Since 2008, Taproot has been proud to celebrate a holiday we call “Matt O’Grady Day.” Matt O’Grady Day commemorates the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States by celebrating the wedding anniversary of long-time Taproot staff member, Matt O’Grady, to his husband Steve Van Landingham.
On June 19, 2008, Matt and Steve got married at San Francisco’s City Hall, with over 100 friends and family celebrating alongside them. Also in attendance–many “Roots” (Taproot staff) from Taproot’s San Francisco office, where Matt was Vice President of National Expansion.
Aaron Hurst, Taproot’s founder, celebrated the momentous day by giving Taproot staff a paid holiday to commemorate Matt O’Grady’s marriage:
From this year forward, we will close our offices every year to celebrate the wedding anniversary of Matt O’Grady—and more importantly to celebrate a major milestone in the civil rights movement in this country: the legalization of gay marriage. – Aaron Hurst, Taproot Foundation’s founder
Matt O’Grady Day’s Lasting Impact
For an organization seeking societal change, this was a monumental occasion and an opportunity to shape Taproot’s culture for the future. Every year, Taproot celebrates Matt’s anniversary, as his marriage represents a step forward in the long fight for civil rights for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Matt O’Grady Day isn’t so much about me as it is about the monumental step forward society took in that amazing, unlikely, dizzying series of events. In less time than it takes some couples to fall in love and get married, American society has progressed from treating relationships like Steve’s and mine as felonious to fully recognized nationwide. The long arc of history does bend toward justice. Matt O’Grady Day is a celebration of this advance and a celebration of what it means to be a Root. – Matt O’Grady, former Taproot executive
Matt was a pioneer, but marking this day is about more than just Matt and Steve’s marriage—it’s about justice, civil rights, and celebrating the victories in the continued fight for LGBTQIA+ rights. We take this day to honor the struggles to date, appreciate the victories, and recommit ourselves to the work that lies ahead.
We celebrate Matt O’Grady Day on June 26, the day the Supreme Court handed down their 5-4 opinion in favor of marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, in commemoration of that critical continued advancement for civil rights.
Matt O’Grady Day is both a celebration of the civil rights that activists have won and protected, and a day of service, engagement, learning, and reflection on how we can do better. We are taking this opportunity to pause and take time to recognize social justice milestones and the crusaders paving the way to a more equitable world. – Lindsay Gruber, Taproot President & CEO
Want to Support the LGBTQIA+ Community?
Here are some LGBTQIA+ nonprofits you can volunteer with right now through Taproot Plus:
- A.B.O. Comix publishes the creative content of LGBTQ prisoners, and they seek support to create a marketing strategy.
- Pelvic Sanctuary increases diversity and inclusion within Pelvic Health services and education. They need accounting advice to clarify compliance regarding income.
- TRACTION cultivates connection and visibility for transgender and gender-diverse people through community service. They need a QuickBooks expert!
- Trans Advocacy and Care Team (TACT) champions the well-being of transgender and non-binary individuals. Can you help them develop an SEO strategy?