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October 12, 2009

HIV/AIDS Advocates Speak at LGBT National Equality March

The National Equality March took place Sunday, October 11, in Washington, DC. The march went by the White House and ended at the Capitol Building. Tens of thousands of participants from around the country attended.

According to Equality Across America, the event’s official organizers, the goal of the march was to demand “equal protection [for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people] in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states.”

Many HIV/AIDS advocates also attended the march and events throughout the weekend. An HIV/AIDS rally and vigil was held the day before the march at the Ellipse in front of the White House.

At the march, two speakers focused on HIV/AIDS: Angela Green, the executive director of the San Francisco–based Iris Center, and Charles King, the president and CEO of Housing Works in New York City.

Referencing the increasing HIV/AIDS rates among LGBT youth of color, Green said: “You can pass out all the condoms and literature in the world, but unless a person feels whole, unless we love and care for ourselves, unless we see ourselves as viable human beings, the numbers [of HIV cases] will keep rising.”

Linking the LGBT movement with HIV/AIDS advocacy, King said: “We know what we must do to bring this pandemic to an end. So it is that today we declare that AIDS is our fight, it is part and parcel of our struggle against homophobia and sexism, against racism and economic injustices, all of which are drivers of this disease.”

Click here to watch C-SPAN coverage of the march (Angela Green’s speech begins at 1:56, and Charles King’s speech begins at 2:00).

Search: LGBT, National Equality March


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