With the nation holding its breath over whether there is, or is not, a crucial 32nd Senatorial yes-vote for marriage equality in the Empire State, dueling lobbies chanting and praying in the NY Senate building, and a U.S. President who is "evolving" but seems stuck in the Jurassic period, three organizations known for direct action are organizing demonstrations during President Obama's Manhattan LGBT fundraising visit today at 5:30 pm.
The lobbyists are in full swing in Albany, and we pray that their efforts will be successful, but lobbying and praying only goes so far. It's time for direct action to speak up and say to the Democratic President -- who is our fierce advocate and will be enjoying elaborate floral centerpieces and authentic Moroccan finger foods at an LGBT fundraiser at the LGBT Leadership Council at the Sheraton Hotel today in an effort to raise One Billion Dollars -- it is time to speak to him about moving out of Jurassic Park on LGBT rights.
The press release says "'A Demonstration for Full LGBT Equality' will take place just outside of the perimeter of the largest LGBT fundraising event this election season, with proceeds going to assist the re-election campaign of the 'still-evolving on marriage equality candidate,' President Barack Obama."
GetEQUAL, Queer Rising and Join The Impact announced plans to demonstrate for full LGBT equality. The event is being called "A Demonstration for Full LGBT Equality", called by the organizations to give the LGBT community and its allies an opportunity to gather together in unity as they raise the urgency for full LGBT equality now. The press release notes that the New York marriage fight highlights the importance of continuing to work for full equality. "As we've seen from one of the hardest fought legislative sessions for LGBT equality in New York history, freedom isn't free and the work for full LGBT equality will continue."
I find it interesting and important that these organizations are conducting "A Demonstration For Full LGBT Equality", rather than "A Demonstration For Marriage." Yes, marriage equality is important, and motivating. But it should not be seen as our be-all and end-all. We must not settle for the trappings of equality without actual equality itself, including rights like employment rights and immigration rights, and, more broadly, social and economic equal opportunity for all people. Don't forget that, in the move to get a vote on NY marriage equality, the New York Gender Non-Discrimination Act, which has enough votes to pass and been waiting in the wings for more than a decade, has been shunted aside yet again.
For more information on the demonstration, visit A Demonstration for Full LGBT Equality on Facebook.
WHERE: Sheraton New York
811 7th Ave On 53rd Street (New York City)
Attendees are encouraged to bring candles for a vigil and to demonstrate their passion and claim to full equality - win, lose or no vote on New York's Marriage Equality Act.
Jillian Weiss is a member of the Board of Directors of GetEqual