Thousands are expected to participate in the National Equality March and Rally on October 11. Organized by Equality Across America, this year’s march celebrates the 30th anniversary of the first LGBT march on Washington and coincides with National Coming Out Day. The full schedule of events for the weekend has been announced on the official website, equalityacrossamerica.org.
A number of prominent LGBT people and allies are scheduled to speak at the march including Cleve Jones, Kate Clinton, Dustin Lance Black, Judy Shepard, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Lt. Dan Choi, Lady Gaga, and Urvashi Vaid. Other highlights of the weekend include a luncheon with Operation Shine on Friday, which will raise awareness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning homeless youth epidemic in Washington, D.C., and a media training workshop with GLAAD. On Saturday, attendants can participate in an Equality to End AIDS/HIV rally and vigil or a workshop on faith communities. A full schedule of events is available online at equalityacrossamerica.org.
The March is being organized by Equality Across America, a network of organizers from each of the 435 Congressional districts, working within their communities for LBGT rights such as protection from hate crimes, marriage equality and the right to openly serve in the military. Organizers hope the march will galvanize the LGBT community to further the fight for equal rights.
“The march is just the beginning,” said March Co-Director Robin McGehee in an interview on gaycities.com. “We are not expecting to wake up on Monday morning with a federal bill on the presidents desk to sign.”
In addition to the march, the 13th Annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner, the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, will take place in Washington on Saturday night. Pop star Lady Gaga and the cast of the TV Show Glee are expected to attend with President Barack Obama as the keynote speaker