Be sure to read my report on NFL players supporting gay equality on Examiner.
This is my column from today's Western Tribune. Is this the most "gay equality promoting" column ever printed in an Alabama newspaper by a regular columnist? Maybe.
Western Tribune October 7, 2009
I’ve had a good laugh all week after reading another letter in this paper. The phrase “gay or lesbian homosexuals” caught my eye.
As a knowledgeable gay person it made me wonder who the letter writer was referring to. I didn’t know there were any homosexuals who are not gay or lesbian.
This is Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) History Month and this weekend tens of thousands of people are expected in the nation’s capital to march for equality. This will be the fifth national rally for gay equality, prior marches having taken place in 1979, 1987, 1993, and 2000.
The first protest in Washington DC for gay rights was in 1965 when about ten local men and women picketed with signs in front of the White House after several were fired from federal positions for being gay or lesbian.
But the most notable political rally in Washington was probably the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom during which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Just as the political climate was right in 1963 for national progress on civil rights, the leaders in Washington today all support GLBT equality. In some ways, this march is a celebration of what we expect to come, but more so it is a reminder to those leaders to get on the ball.
Recently Congressman John Lewis was the keynote speaker at Equality Weekend in Birmingham. He recounted some of his personal history in the struggle for civil rights, including being injured here in Alabama, his home state. He equated the fight for GLBT equality to the fight for civil rights. “You cannot wait. You cannot be patient. You want your freedom and you want it now,” he said.
He also said it is not the business of the state or federal government to regulate who should marry whom. One day, he said, we will look back and laugh at ourselves because “the stars didn’t fall over Alabama because people fell in love and got married.”
NAACP chairman Julian Bond has endorsed this march and will be one of the speakers. "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," he explained.
Full equality, as guaranteed by the Constitution, is all we ask.