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National Equality March

The National Equality March (website, Wikipedia) held in Washington DC yesterday on the anniversary of National Coming Out Day was not at well attended as some of the previous marches--in particular, those in 1993 and 2000--but still drew a substantial crowd:

20091012-equalitymarch.jpg
(Anthony Umrani/CNN)

It's interesting to see that the largest march since at least the 9/12 Teabagger rally (insert caveat about crowd estimates here*) received such drastically smaller media coverage. (I suppose that's to be expected, since no network devoted its time to cheerleading for the event...)

Obama's address at the 13th annual Human Rights Campaign dinner the previous evening (video from HRC; transcript from the White House). was largely an attempt to mollify his critics:

And while progress may be taking longer than you'd like as a result of all that we face -- and that's the truth -- do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach. (Applause.)

To digress for a moment, I noticed that Obama described the "decade-long struggle" to pass the Matthew Shepard Act as "a testament to Matthew and to others who've been the victims of attacks not just meant to break bones, but to break spirits -- not meant just to inflict harm, but to instill fear." He did everything but explicitly identify bias-based violence as the terrorism that it so clearly is.

On a more historic note, this post from pundit Andrew Sullivan features a "sacred artefact" of the LGBT right movement:

20091012-sullivansign.jpg
(Andrew Sullivan holds some Pride flags and a vintage gay rights protest sign while his husband Aaron holds their dog .)

As noted by Sullivan, that sign was held aloft in one of the first gay-rights marches--in 1965, four years before Stonewall. It is always important to remember how much progress has been made, even while--as with Obama--we are frustrated with its slow pace within the temporal space of our own lives.


* Time magazine estimated the march at "something like 200,000 people"--which would make it 2 to 3 times as large as the Teabagger rally

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