Longtime gay activist David Mixner, who in May called for a national march on Washington “to empower our young and to show the nation that anything less than full freedom is unacceptable,” is among the featured speakers at the October 11th National Equality March (NEM) in Washington, organizers announced today.
More than 30 speakers, representing the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and its straight allies, will take the stage at a rally following the march on the west lawn of the Capitol.
“We are coming to Washington with new messages and new strategies to build our national movement,” said Mixner. “We will have one demand in Washington: full and equal and equal protection for LGBT people in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states and the District of Columbia."
Joining Mixner on the stage will be the national co-chairs of the march, Cleve Jones, Lt. Dan Choi, and Nicole-Murray Ramirez. Co-directors of the march, Kip Williams and Robin McGehee, also will be speaking.
Civil rights leader Julian Bond, will be one of the featured speakers. Bond was a founder Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and today serves as Board Chairman of the NAACP, the country’s oldest and largest civil rights organization.
Bond likens the National Equality March to the Civil Rights March of 1963. “We had a dream and marched on Washington to demand our rights; I am proud to stand with the LGBT community as they march for theirs,” he said.
St. Olaf college student Richard Aviles will be speaking on behalf of student activists from across the country, who have organized for the march and are descending on Washington.
Also speaking will be Judy Shepard, who lost her son Matthew to a murder motivated by anti-gay hate and who founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation in his memory. The Foundation is dedicated to working toward the causes championed by Matthew during his life: social justice, diversity awareness and education, and equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
Following is a complete listing of speakers to date.
Dustin Lance Black
Lt. Dan Choi
Hawaii Board of Education Member Kim Coco Iwamoto
Reverend Troy Perry
New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn
Los Angeles Council Member Bill Rosendahl
Falls Church City Council Member Lawrence Webb
The march will be the first step toward a larger goal of creating a national movement – the 50 State Legislative Outreach Campaign -- in all 435 congressional districts to demand of elected representatives full equality under the law.
“The march is just the beginning,” said McGehee. “We are not expecting to wake up on Monday morning with a federal bill on the presidents desk to sign.”
"We will no longer be told to wait. This march is our chance to demand full equal protection under the law, and it will help us realize the dream of Equality Across America: a committed group of grassroots activists in all 435 Congressional Districts,” added Williams.
Just the other day, the organizers also released the route of the march after having secured the permits. Below is the map.
National Equality March Route