Gay activist Cleve Jones has joined the
chorus of calls for a national march in Washington D.C.
Jones roused a Gay Pride crowd Sunday
in Salt Lake City with the announcement of a planned October 11 march
to coincide with National Coming Out Day.
“We must seek nothing more and
nothing less than equal protection in all matters governed by civil
law in all 50 states,” Jones told a crowd estimated in the
Gay activists are ratcheting up their
visibility outside the confines of liberal, gay-friendly West coast
cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Two weeks ago, they took
to the streets of Fresno, California to protest the state Supreme
Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of a gay marriage
ban, Proposition 8. A large majority of Fresno County voters
supported Proposition 8 last fall.
Utah is home of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, whose door-knocking and
financial support is often credited for passage of Proposition 8.
Speaking just blocks from the Mormon
Church's headquarters, Jones directly addressed their gay rights
“I've got a message for The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Jones said. “I've got two
words from California … I've got two words for the prophet …
Thank you. Thank you for uniting us. Thank you for galvanizing us.”
The fall campaign for passage of
Proposition 8 divided many Americans but its approval unintentionally
united an otherwise uninvolved generation of gay men and lesbians.
Shocked at the relative ease with which gay marriage opponents
revoked their newly-found rights, thousands of previously unorganized
gays took to the streets in massive protests.
“We thank you for unifying us as
never before. We thank you for teaching our young people that they
must be prepared to fight for freedom,” Jones told a cheering
A long-time gay activist and creator of
the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, Jones joins other prominent
gay activists in calling for a national protest. In May, prominent
activist David Mixner called for such a march at this blog,
One unavailable Washington D.C. venue
is the National Mall. “It's unavailable,” a National Parks
Service staffer told gay weekly Gay
City News. The park is booked for the weekend of October 11
with a breast cancer charity event and the Million Man March for God.