"We Want Action": Equality March Organizer

This is not a new movement

By Asha Beh
|  Tuesday, Oct 13, 2009  |  Updated 11:46 AM EDT
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"This Is Not a New Movement": March Organizer

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SACRAMENTO, CA - JUNE 17: Ellen Pontac (L) and her wife Shelly Bailes celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary and the one-year anniversary of a California Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriages, at a press conference June 17, 2009 in Sacramento, California. On June 16, 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled providing a constitutional right to same-sex marriages went into effect, only later in November for it to be overturned by voters. The courts then announced a ruling on May 19 upholding Proposition 8, which banned gay marriages in California; but also upheld the marriages that had been performed before the proposition passed were still valid. (Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

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"This Is Not a New Movement": March Organizer

President Obama gave "a beautiful speech" at the gay rights dinner Saturday, but what's he going to do and when? asks Sherry Wolf.
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Thousands of gay rights activists gathered in Washington Sunday, marching from the White House to the Capitol for the National Equality March. Many said they were looking for more than speeches from the White House.

"Last night, President Obama made that speech [at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual dinner in Washington]. He had no intention of addressing our community and he took the bully pulpit, and he got up there, and he expressed very beautiful intentions," march organizer Sherry Wolf said. "It was a very beautiful speech. [But] what is he going to do? And when is he going to do it? That’s the question."

Wolf said she's glad Obama felt the pressure to speak before the nation's largest gay rights group and "express his solidarity with our community," but "we want action."

"This is not a new movement. Our movement began in 1950.There are literally generations that have lived and died fighting for civil equality," said Wolf, the author of Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics and Theory of LGBT Liberation

"With a collapsing economy, two wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the fact remains that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people are among the people losing our jobs. We are the ones who have crappy health care or none, and we are also fighting or dying in these wars. And we have no equal rights," she added. 

As for Rep. Barney Frank -- the first openly gay member of Congress -- who stated Friday that the march is "a waste of time," Wolf says it's still important to march and advocate.

"He's a politician.. he doesn't have to worry about health care," she told Garvin.

According to Wolf, the equality movement has seen more progress in the past three months of organizing than they have in years, with a bill introducing same-sex marriage in the District being expected to easily pass and a proposed repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act on the table, as well as Obama's speech Saturday night.

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