Nature vs. Nurture:
The origin of bigotry should be the focus of a nature vs. nurture debate.
– Kim Coco Iwamoto, Hawaii State Board of Education
On the Nature of Justice:
No one should be patient when it comes to their Human Rights. Justice delayed is Justice denied. Justice is Indivisible – you can not be for Justice for some and not for all. Today we call on all people to look into their heart and tell us why we should not be equal.
Stewart Applebaum – gay leader of Retail, Wholesale Workers Union, President of Jewish Labor Committee
On the nature of equality:
Equality is about having all our basic needs met.
Penelope Williams – bisexual activist
On the nature of oppression:
When you feel oppressed and beat down, you don’t feel nothing, you don’t give a damn.
Much more after the jump…
Those of us in the faith community, I am going to get in trouble for this, it is time for us to fight. There are too many of us in the black community who allow our Pastors to make us feel we are not worthy of being called Christian. When you are silent and say nothing, it is indicative that you agree with their nonsense agenda.
Angela Green, Iris Women’s Counseling Center Executive Director
On the Nature of the Movement:
This is a civil rights movement, this is a human rights movement, this is our generation’s movement. We stand on the shoulders of Susan B. Anthony, Cesar Chavez, Harvey Milk, Martin Luther King. We are all Americans. Let it be said that today we stand on the right side of history.
Michelle Clunie, Actress
On the Nature of Humanity
Equality has to be more than a word. Those of us with the power to speak must speak. Every right for every resident. Every protection for for every union. Equality has been the catchword of every successful revolution. Progress is the way of humanity. I want to be standing onthe dies of compassion, the side of equality. I want to say I was there from the Golden Gate tot he Statue of Liberty, from Florida to Niagra, Equality is more than a word, it has to be a light we all run to.
Staceyann Chin, poet
On the position of NAACP:
We are here to say NO to Question 1 in Maine because we believe in human rights. Homophobia seeks to strip people of their dignity. Black people of all people should not oppose equality. people of goodwill should oppose same sex marriage in this country. Our opponents are not only anti-love, anti-rights they are anti-children. God seems to have made room in His plan for interracial marriage and is no doubt doing the same for same sex marriage. Are gay rights civil rights? My answer is always “Of course they are”. It isn’t special to be free from discrimination, that is an ordinary entitlement of citizenship. Rights are not reserved only for me or restrict them from others. My rights are not diluted when rights are extended to my neighbor. We people of color ought to be flattered that we are inspirations for others. Like race, sexuality is not a preference, it is immutable and our Constitution protects us from discrimination on immutable qualities. I am proud to stand with gays now. Good things come to those who agitate.
Julian Bond, NAACP Chairman
On spreading peace and ending homophobia.
Please turn to each other and give each other the kiss of peace. Homophobia is a choice. Stop heterosexist extremism.
Kate Clinton, Actress and Comedian
On the results of Republican Power:
What are we left of in the wake of Republican power? Bromides. I want my country back. We must be willing to engage a more profound struggle – a fight for the direction of this country in the future. The right wing is bigotry and the politics of resentment in all its forms. I believe in America and I believe in the future off this country.
Urvashi Vaid, Former Executive Director natinal Gay and Lesbian Task Force
On who we are:
We have existed in every time, every place in every land. We are here today to say we are ewaul, we are eqaulin every respect. To paretn, to foster parent, to adopt. To defend our country and to work. In the eyes of God and soon in the laws of this land. If you believe you are equal then it is time to act on it. Free and equal people do not accept prioritization of their rights. You must do the work that is necessary when you go home. No more delays. No more compromise. We are equal, we are equal, we are equal!
On the Nature of Joy:
Let the sun shine in!
Broadway cast of the musical ‘Hair’
On the Name of Our Dream:
Love over hate, acceptance over division. Marching today in the footsteps of so many that spread freedom. A checkerboard nation where some is free and some are not free is not why we came here, to leave some of our brothers and sisters behind. It is time to name our dream: We the LGBT demand the promise of the Constitution must be honored immediately, unequivocally, to assure full and equal rights, that is our promised lands. We can not wait while one more child has his or her life taken brutally from them. We demand equality from sea to shining sea. We must never let ourselves be shamed for our love again – that day is gone, that darkness is passed. We must share our dream of full Federal equality in our hometowns, in every district in the nation. We must be strong enough to make our voices heard. There is no longer any doubt in my lifetime we will be free.
