Saturday, November 15, 2008

Seven Weeks To Equality

From Cleve Jones, creator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and Dustin Lance Black screenwriter of the film "Milk," a powerful call to action.

Here is an excerpt.

It has been thirty years since Harvey Milk gave his life in our struggle for equality. We will not wait thirty years more. We demand that the Federal Government act immediately, decisively and unequivocally to ensure equal protection under law throughout the United States of America.

We can accept no compromise.

We call on President-Elect Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to draft and submit to the Congress comprehensive legislation protecting the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens in all areas including civil marriage, military service, adoption, social security, taxation, immigration, employment, housing and access to health care, social services and education.

We can wait no longer.

We call on President-Elect Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to speak out against the escalating campaign of harassment, violence and murder directed against our communities and pass legislation extending hate-crime protections to GLBT citizens.

Now is the time.

We call on President-Elect Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to take personal responsibility for involving our nation’s religious leaders and the GLBT community in a national dialogue to encourage understanding and reconciliation.

We also call on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to heed the call of Harvey Milk, when he spoke thirty years ago on the steps of San Francisco City Hall: “You must come out, my brothers and sisters, you must come out!”

We call on gay people everywhere to seize this moment, to understand that freedom will not come until we are willing to commit the full strength of our own voices, minds and bodies to the struggle. We must personally introduce ourselves to those who would discriminate against us. We must make ourselves visible.

We call on all supporters of equality to sustain and intensify the nationwide campaign of mass protests and non-violent civil disobedience, for seven weeks, starting on November 27, 2008, the thirtieth anniversary of the assassination of Harvey Milk, and to then gather together in mass, from all corners of our country, in Washington, DC on the morning of Tuesday, January 20, 2009, to honor the inauguration of our President, Barack Obama.

We call on all our people and all our allies to carry this message of hope and equality to every corner of our nation, to every place of worship, to every school and factory and shopping center, every city, suburb and farming town. We call on you to march together, demonstrate together, pray together and dream together of a future America where, finally, all are free.

Be sure to read all of it and sign the petition.