Tuesday, September 15, 2009

J1: Survey of Gay Rights and the current Progress, Struggles.

Hello, I received this letter from a gay activist, who was a student and a friend of Harvey Milk's (There is a documentary on Harvey Milk, recommended, as well as the featured award-winning film: Milk)

I'd like this to be covered as a survey of the progress, perhaps a timeline? With the current struggles, opinions.

Of course, this is a north star, but you can let it direct you in a different way.

Dear Friends:

It has been over 30 years since my friend and teacher, gay rights activist Harvey Milk, was assassinated. Today, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have won limited rights in a handful of states, but we are still second class citizens throughout the United States.

Harvey once said, "It takes no compromising to give people their rights."

This morning, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced a bill in Congress to repeal the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act." If passed by the Congress, Rep. Nadler's legislation would be a real step forward in the march for full equality and we applaud his efforts, but LGBT people must stop settling for compromises and half measures.

Send a message to your Representative demanding full equality now!


Equal rights are not a "gay" issue. They are about our shared human rights: safety in our schools and jobs, equitable healthcare and housing, and protection for our families, to name a few.

Like all other Americans, LGBT people are guaranteed equal protection under the law by the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Free and equal people do not compromise, and that's why we're marching on Washington on October 11 with one simple demand: Equal protection for LGBT people in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states. Now.

Please send a letter to your Representative to say that repealing DOMA is a good start, but it isn't enough. There are no fractions of equality.


When Harvey spoke at Gay Freedom Day at San Francisco City Hall in 1978, he invoked the words of the Declaration of Independence: "All [people] are created equal. No matter how hard you try, you can never erase those words."

No more compromises. We are equal.

-Cleve Jones

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