I guess there was a “Utah Pride Parade today in Salt Lake City (sorry I missed out on that one). The Salt Lake Tribune has a very nice write up in an article titled Gay Rights Advocates Strut Political Clout in Salt Lake. From the looks of the Tribune photographer, Scott Sommerdorf’s excellent photos, that’s not all they strutted:
Not exactly on a par with the Days of ’47 parade –though interesting. A couple of money quotes:
Jones just a few minutes earlier had stirred up the festival’s crowd by thanking The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its president, Thomas S. Monson, for helping bring the LGBT community together with its support for Proposition 8.
“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 said, predicting that Proposition 8 will be a short-lived victory and recorded in history as a turning point in the battle for gay rights.
Yes, I’m certain that’s exactly what The First Presidency and Quorum of the Tweleve had in mind. And, if I were Mr. Jones, that’s probably how I’d spin it as well.
In an accompanying Tribune article, Mr. Jones called for a massive March on Washington this October:
An activist who worked alongside slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk on Sunday announced plans for an Oct. 11 march on Washington to demand Congress act to establish equal rights for the lesbian, gay and transgender community.
Cleve Jones said the march will coincide with National Coming Out Day and kick off a grass-roots campaign for equality in each of the nation’s 435 congressional districts and launch a new chapter in the gay rights movement.
Jones, 54, made the announcement Sunday during a rally at the annual Utah Pride Festival.
The event’s grand marshal, Jones stirred up a crowd of thousands just blocks from the Salt Lake City headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was part of the coalition of conservative groups that worked to pass Proposition 8 in California last fall.
Such language, of course, is meant to conjure up images of the Civil Right’s movement of the 1960′s and the massive March on Washington in 1963. Even the reference to “slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk, is undoubtably a reference to Martin Luther King, Jr. who was slain in his quest for Civil Rights for Blacks in the 1960′s, and who led the original march on Washington.
And, who knows, perhaps this march of October 2009 will equal or exceed the original march of August 1963 where some 200,000 to 300,000 Americans converged on Washington D.C. to fight for basic civil liberties for Black Americans. We’ll see.
Unfortunately for the “new” civil rights movment, there are few if any factual similarites between these movments, despite the desperate attempts of some to invoke the language, images and causes of the 1960′s. Even in the post Proposition 8 dark ages, here in the most intolerant of states, California, no one is sitting at the back of the bus. No one is drinking from separate drinking fountains. No one is denied the right to vote. No one attends separate schools. All our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers out here in the back woods of California are afforded the exact same bundle of rights as are married spouses of opposite genders. But, of course, none of those facts are ever brought out in the splashy front page articles or blog posts.
So, with an eye towards this October, we will all anxiously await the new march and movement towards “equality” for all.
Update 06/08/09 5:33 p.m. Just for kicks, if you want to see how kindly our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers are speaking about this post and those ideas expressed therein, feel free to jump on over to this link and check out their comments. It’s always enligtening to see how well received we are over there.