Via NY Transfer News Collective All the News that Doesn't Fit SEATTLE MARCH FOR LESBIAN, G
Via NY Transfer News Collective * All the News that Doesn't Fit
SEATTLE MARCH FOR LESBIAN, GAY RIGHTS
By Kaz Susat
From the top of Broadway in the heart of Seattle's gay Capitol
Hill community through the canyons downtown close to 3,000
lesbian, gay, bi and transgendered people and their supporters
marched May 14.
Led by youths from Lambert House, the marchers demanded equality,
an end to discrimination and a "NO!" to right-wing hate
initiatives 608 and 610. Following the march the demonstrators
rallied at Steinbrueck Park.
The Washington offshoot of the anti-gay Oregon Citizen's Alliance
is trying through Initiative 610 to legalize discrimination
against gay people, mandate schools to teach bigotry and deny
legal name or gender changes for transgendered people.
A group out of the reactionary Washington Public Affairs Council
sponsored Initiative 608, which seeks to outlaw civil rights
protection based on "homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality
and transvestism." It also denies child custody rights of
lesbian, gay or transgendered parents.
Fire in progressive Black church
Among those marching and speaking on May 14 was Rev. Dr. Robert
Jeffery of the New Hope Baptist Church, a leading activist church
in Seattle's African American community. During the march, a
racist thug threatened Dr. Jeffery.
Two days later, on May 16, the New Hope Baptist Church burned and
was entirely gutted. Though the Fire Department quickly ruled
faulty wiring caused the fire, suspicions remained.
The church had been vandalized before in what many church members
believe was retaliation for the church's progressive stands.
At a vigil the night of May 16 in the parking lot of the
burned-out church, Jeffery said, "They have ruled this fire was
an accident. All right, we will call it an accident. But we will
keep track of these accidents. Every window that gets
accidentally busted. Every accidental fire."
Jeffery went on to deliver a strong message against the anti-gay
campaign and for solidarity of all the oppressed.
On May 12, the Washington State Supreme Court refused to hear a
case striking Initiatives 608 and 610 from the initiative
process. The court said it will only rule on their
unconstitutionality after the November elections. Protesters
believe that much damage will already be done by then.
"The people of this city and this state hate discrimination,"
said march organizer Mike McNamera. "We have every confidence
that these people will be the ones to stop the right-wing
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