Post courtesy of Interfaith Alliance’s Jay Keller, Director of Outreach and Operations
I left home at 6:45 am to drop copies of our Same-Gender Marriage and Religious Freedom booklet at the march’s interfaith service being held at the Plymouth Congregational UCC in Washington, DC, then headed downtown to join the National Equality March. Coming on the heals of President Obama pledge the night before to repeal the US Military “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy (but without a specified date), the march began near Lafayette Park winding behind the White House, down Pennsylvania Avenue to the US Capitol. The goal of the march: to express support for equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states. It was a friendly and festive event, with a diversity of ages, families and backgrounds. Signs in the crowd read: “End the Harm: from Religion-based Bigotry and Prejudice”, “Our Families Matter Too!” “Will God Judge me for Loving or you for Hating?” The always-hard-to-accurately-determine-crowd estimates ranged from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Inspirational speakers included Interfaith Alliance Cronkite-award winner Judy Shepard (mother of Matthew Shepard), Actor Cynthia Nixon, Julian Bond, David Mixner, Singer Lady Gaga and Iraq war veteran Lt Daniel Choi and others. Except for the interfaith service before I didn’t notice a large visible faith presence. Was it a success? It will depend if supporters take Judy Shepard’s challenge to heart, to take their efforts back in their local communities, to vote, to, organize, to speak out, and to put pressure on policymakers.