rally cry

Your Elected Officials Don’t Care If You March on Washington. That’s a Damn Good Reason to Go


A recovering David Mixner makes some important points in his pitch to get you to D.C. on Oct. 11. Like how, if you’re angered by the contumely exhibited by the Obama administration (and the Democratic Senate and Congress) in their unwillingness to lead the charge on passing gay rights legislation, you should be at the National Equality March to have your voice heard.

This, despite NEM’s own organizers saying they will not specifically demand movement on things like DADT, DOMA, or ENDA.

But perhaps the best reason to go to D.C. next month? Your own legislators don’t care if you’re there. These are the same people who have demonstrated, through inaction, delays, and “we’re too busys,” that they don’t care if you have marriage rights. If you can make life and death decisions for an ill partner. If you should be protected against hate crimes. If you should be forced to pay taxes without equality.

Show ’em why they should.

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  • Andrew

    The MARCH is a waste of time and money. Welcome to 2009 David & Cleve.

    Spend LGBT resources on meaningful and well-managed (primarily local) projects. This March is a distraction and a growing embarrassment to all LGBT efforts.

    Less than 20,000 will be there in a “show of weakness.” Beautiful.

  • InExile

    Finally a somewhat positive story about the march from Queerty!

    Andrew #1 – Get real, more that 20,000 attend the LA gay pride parade! This march will have plenty of people.

  • Jack

    We have to be there and invite all our st8 friends.

  • Andrew

    @InExile: They had projected a “million people.” Everyone will be very embarrassed when less than 20,000 people show up. It makes us look insignificant.

    David Mixner is looking very old and out of touch. He shouldn’t have trusted Cleve Jones.

    This event was over when it was announced. Now, because they don’t have the sense to reschedule – it’s a big embarrassment to the LGBT community.

    We can do better. Work on local projects and make a real difference.

  • Josh

    @InExile: Uhhhh. This March is not a Pride event – It’s an embarrassment event. Everyone but Cleve knows.

    Cancel this please.

  • KyleR

    I wished people would learn about their government. Congress is made up of the House of the Senate and the House of Representatives. I know that those elected to the House of Representatives say they are Congressmen/women for some reason, but it’s completely wrong; they are Representatives in the US Congress. Which is currently the 111th Congress of the United States.

    And as to the March. I don’t know. If our elected officials won’t listen to their constituents when they write/email/call, what makes anyone think a march will accomplish anything?

  • BriGRed

    For those of you on the fence, don’t listen to the Andrews and the Joshs out there. The only embarrassment I see, regardless of the size of the March, are the tired arguments being made by people like them. There is no reason there can’t be a march AND a redoubled effort at the state level. Our community does not lack the resources to do both, it lacks the commitment. Much of the fault for that lies at the feet of the naysayers who would rather tear things down than build them up.

  • Peter

    It just keeps getting goofier:

    National Equality March holds contest for spots at podium

    By Rebecca Armendariz, | Sep. 8 at 3:44 PM | [email protected]

    Organizers for the National Equality March, which is scheduled to take place October 10-11 in D.C., will receive submissions for potential speakers. If you’re looking to take the podium in front of your fellow activists, submit a three-minute audition video that includes why the march is personally important to you.

    Videos should be emailed to [email protected] via yousendit.com no later than 5:00 p.m. PDT on September 17. The winner will be selected based on the highest YouTube ratings combined with the highest numbers of “thumbs ups” from the Facebook page.

    A judging panel will select five of the top video entries to post on YouTube and Facebook and let the public decide who will receive the coveted spots on the podium.

    Judges include: Cathy Marino-Thomas, Marriage Equality, New York City; Molly McKay, Marriage Equality USA, San Francisco; Larry Mahan, youth rights activist, Provincetown, MA; Krishna Stone, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, New York City; Ed Fallon, Independence Movement for Iowa; and Peter Yacabellis, Office of the Governor, Albany, New York.

    Winners will be flown to the March from their hometowns using tickets that were donated to the NEM Campaign. Accommodations have not been donated at this time, but organizers are looking for housing.

    PLEASE make it stop.

  • Andrew

    Editorials are now showing up AGAINST this Charade, errr Parade.

    John Shields:

    National Equality March is a fool’s errand
    October event in D.C. lacks focus and distracts from key fights we must win

    SEP. 3, 2009

    The ill-conceived and poorly planned National Equality March is coming to Washington, D.C. Many have criticized the “event” for a variety of reasons, and national gay rights organizations have either reluctantly endorsed the march or remained on the sidelines.

    Some have said they are not “actively supporting” the march, while others have said, in effect, “let ‘em march.” As a former Air Force officer, I know the saying “lead, follow or get out of the way.” But I also know when it is time to state the obvious, question the judgment of others, and say “Enough is enough.” And this is one of those times. This “march” should be called what it is — a fool’s errand.

    In the past few months I have watched the event organizers in total disarray, lacking key planning skills and unable to develop an effective grassroots organization.

    You only need to look at the march web site to see they have no clear idea of what it is they hope to accomplish, what it takes to successfully build a grassroots movement or how to plan and implement an event.

