In 2000, the presidential election pitted Vice-President Al Gore against George W. Bush in a contentious and mudslinging campaign season. Issues at the forefront of the campaign focused primarily on domestic topics, such as Medicare and Social Security reform, foreign policy, and taxes. When Jeffrey B. Trammell, William & Mary alumnus (’73), was appointed National Chair of Business Outreach for the Gore/Lieberman campaign, he used his position to garner national attention for an issue that had long been ignored: equal rights for gays and lesbians in the United States.
As a prominent member of the Gore campaign, Trammell worked to bridge the gap between politics and the gay and lesbian community. Largely responsible for campaign fundraising activities, Trammell formed the National Gay & Lesbian Leadership Council to work in conjunction with the Business Outreach Committee. Through these groups, Trammell was able to reach out to business leaders and other members of the LGBTQ community to endorse the Vice-President, as well as plan fundraising events at which Gore addressed his stance on equal rights.
Trammell donated a collection of papers to the Special Collections Research Center that document his role while working on the campaign. The collection contains vast information regarding the planning of these events and efforts to mold Gore’s public image as an LGBTQ activist. Business plan documents, memorandums, correspondence, and endorsement forms make up the majority of the collection, and offer behind-the-scenes insights to a presidential campaign.
Jeffrey B. Trammell Papers, 1995-2001, 2007. UA 5.154.