The National Equality March is the end of a big weekend for the gay community. Today, the National Equality March is held with the hope that this weekend was a turning point. The National Equality March will still have thousands of protestors demanding equal rights for homosexuals, so their job is far from done. But after hearing from President Obama yesterday, those in the National Equality March hope that the President is now back on their side.
The National Equality March is not just on Washington D.C. today, but on several other major cities across the nation. This is the gay community’s latest effort to put pressure on elected officials to protect their rights. The main calls, as always, are for legalized gay marriage, an end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and stronger discrimination laws.
President Obama is at the center of the National Equality March, even if he won’t be in attendance. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people have had an uneasy relationship with President Obama for some time, as he has rarely appeared fully supportive of the gay agenda to them. By dragging his feet on his campaign promise to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the President has lost even more support with the GLBT community leading up to the march.
Yesterday, President Obama tried to get it back, by repeating his promise to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in a speech yesterday. However, he did not give a timetable for doing so, making some skeptics believe he is still stringing them along. With many on the left getting angry at the President for his slow progress on health care reform, the wars, and the economy, getting faster progress on gay rights is looking unlikely to them.
As such, the National Equality March in D.C. today is now even more important, as homosexuals seek to keep the pressure on the President to keep his word. But even their biggest supporter in Congress, openly gay Rep. Barney Frank, has publicly said that the National Equality March will do nothing to improve things.
Frank instead urged supporters to spend more time lobbying their representatives, who are about to vote on new hate-crimes legislation. March organizers maintain that the gatherings will help bring more people to their cause that will do just that.
In the past, President Obama’s supporters have said that the slow pace of gay rights advances and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are due to the various other things on the President’s plate. With the National Equality Marches today, the gay community hopes to make the President decide that he has some spare time for them after all, before he goes back to those other things.
NBC Washington- “Thousands Descend on Capital for Gay Rights March” www.nbcwashington.com/news/politics/NATL-Gay-Rights–63960927.html
Associated Press- “Frank urges gay activists to lobby for change” www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iwqcIzMTqzeN0F8AYMDZ9uggUsLwD9B8KR5G2
GLBT News- “Barney Frank is Wrong About the National Equality March. Here are Five Reasons Why” www.tips-q.com/news/msm/1462787-barney-frank-wrong-about-national-equality-march-here-are-five-reasons-why