60 Days to National Equality March
There are exactly two months left until the “National Equality March” on Washington – and as the time grows shorter, critics of the event are getting louder. Bloggers, activists, and community leaders are concerned about the event. Some say organizers haven’t done enough to ensure a turnout that the media would call a success.
Others wonder how much impact the event will actually have. Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said he hopes the march will energize the gay community – but he says people can have more impact by lobbying at the local level.
Solmonese: “If you live in Des Moines Iowa or Duluth Minnesota, and you make your way to Washington DC, and you show up at the office of your member of Congress, that’s incredibly powerful. But it’s even more powerful to show up at their district office.”
And if activists are willing to travel, many organizers say there’s a better use of their time, energy, and money. October 11th falls right in the middle of a campaign in Maine – where a newly-passed gay marriage law will likely be challenged at the ballot box. Steven Goldstein of New Jersey’s Garden State Equality told the Washington Blade the march will be “a pain in the tuchis for those of us at the state and local level.”
But one activist who doesn’t think the March will hurt Maine’s gay marriage campaign … is one of the campaign’s lead organizers, Mark Sullivan.
Sullivan: “I think that anything that encourages public discussion of these issues that benefits us. It makes it clear that this is about the basic values of equality and fairness and seeking the same protections and rights that everyone enjoys.”
Sullivan said Maine’s gay community will likely send a contingent to the march, even with just weeks to go before election day.
Organizers of the march did not respond to repeated requests for comment.