The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s presence throughout the National Equality March weekend will include speeches at the official rally by current board members and a past executive director, as well as a training on grassroots organizing to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and participation in events from the welcome reception to the interfaith service. Task Force staff, members and supporters will also walk behind the Task Force banner for the march itself on Oct. 11 in Washington, D.C.
The National Equality March will also serve as the kickoff for the Task Force’s “Queer the Census” public education campaign, which spotlights the importance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people filling out the 2010 census, and advocates for the inclusion of LGBT lives in other federal surveys as well.
"For the past 30 years, LGBT people and our allies have come together in Washington to be inspired, to engage in political action, and to go home geared up to create change. The National Equality March will bring together those of us who have never marched, those who want to renew their passion for action, and those who demand their voices be heard. When we mobilize for LGBT equality, for racial and economic justice, for a transformed society, and to make our love and lives visible, the Task Force is there. We will be there at the march to support the voices of new activists, LGBT people and our allies who push and push for the end to hatred, discrimination and unjust laws," says National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey.
The Task Force’s participation in this weekend’s events include:
Friday, Oct. 9:
- Executive Director Rea Carey will speak at a welcome reception hosted by the National Stonewall Democrats, Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, Stonewall Democrats of Central MD and Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club at 6 p.m. at Halo Lounge, 1435 P St. NW
- Deputy Executive Director Rev. Darlene Nipper, who is an ordained interfaith minister and practicing Vipassana Buddhist, will participate in the “Faith and the LGBT Community” town hall at 7 p.m. at the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, 474 Ridge St. NW
Saturday, Oct. 10:
- Noon–2 p.m.: The Task Force, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Center for Lesbian Rights and PFLAG National are hosting a training titled “Your Role in Passing ENDA: Grassroots Organizing Training.” Come to this training, meet the experts, get an update on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), learn about “local action teams” and how they are critical to passing this legislation, and get the tools necessary to join the grassroots mobilization to pass an inclusive ENDA. With special guest Marsha Botzer, Task Force board co-chair, national transgender leader and National Equality March speaker. Location: Center for Community Change, 1536 U Street NW at 16th Street.
- Executive Director Rea Carey, Deputy Executive Director of External Relations Russell Roybal and Task Force board co-chair Marsha Botzer will be honored with the International Jose Julio Sarria Civil Rights Award by the International Court System at the Imperial Court of New York’s “Marching for Equality…in Heels” cocktail reception, at 8 p.m. at the Renaissance M Street Hotel, 1143 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Sunday, Oct. 11:
- Task Force staff, members and supporters will march under the Task Force banner at the National Equality March at noon, beginning at 15th and I streets. Please join us! Look for our pink-and-purple balloon arch on the corner of 15th and M streets.
- National Equality March co-chair and Task Force board member Nicole Murray-Ramirez, Task Force board co-chair Marsha Botzer and former Task Force Executive Director Urvashi Vaid will speak at the 2 p.m. National Equality March rally at the Capitol. Deputy Executive Director Rev. Darlene Nipper will also be among the interfaith leaders taking part in the official invocation at the start of the rally.
Read the compelling Article of Faith by the Rev. Nancy Wilson of the National Religious Leadership Roundtable on why people of faith will be visible at the National Equality March.
She writes: “Like the earlier civil rights movement, our LGBT movement is undergirded by spiritual and religious passions. At the same time, our movement itself has a chip on its shoulder about religion and spirituality — believing that religion is the problem: can you blame us? I am marching to say that spiritual and religious values can also be the solution!”
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