11 October, 2009

National Equality March

Category: DC,Government,Politics,Queer — Moose @ 6:09 pm

I’m glad I attended the National Equality March (NEM). It’s hard to come up with excuses not to go to an event held in your back yard, though heaven knows I’ve begged out of other things. The last “march” in DC for GLBT rights was the Millennium March (MM), and that one felt more like an extended version of DC pride than an actual “march” (in contrast, the MM had a vendor area much like DC’s pride festival, down to the location). This one, at least for the march itself and the rally afterward at the Capitol, felt more purposeful than the generic feel-good atmosphere of the MM. Perhaps because this one was actually called for something, and didn’t feel like a corporate-abused bit of PR for HRC.

And yes, in case you couldn’t tell, I have an exceedingly low opinion of HRC. They got a lovely new building from all their fundraising, and the rest of us got saddled with DADT and DOMA. Not exactly a wonderful trade-off for paying for all their supposed “expertise” on lobbying.

Got down to the Capitol grounds as the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington was in the middle of their performance. I definitely could have done without the religious BS right after the Chorus sang, but I understand that it’s a necessary evil in our society. Popped out after a bit of the rally to go grab food, a very late lunch, but wandered back afterward to meet a Twitter buddy who’d come down from Pittsburgh, and managed to catch Kate Clinton, Urvashi Vaid, Cleve Jones and the cast of Hair (I left again as Lance Black was talking). Kate was funny, Urvashi was strident and allowed to go on for too long. Cleve was good, and the cast of Hair was amazing (Lance was good as well, but I wanted to get home before it got dark).

Hopefully some progress will come out of this, legislatively, and hopefully Cleve will get his (unspoken) wish – a better organized actually grassroots organization to counter HRC and company’s ineffective money pit, and actually get some work done. Were it not for the specter of how much worse a majority Republican Congress would be now (in the modern, nutso-driven version of that party), I’d like to believe we could do something like withhold donations until we got some progress on our issues, but I suspect that’s not practical. Not that I personally give to anyone other than my local politicos anyway, since I have no vote for Congressional representation as a citizen of the District of Columbia, but that’s a rant for another day. In any case, it would be nice to think that at least some of the folks here will go back and start talking to their representatives, Federal, State and local, and put more pressure on those same representatives to protect all of us.

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