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National Equality March: “The Beginning of the Struggle” (Updated)

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opednews.com Headlined to None 10/11/09

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UPDATE

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Quotes from the Rally -Posted at 3:45 PM ET

"All I can think about is how many tears will be shed so some politician in some back room can have more time to figure out [how to get equality for all LGBT people]" -David Mixner, Democratic Strategist talking about having to tell lover his parents wouldn't come see him before he died of AIDS

"Make president move beyond words. Right sentiment isn't enough anymore." -Cynthia Nixon, actress

"I'm telling you that the era of asking is over. We will tell." -Lt. Dan Choi

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"...Bigger group than those tea party people..." - Bill Rosendahl

"Nobody should be patient when it comes to the denial of basic human rights." - Stuart Applebaum

Original Entry

In less than two hours, one of the most important social and political events in the history of the fight for LGBT equality will begin. A march in D.C., a culmination of a weekend of breakout sessions, trainings, breakfasts, dinners, will take off and head to the Capitol Building.

I spoke with the co-communications director for the National Equality March, Phil Siegel. He addressed the situation as the GLBT community prepares for this monumental event:

"Right now, what the situation is people can still be thrown out of their jobs and taken out of their homes for being GLBT in several states. On the general level, there's no legislation protecting a class of American citizens and therefore it's really difficult to talk about all men are created equal when there's such a disparity of rights throughout the country."

I asked Siegel to address the fact that religious extremists will be at the event and explain whether he thought religious interests will be able to stall the agenda of the LGBT community as it moves forward:

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"They can argue all they want. They are out of touch with the mainstream of America. When you look at polls, when you look at young people in America, when you look at where this country is going, the idea of discriminating against a class of Americans for being who they are is un-American. So, the religious right can belly ache all they want but that's their religious belief and they have every right to have their religious belieft but they have no right to have their religious belief being dictated to a large percentage of the American population.

Truth be told, whatever the religious right has done historically seems to be irrelevant. They will not be what prevent a class of Americans from having equality. The president and Congress are what really stand in the way.

This march has been organized to spark action in all congressional districts across America. Throughout the weekend, Siegel explained, Congressional District Action Teams (CDATs) have been organizing. With the support of Equality Across America, these teams plan to "act locally, think federally" and allow for Americans to constantly be pressuring the congressmen to pass reforms that grant lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender people equality throughout America.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for OpEdNews.com

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