As October draws near, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people prepare to hit Washington D.C. for the National Equality March to take place October 10 – 11, 2009. What is the goal? It’s one demand – “Equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states.” With Barack Obama in the White House, Cleve Jones, the head of Equality Across America and the National Equality March, feels the time is ripe for the LGBT community to take a stand and to demand equal protection under the law.
The focus is on the 14th amendment of the United State’s Constitution, which provides full citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, ” and which declares that no “state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The goal of the National Equality March is to let elected leaders know that the LGBT community demands equal rights now.
The National Equality March is more of a kick-off for the larger goals of the Equality Across America campaign. The National Equality March is designed to energize the community for the work that needs to be done. As stated on the Equality Across America website, “We will gather. We will strategize. We will march.” The plan for the Equality Across America campaign is to “decentralize” organizing in every one of the 435 Congressional districts.
As reported by Amy Cavanaugh, of the Washingtonblade.com/news, the event has the support of a number of celebrities, lawmakers and LGBT activists. Two of the celebrities on hand for the event will be Alan Cummings, a bisexual actor, and the actress Charlize Theron. Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard who was murdered in Wyoming, will also attend. As Kip Williams, director of Equality across America, said in Washingtonblade.com/news, “I’ve been having conversations with folks, and people are seeing the bigger pictures and the hopes and dreams of what this march is about for us.” More prominent people are expected to join the effort as the days for the National Equality March draws closer.
In addition to the National Equality March, Kip Williams reported that other plans are in the works, which include reaching out to student organizations and taking advantage of social networking on both the National Equality March’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.
In addition to the march, organizers of the National Equality March are reminding supporters of the battle for gay marriage. For example, in Maine, gay marriage became legal on May 6, but opposers of gay marriage are arranging to challenge gay marriage in Maine with a proposition similar to Prop 8.
Equality Across America website
Amy Cavanaugh, Big names back National Equality March , Washingtonblade.com/news
Wikipedia – 14th Amendment United States Constitution