On October 2, 2010, thousands of progressive people will converge on our hometown of Washington, DC for the “One Nation Working Together” march. This march strives to counter the reactionary tone of other recent marches on Washington with a call for “a future of justice at home and peace abroad, where we create good jobs for all of us and take on the great challenges we face as a nation: rebuilding our economy; respecting all families; educating all our children in safe environments; transforming how we use energy; ensuring safe, vibrant, diverse communities; and providing for an economic future built on the principles that America has always aspired to achieve.”
The organizers of this march have reached out to LGBTQ organizations in an effort to show solidarity and build a movement that includes everyone. In return, dozens of LGBTQ groups — including Whitman Walker Clinic, Queers for Economic Justice, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, the DC Trans Coalition (that’s us!) and more — have endorsed the march. We’re excited to be part of this effort to look beyond identity and bring people together around our shared values and collective needs.
We hope that you’ll join us on October 2nd as we stand with our social justice allies. After Whitman Walker’s AIDS Walk, the LGBTQ and Youth contingents for One Nation Working Together are meeting up at Freedom Plaza at 10:00AM (on Pennsylvania Ave between 13th & 14th, NW). We hope you will join us there to support the AIDS Walk Washington closing ceremonies. Then, we’ll march as one delegation to the rally.
If you need more convincing, check out this great letter put together by the LGBTQ Table for One Nation Working Together.
On the heels of the Anniversary of the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, when thousands came to Washington, D.C., to commemorate the March and “Reclaim the Dream,” our collective fight for equality and justice continues. It has been over 40 years since Stonewall and the birth of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. As national and local LGBTQ organizations, we know that while there have been many advancements over the last four decades, there is still much more work to be done.
On October 2, 2010, we have an opportunity to join thousands of progressive allies in the fight for equality and justice. ONE NATION WORKING TOGETHER is about reordering our nation’s priorities to invest in our most valuable resource—our people. We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to find and keep a job in a safe work environment with a living wage regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. We believe that all members of our community, whether they are seniors, middle-aged, or youth, deserve to be safe from violence, harassment, and exploitation when they are at home, school, work, or in any other public place.
We believe that quality health care should be accessible, affordable, and culturally competent. We believe that the 12 million undocumented immigrants, including at least half a million LGBTQ people living in this country and 36 thousand binational couples, deserve access to a system which allows workers to earn legal status and permits people from all backgrounds to stay with their families. We believe our concerns transcend the cultural and demographic lines our opponents try to divides us on and that regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, or immigration status; now is the time to join forces and demonstrate our collective power to move forward a progressive agenda for all America.
Why a Jobs and Justice Agenda Matters for LGBTQ Families
While the economy is tough for everyone, those facing discrimination have an added level of struggle. The statistics for our community are staggering:
- LGBTQ seniors are at higher risk for isolation, poverty, and homelessness.
- Transgender people of color are four times as likely to live in poverty. One in five transgender people have experienced homelessness. Transgender people have double the rate of unemployment as the general population and experience near universal harassment on the job.
- Lesbian couples and their families are significantly more likely to live in poverty than straight couples. Poverty rates for children of same-sex couples are twice as high as children in other families. Elderly lesbian couples are twice as likely to live in poverty.
- LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the homeless population and at greater risk for physical and sexual exploitation while living on the streets.
- African-Americans in same-sex relationships have dramatically higher rates of poverty than all heterosexual couples, and three times higher poverty rates than white people in same-sex relationships.
In short, discrimination in employment, schools, housing, health care, and the absence of relationship recognition for the LGBTQ community present significant barriers to establishing a stable environment where we can pursue life, liberty, and happiness.
We know from history that the LGBTQ community can work together to overcome seemingly insurmountable crisis. We believe it is time to join with others and use our skills for the benefit of a broad progressive agenda to benefit our country.
This rally and mobilization effort is an opportunity to lift up the voices of LGBTQ people as part of a broad progressive agenda for social and economic justice. This action request is not only about mobilizing for October 2nd – it is also about building lasting, stronger coalition partnerships to continue our work towards full equality and justice. Join us on Saturday, October 2, 2010, in Washington, D.C., as we come together in support of jobs, justice, and education.
As we look forward we are reminded of the common struggles and the principles for which people traveled all those many miles (they organized and spread the word without cell phones, computers, Facebook and Twitter) to assemble one of the largest marches ever held on the National Mall. A year later, President Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There is power in numbers.
Please join us in supporting One Nation Working Together! In Solidarity,
National LGBTQ Table Conveners
Jasper Hendricks, III, National Black Justice Coalition
Stacey R. Long, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Michael Mitchell, National Stonewall Democrats
Peggy Shorey, Pride at Work, AFL-CIO
Organizations that have endorsed as of September 20, 2010
Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition Courage Campaign Equality Federation Equality Maryland Equality Wisconsin, Inc. Family Equality Council Gertrude Stein Democratic Club GetEQUAL Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network Human Rights Campaign Immigration Equality International Federation of Black Prides, Inc. Latino Equality Alliance Maryland Black Family Alliance MassEquality Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition National Black Justice Coalition National Center for Lesbian Rights National Center for Transgender Equality National Gay and Lesbian Task Force National Stonewall Democrats Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays National Pride at Work, AFL-CIO Queers for Economic Justice Stonewall Democratic Club Los Angeles Stonewall Young Democrats The Power Online True Colors UNID@S, The National Latin@ LGBT Human Rights Organization Whitman-Walker Clinic