Dustin Lance Black, screen writer, “Milk”
On Why I Gave 100,000 for this March:
I asked a young man if all his family knows he is gay. All except for my Grandmother, Does she vote? Yeah. Then it matters. Live open, out lives, that is what is going to change people. Talk to state and federal representatives. Make them hear your stories.
Bruce Bastian, Former Chairman, WordPerfect Corp, Human Rights Campaign Board Member
On getting legislation passed:
In Congress are the ears of many who need to hear us to unstall legislation stalled far too long. I am a bisexual American and a former Republican Congressman. People came from all across America to tell President Obama and others they helped elect that NOW is the time to ban discrimination, to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, to make good on the promise that All Men Are Created Equal. All races, all genders, all political affiliations demanding nothing less than full equality under the law. Full Equality for all matters governed by Civil Law for all people.
Michael Huffington, Former US Representaive, California, 1993-1995.
On a Message to Glen Beck:
Generations have come and gone with no civil rights. We want full equality now, we are going to sit in the front of the bus with everyone else.
Sherry Wolf, Author “Sexuality and Socialism”
On Yellow Journalism:
Fox News, you will not succeed in turning Americans against each others. A sleeping giant has been awoken among us: LGBT youth – they are not our future, they are our here and now.
Nicole Murray-Ramirez, San Diego Commissioner
On our Impatient March:
My husband and children are honored to be with you today. It is our stories we tell about our lives in humble places. Living rooms, blogs, baseball diamonds, workplaces. We must help family and strangers know and understand our barriers. These truths are self-evident that all people are created equal, we reflect on those hallowed words, doesn’t all people mean us too, doesn’t all people mean all? We believe it does in America. We ask of others that they do that for us, that is what we call progress. You can’t undo it, the story of America, a never ending journey of extended exclusion.
Jarrett Barrios, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) President
It is an honor to attend. What I am tired of : Having to defend right to choose, dropout rate continues to grow at alarming right, tired that we are not all given same rights my husband and I were given when we nmarried, we stand with you. As my grandfather said si se puede.
Christine Chavez, Labor community activist and granddaughter of Cesar Chavez
On Inclusion and Change:
We are past the point of wondering if you can speak well on LGBT struggles. I want evidence that you can be a fierce advocate. My children deserve the same dignity that MLK’s children dreamed up. I am beggin you to listen to the people who are speaking to you today – produce the courage to change the fabric to change this country that have oppressed people for too long.
Robin McGehee, Local Tulare County hero, NEM Co-Director
On the Nature of Success:
Success breeds success. Isolation must not keep us silent. It is time to do something now.
Irene Andrews, Congressional District Action Team, and School Teacher, Killeen, Texas
On Helping Maine:
New York State has resources Maine does not have, Helping to defeat Question 1 will be a victory for all of us.
Elena Smith, Congressional District Action Team, and School Teacher, NYC
On the Feeling of Stale Hope and Stagnation:
In some places being safe means being invisible. Despite this I have hope. Youth even younger than my 13 years of age are coming out on this National Coming Out Day. Get Busy Getting Equal.
John Blake, co-founder Montana Equality Now
On the Nature of Change:
Change comes from the bottom up, not from Washington, but from the outside. Find and organize the millions of people that were not here today.
Keeanga Taylor, Join Impact Chicago Organizer
On Awareness of LGBT homelessness:
40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ.
Chloe Noble – Homeless Youth Pride Walk 2009 Founder
On Challenge of Being a Transgendered Person:
Struggle to find material to explain in Chinese for mother to know about my medical issues, to lie to get bottle sized does of testosterone at pharmacies.
Kit Yan, Transgender Siam Poet
On bringing my true self into the world
True change is the only thing that has ever saved a person or a nation. Remember those that call from history and eternity – speak for them but act for us.
Marsha Botzer, Former Co-Chareiman, Equal Rights Washington Founding Member