Wednesday, August 19, 2009

NAACP Chairman Julian Bond Adds to Growing List of National Equality March Endorsements

NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, who garnered much praise for his speech at a Los Angeles Human Rights Campaign dinner earlier this year, recently decided to endorse October's National Equality March. Here's the press release from march organizers:
Broad-based support for the National Equality March (NEM) has been growing exponentially across the country over the past few weeks, according to its organizer Equality Across America (EAA). Thousands of Americans are hearing the drumbeat for LGBT equality and plan to follow it to the nation’s capital this October.

Thousands of individuals representing dozens of organizations from across the country have gone to the organization’s website to sign up as EAA Congressional District Actions Teams (CDATs) in order to work at the local level to make their support of key LGBT issues known to their elected officials.

Most notably, recent endorsements for the NEM have come from allies representing organizations not usually thought of as part of the immediate LGBT community. US Representative, Danny K. Davis, of Chicago, Illinois; Michael Letwin, Co-Convener, New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW); and NAACP Board Chairman, Julian Bond, have all recently voiced their support for the NEM.

"GLBT rights are civil rights; there are no 'special rights' in America. Everyone has rights - or should have - and I am happy to join in this battle for justice and fairness," explains Bond.

Other notable endorsements include Susan Stryker, Associate Professor of Gender Studies at Indiana University and author of “Transgender History”; and the Tony Award-winning production of Broadway’s Hair, which will be going dark for the weekend of the NEM in order to attend the event.

EAA supports individuals from every industry to do what is within their power to support full equality for LGBT Americans and their families, and many have been making bold choices to voice such support. Huffingtonpost.com featured blogger, Lane Hudson, even went so far as to interrupt President Clinton during a keynote address to a Netroots Nation conference last week by asking, “Mr. President, will you call for a repeal of DOMA and Don't Ask, Don't Tell? Right now?"
On top of these endorsements, many others are also voicing their support for the march.

Blogger Bil Browning, who was originally against the march, wrote this week on both his blog, Bilerico Project, and the Huffington Post, "The young new activists and online media gurus are not diametrically opposed to established lobbying efforts and infrastructure. We have to find a way to bring all of our best activists, strategists and lobbyists together in a way that allows them to work in conjunction while checking our egos at the door."

He left nothing to the imagination when he wrote, "I've decided to whole-heartedly endorse Equality Across America and the National Equality March."

Lieutenant Dan Choi, who was discharged under Don't Ask Don't Tell under Obama and has since become one of the many faces diligently working to overturn the policy, penned a piece on Pam's House Blend in support of the march.
The Equality March is absolutely essential to me for two reasons.

First, because, for so many of us, this is our first time raising our voices. We need to stand together, in our nation’s capital, and claim our place as part of this magnificent national movement, at exactly this moment. More experienced activists and leaders need to mobilize, motivate, and train the less experienced – we all have to feel in their bones how critical this work is. And we need to come together as a community, so that when we go back to our cities, suburbs, and small towns, we remain part of the larger effort that spans the country.

Training is critical, and Equality Across America is committed to using this valuable time to provide information, workshops, and networking so that those who attend will go home ready to make things happen in their communities and states.

Second, the Senate hearings on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” convene in October. For LGBT veterans, NOW is the time to be visible for those who are invisible, to be heard while others must stay silent. This is a “mandatory formation” for all vets who gave up their service because they could no longer live a lie, or who were hounded out because of who they loved, and for those who support them.

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2009 can be a milestone, a tipping point. This is the year when we step up to our full citizenship as Americans: marrying and raising families, serving in our military. Join us in Washington on October 11 to tell the whole nation.

Find out more about the march at NationalEqualityMarch.org and the organization behind it, Equality Across America at EqualityAcrossAmerica.org.

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