On November 4th 2008, with the election of Barack Obama and the passage of Proposition 8, a new LGBT civil rights movement was born. Election Day sparked a fire that has spread across the country. It is clear that a new push for LGBT equality is upon us.
Speakers at the rally will include Congressman Barney Frank, Boston Mayor Menino, Cambridge Mayor Simmons (the first openly-lesbian African American mayor in the United States), a clergy member who supports equal rights for LGBT people, a same-sex married couple who is affected by DOMA, and a transgender man who was fired in Massachusetts for being transgender.
Those attending the rally will have an opportunity to sign an open letter to Barack Obama that will be sent directly to newly elected President once he occupies the White House. The letter calls on Obama to keep his promise to the LGBT community. While running for office, Obama wrote an open letter to the LGBT community declaring his support for the repeal of DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, as well as his support for the passage of ENDA and hate-crimes legislation.
Our community is coming together to urge President-Elect Obama and the new Congress to make LGBT equality among its top priorities in the upcoming legislative session. We will no longer be treated like second-class citizens. We will not accept anything less than full equality.
While Massachusetts has a good track record on LGBT equality, there are still many issues facing LGBT citizens of the commonwealth. Massachusetts allows same-sex couples to marry, yet they only receive 25% of the rights, benefits, and privileges that come with marriage. Seventy-five percent of marriage rights are denied to Massachusetts same-sex married couples because of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Openly gay and lesbian people from Massachusetts are barred from joining the military. LGBT people can be fired from their jobs and evicted from their apartments in a majority of the United States simply because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. In Massachusetts, gays and lesbians are protected from employment discrimination, but transgendered people are not.
The demonstration on Saturday is being endorsed by many progressive organizations in Massachusetts, including:
Gay and Lesbian Advocate and Defenders
Greater Boston Civil Rights Coalition
Guerrilla Queer Bar
The Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus
The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts Chapter
National Lawyers Guild, Massachusetts Chapter
The Progressive Project
The Stonewall Warriors
The Young Democrats of Massachusetts
Find out more information by visiting the website: Join The Impact MA