Monday, August 26, 2013

Dr.King understood Rights are ‘Not Divisible

Sabrina Samone, TMP

The TBGL community showed its support in large numbers this past weekend for the 50th anniversary of the Martin Luther King march on Washington. Martin Luther King had a dream that all men would one day find freedom and equality. Though many in our African-American community have long denied that our TBGL struggle was the same, the tide is turning fast. Over the past few years the bond between all groups seeing civil rights as a shared dream, is beginning to truly live up to the idea of everyman being equal, that Dr. King had envisioned.

The African-American and Latino community are not alone in learning to put aside differences and understand that minority groups, together are the majority. The TBGL community also has had and must continue to put away false hopeful ideas of attaining white heterosexual cis-gender privilege and put bigotry and transphobia aside for the greater good. This past weekend many did just that.
According to the Washington Blade, the daughter of the late-former New York Congresswoman, Bella Abzug, who introduced the first federal gay rights bill in ‘75, was 11 years old when she and her mother attended the March on Washington in 1963. The daughter said of her mother that “She’d be up there speaking in the front,” Liz Abzug said as she stood with member of Congregation Beit Simchat, a TBGL synagogue in New York City, on the National Mall. “She’d be screaming and speaking and charging up and thrilled, but say we have unfinished business.”

The unfinished business is no secret. Finally in 2013 we saw DOMA struck down, several transgender laws passed, but it is still 50 years after the initial walk for freedom and equality for everyone and  we continue fighting state by state for rights for American citizens to just live and have the right to be happy.

Many members of the new civil rights movement spoke at the 2013 March; American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten; National Black Justice Coalition executive Director Sharon Lettman-Hicks; International President Mary Kay Henry and Adrian Shanker; member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Equality Maryland, the Latino GLBT history Project and other LGBT groups also took part.

“I’m here with my brothers and sister, not only the union movement, but with LGBT people, with African-Americans from the Civil Rights movement,” said Suzanne Keller of Richmond, VA.

Maybe the march of 2013 will mark the beginning of truly realizing Dr. King’s dream; that equality and rights are ‘not divisible’.
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