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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The National Equality March for LGBT Civil Rights: What it is and why you should come.

The National Equality March for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender civil rights is a national demonstration taking place in Washington DC on Sunday October 11th, 2009. This march is the next step in struggle for full equality being fought by the new LGBT civil rights movement that was born after the passage of Proposition 8 in California. The march is beintg organized by thousands of grassroots LGBT activists and organizations nation wide and has one simple unapologetic demand, “Full equality in all matters of the law, in all 50 states. Now!”

The National Equality March is being organized because as Fredrick Douglass said “Without struggle there is no progress.” LGBT people are still recognized as unequal second class citizens by the United States Government. The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) denies same sex couples federal marriage benefits, 35 states have passed laws prohibiting same sex marriage, same sex relationships are regularly torn apart by immigrant deportations because they are not given the opportunity to marry, in 27 states it is legal to be fired for being lesbian, gay or bisexual, in 35 states it is legal to be fired for being transgender, since the institution of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (DADT) policy in the military over 13,000 service men and women have been dishonorably discharged because of their sexual orientation, thousands of same sex couples are denied adoption opportunities, over 640,000 homeless youth identify as LGBT, and LGBT youth still have the highest rate of suicide compared to any other group.

President Barrack Obama ran his presidential campaign on promises of equality and justice for the LGBT community. Yet the first African American president and the child of biracial parents still clearly says that he refuses to support full marriage equality for the LGBT community, saying that he only support civil unions. Since coming to office Barrack Obama has continued to make promises of equality to the LGBT community yet continues to have his Department of Justice uphold DOMA and has refused to overturn DADT. Obama along with other Democrats such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Barney Frank continue to say full equality is not ‘realistic’ and that we need to be ‘patient’. Barrack Obama’s presidency and the new Democratic Congress has shown that change and equality will not come inevitably and that if oppressed people want the justice and equality they deserve, that we must organize and fight for it. Blacks and other people of color didn’t win equality by patiently waiting for it. They built a grassroots Civil Rights movement of millions that organized, empowered and educated people, protested, sat in, got arrested, and never stopped fighting for their vision of justice and equality. After a decade of struggling they won legal equality and forever transformed the political and social landscape of this country.

We need to learn history so that we can learn from it. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail “Justice delayed is justice denied”. There is no reason why LGBT people need to accept the inequality, discrimination, and injustice we endure. The Civil Rights movement teaches us that if oppressed people and their allies stand up, unite, and fight an uncompromising struggle, they can win! That is why you should help us build the largest student and faculty mobilization possible and join us in making history on October 11th 2009 in Washington DC when we send our message loud and clear to those in power-“FULL LGBT EQUALITY NOW!”

Keegan can be reached at [email protected]

Editor’s note: If you have a response to any of the pieces we choose to publish here at the Mass Media or wish to publish something yourself please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected]. Keep in mind that as a student-run paper we have a certain amount of political freedom within all that we do. Within these few pages we have the ability to host some great discussions and debates about issues that concern us and I hope make this section a platform for all attitudes, no matter how much they disagree. If you would like to help keep independent media strong, we welcome all forms of input. I hope to engage at least some of you in debate this semester, and as you in my classes know this has already begun. Just remember the power of verbal magic. You may have a great idea, but it is useless without great delivery. I hope this becomes a safe sphere in which to practice these crucial civic traits. Thank you for reading our section!

-Stephanie Fail