced in your work that sticks with you? Why?

Too many to list, but it has given me immense joy to watch the lawmakers I helped elect vote for marriage equality and protections for my LGBTQ friends. I am also moved by the courage of kids across the country that wait for hours to speak up in front of all of these adults for their right to simply be themselves. Kudos to their parents too – for getting them there and supporting them along the way.

What would you say to people who want to take action for LGBTQ equality? What are simple steps they can take?

There is plenty you can do, so get involved!  We need everyone involved – straight allies too!  Get involved with Freedom for All Americans, and know what’s happening in your state.  Check out your local LGBTQ group. There are several moms & parents groups too. You can call or meet with your legislator, give money or your time, or just tell your story and why you care!

Why does non-discrimination matter to you?

I want to raise my children in a country where everyone is treated equally under the law and is free to be themselves.

Self-care is important in these times when horrible and unpleasant things are said and done regarding LGBTQ rights – what kind of self-care do you practice?

I have regular dance parties with my toddlers…that puts it all in perspective.

[fbcomments url=""]