Gay Rights Activist Calls For March On Washington

An activist who worked alongside slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk announced plans Sunday for a march on Washington this fall to demand that Congress establish equality and marriage rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Cleve Jones said the march planned for Oct. 11 will coincide with National Coming Out Day and launch a new chapter in the gay rights movement. He made the announcement during a rally at the annual Utah Pride Festival.

"We seek nothing more and nothing less than equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states," Jones said.

He stirred up a crowd of thousands just blocks from the Salt Lake City headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, part of a conservative coalition that worked last fall to pass California's Proposition 8, which overturned a court ruling legalizing gay marriage.

"I've got a message for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," Jones shouted. "I've got two words from California ... I've got two words for the prophet ... Thank you. Thank you for uniting us. Thank you for galvanizing us."

Mormons were among the campaign's most vigorous volunteers and financial contributors, giving tens of millions of dollars to back Proposition 8, which Jones said has helped awaken and unite the gay rights movement in all 50 states.

Like many faiths, Mormons hold traditional marriage as a sacred institution. The church has been active in fighting marriage equality legislation across the U.S. since the 1990s and, in 2006, joined other faiths in asking Congress for a marriage amendment to the Constitution.

Gay marriage is legal in six states. A handful of others allow civil unions for same-sex couples and about 40 either bar the recognition of same-sex marriage or have explicitly defined marriage — through legislation or constitutional amendments — as between a man and a woman.

Jones was a protege of Milk, San Francisco's first openly gay elected official, who was shot and killed by a fellow member of the Board of Supervisors in 1978. In the mid-80s Jones founded the NAMES Project, the AIDS memorial quilt that recognizes the more than 80,000 Americans who have died from HIV/AIDS.

In an interview Friday, he said a confluence of events — a new president, the success of the movie "Milk" and Proposition 8 — makes this the right time to intensify the fight for equality.

Since November, Jones said he has received hundreds of e-mails from Latter-day Saints who apologized and said they were uncomfortable or ashamed by the faith's fight against Proposition 8.

"It's unfortunate that a church and a people who experienced persecution in the past could not come to some accommodation that would allow them to maintain their faith without so vociferously seeking to deny other people their rights," Jones said.

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  • by Derek Location: Greenville on Jun 15, 2009 at 08:12 AM
    Can you imagine the lavish weddings gays would have? talk about turning this economic recession around! If there's money to be made.....
  • by DG Location: NC on Jun 13, 2009 at 07:23 PM
    To the "Other Disgusted", well done. Sums it up in a nutshell. If "straight" people are opposed to their tax dollars funding anything gay related which I see as really not something that is going to happen anyways, but if that be the case, then gays should not have to pay for their, meaning straight people's problems with their tax money. People are people and if gay people pay their taxes just like anyone else, they are entitled to the same things for themselves. It's a no-brainer. Gay people's tax dollars should then NOT be used to pay for straight people's "rights", whatever that means. Gay people's money makes much more of our economy roll than you ever would imagine.
  • by The Other Disgusted Location: Eastern NC on Jun 13, 2009 at 03:17 PM
    Well disgusted, name situation duly noted. God will judge not just gays but everyone, period. Everyone for anything they have done that does not meet his approval. That goes for anything. That means adultery, thievery, lying, cheating and on and on. As far as your hard earned money paying for "gay rights", what exactly does that mean? You arent paying for anything gay related at all... the difference is, the gay folks pay the same taxes, same fees, same everything you do. In fact, they spend probably tons more money than yourself and much more in taxes as their incomes are usually expendable. I dont want my money paying for straight smokers dying of cancer, straight alcoholics in state funded rehab, drug addicts in state funded rehab and on and on. What exactly is YOUR money paying in the gay culture? Probably next to if not nothing at all. So if that be the case with you not wanting to pay for gay rights, gays shouldnt pay for straight people. Not a sermon, just a thought.
  • by Disgusted Location: NC on Jun 13, 2009 at 11:14 AM
    to: the other DISGUSTED: People that have been blogging on here for a long time go by certain names and their opionions R very well known. I just don't want anyone mistaking your comments for mine. As for you saying that I'm judging gays,I'm not, I don't have to, God will. I just don't think I should have my hard earned money paying for their so called "rights". If U truly R disgusted with the posts, why not take the name Disgusted 2, I'll B glad to share!
  • by C on Jun 13, 2009 at 10:44 AM
    Ank: Always a pleasure; the respect is mutual. Thanks for the kind words ! As far as drinking goes, I personally abstain completely. Believe it or not, the strongest drink I've ever had in my life is a Pepsi. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I always enjoy our discourse..because we both know how to disagree without getting hateful or nasty about it ! Such is the difference between adults and children. Anyhow, best weekend wishes to you as well; talk [type?] to you later. Regards, C
  • by pete Location: grifton on Jun 13, 2009 at 08:41 AM
    GOD gave them over to a reprobate mind(they have no idea they are doomed)the only thing they can try is to drag(no pun intended) people down with them.
  • by Ank Location: Greenville on Jun 13, 2009 at 08:22 AM
    C: Great comment. I'm also sure neither of us will change our minds, but I'd like to take a close look at your words anyway. You said, "I simply believe that homosexuality is wrong." I have nothing against that statement, I'm actually referencing it because I like it. I like that you used the word "believe". You believe homosexuality is wrong, which is why you probably shouldn't try homosexuality. But others may not believe the same thing and that should be respected with the condition that they don't hurt anyone or anyone's property. You see I believe heavy drinking is wrong, which is a small part of why I'm straight edge, but who am I to tell someone they shouldn't drink to the brink of alcohol poisoning on a Saturday night if they want to? Thank you C, I hope you find my comment as respectful as I found yours. Have a good weekend.
  • by The Other Disgusted Location: Eastern NC on Jun 13, 2009 at 07:51 AM
    I apologize to the other Disgusted, didn't know there were official names. I will choose another one, but just to inform you, no one "hacked" your name. You make it sound as if i intentionally went into your "account" and stole information. I simply used the word "Disgusted" beacuse I am disgusted reading some of the junk that is being posted here. Whether folks agree with gay marriage or not, unless they are gay, stop talking about it. If you are TRULY a christian, stop judging. If you're sitting here slamming and judging as the bible says you're not supposed to, then you're sinning. No one sin is any worse than another, so check yourselves. But again, I apologize if "disgusted" is your God given protest blog name. I am certain you will eventually get over it.
  • by Disgusted Location: NC on Jun 13, 2009 at 06:02 AM
    To ALL posters, the preceeding post from DISGUSTED, Eastern NC is NOT ME! Someone hacked my blog name! GET YOUR OWN! I am a Chirstian but if people want to be gay, no one can stop them, no more than you can "make someone" stop being an adulterer, murderer, ect., It's all sin. They have to turn from their wicked ways. But I do say that our government should not impose on the rest of us laws to make us accept their lifesyle and take our tax $$$ to support their self inflicted diseases and lifestyles.
  • by Derek Location: Greenville on Jun 13, 2009 at 05:13 AM
    Gator - the end of the human population began when people understood that there is a way to make a profit under someone else's pain. ie: cigarettes, alcohol, fatty foods, etc. You know doctor's used to prescribe today's illegal drugs waaaayyy back in the early 20th century right? Why do you think they are illegal now? because they kill people.

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