    The site includes this: “Rally for a weekend of dignity and join us at the National Equality March. We hope to galvanize our movement and knit together a nation that cries for full access, equality & justice for all …We will come together and work together to create the dynamics for a historic moment in fabric of America’s history.”

    This is what I call a “Miss America” answer: Could I have whirled peas with that?

    As I write this, every event except the “rally” (their words) on the West Lawn of an empty U.S. Capitol building (Congress will be out of town) is “to be announced,” including an informal gathering at Arlington National Cemetery and a walk/run around the war memorials on the National Mall.

    For this Washingtonian, it looks like an ordinary weekend in the District of Columbia.

    The fact is that the limited resources utilized in a vain attempt to pull off this march could be used to affect real, positive change for millions of LGBT Americans. Our community is in the midst of waging several battles on the national front, as well as fighting hand-to-hand combat in many states — from Maine to California.

    Additionally, cuts in AIDS and other health and welfare services in many states are jeopardizing the lives and homes of many people with AIDS, including many that led the modern gay rights movement. And the organizers of the National Equality March want people to spend valuable time and resources traveling to D.C. to hold a rally and yell at an empty U.S. Capitol building?

    Also, to step out of the LGBT box for a moment, there’s a major health care reform fight going on, as well as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Add those to realistic worries of swine flu hitting in October, along with a few other things we don’t know are coming down the tracks, and you have an ill-advised and unhelpful “march” that does nothing to combat the very real life-and-death issues facing our community.

    The so-called and self-appointed organizers of the National Equality March should stop this train wreck, turn it around and instead focus their (and our) limited resources on the fights that we can — and must — win.

    Since it is unlikely they will heed my call, however, I have a few challenges for the organizers: Make a pledge to the LGBT community that this isn’t simply a “touch-and-go” operation. Stop being divas and start working in the trenches. Agree to spend 10 days each month in Washington, D.C., lobbying the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress until the Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill is passed, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is enacted and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is repealed.

    Additionally, ensure everyone coming to “your event” attends at least one training session that teaches them how to effectively lobby their representatives, learn how to effectively utilize local and regional media, develop skills to create a public relations campaign for effective change and how to use emerging social media to effect positive change in their own communities.

    Otherwise it’s not a National Equality March, and it does nothing to further our community’s concerns. It’s simply a fool’s errand — one we can ill afford.

  • Philly_Phil

    @BriGRed: You said: “Much of the fault for that lies at the feet of the naysayers who would rather tear things down than build them up.”

    This March is about Cleve Jones eqo trip and NOT an effective or well-planned event.

    At this point (I agree) it’s just an embarrassment.

  • BriGRed

    @Philly_Phil: Please support your statement that the March is nothing more than an ego trip for Cleve. And even if true, I’m not sure what that has to do with the ultimate impact of the March. I can guarantee you I am not marching for Cleve, I am marching for me, my partner my friends and my family. And I know many other young LGBTQ people and allies who will come back from that March with a renewed commitment to staying involved. It won’t matter to me or many others how it made Cleve feel.

    As for your statement about it not being effective, how can you make that assessment BEFORE the March even happens? Shouldn’t that wait until October 12th?

  • Bill Perdue

    @Andrew: Andrew is a waste of time and breath. The march will go on and become an anti-Obama rally in spite of all the efforts of Obots.

    Who cares if Congress is in session. They stay in touch. Lobbying is for Obots and Hilbots and produces nothing.

    @Peter: A typical Democrat, opposed to opening the speakers list to be more inclusive. He probably supported Barney Franks quisling changes to ENDA , especially the one that excluded transpeople from converage. What a dunce.

    @Josh: If you weren’t such abvious plant I’d tell you to save your venom for backstabbing Democrats like Obama and the Clintons.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Andrew: @Peter: @Josh: BTW, do you all get paid for this misinformation campaign by the hour? Per entry? By the word?

  • Philly_Phil

    @BriGRed: If Cleve was REALLY interested in a successful event HE WOULD HAVE PLANNED.

    The March website has had very little traffic. I know people in DC that aren’t going.

    So much for Cleve’s “million people.” They’d be lucky to get 20,000 people. The other 98% of Cleve’s “million” are the SMART ONES – they’re staying home.

  • Josh

    @Bill Perdue: “@Andrew: @Peter: @Josh: BTW, do you all get paid for this misinformation campaign by the hour? Per entry? By the word?”

    Ahhhh, by the number of “replies.” Thanks.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Josh:No, Thank You.

    From now on we won’t reply, we’ll just describe you.

  • Andrew

    Mixner to release statement by Friday.

  • Timmeeeyyy

    @Peter: [email protected]? OMG. I thought this was a parody story from The Onion. I sooooo want to win Equality Idol! Call in America!

  • schlukitz

    For those of you who believe a march on Washington, DC is a “waste of time”.


    Another golden opportunity to get your megaphones and bullhorns out, stand on the sidelines and boo and hiss the protesters.

    Don’t let it pass you by. ;o)

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