Thirty years after gay rights activists staged their first national march in Washington â€“ and coinciding with National Coming Out Day â€“ activists returned to the D.C. this weekend to demand federal action.Organizers of today’s National Equality March say they are ready to shift the conversation from winning on the local level to winning on the national level.The event is a call for congress to act on gay and lesbian legislation, much of which were debated during the first 1979 march.
Join the Impact Chicago, a grassroots gay rights group, organized four sold-out buses carrying 200 people. ChicagoPride.com columnist Michael Lehet reports one of the buses broke down in Genoa, Ohio and some of the group is returning to Chicago this morning.The Coalition for Justice and Respect, an organization for African-American gays on the South and West Sides, has another four vans heading to D.C. with about 60 people. Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network protested outside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington where President Obama addressed the crowd.Â GLN founder Andy Thayer says the group is urging the president to live up to his campaign promises.
LGBT Change plans a rally today at 1 p.m. in Chicago’s Daley Plaza, 50 West Washington Street, for those Chicagoans who couldn’t make it to Washington for the National Equality March to show solidarity.Â Speakers for today’s event in Chicago included Democratic candidate for governor Dan Hynes, House Speaker Jim Madigan and State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago).