January 13, 2014 | by Thom Senzee
EXCLUSIVE: Campaign seeks to honor Rustin with postage stamp
Bayard Rustin, gay news, Washington Blade

Bayard Rustin was the architect of the 1963 March on Washington.

The same advocates who worked for years to convince the United States Postal Service to issue its first Harvey Milk postage stamp have launched an all-out effort to win approval for a new stamp honoring Bayard Rustin, the openly gay organizer of the iconic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The official launch of the Bayard Rustin USA/National Stamp Campaign will be announced at the 2014 Creating Change Conference (Jan. 29-Feb. 2 in Houston) by none other than Rustin’s longtime partner, Walter Naegle, who recently also accepted the Medal of Freedom from President Obama on behalf of Rustin, who died in 1987.

The idea for a campaign to win approval for a stamp honoring Rustin as an openly gay, African-American civil rights icon has been talked about for years. But the movement finally gained real traction in San Diego with the help of City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez, who will serve as the campaign’s executive director.  The International Imperial Court System and its Imperial Court Council, along with the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force are the guiding forces behind the campaign.

National co-sponsors of the campaign include the National Black Justice Coalition, the National LGBT Museum and the GLBT Historic Task Force.

Anyone wishing to jump in early on the letter-writing campaign to make the Rustin stamp a reality can write to Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee c/o Stamp Development, United States Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza S.W., Room 3300, Washington, D.C.  20260-3501.

“This stamp would further remind Americans that by honoring Bayard Rustin, you honor a true American hero and champion of civil rights for all people,” said Ramirez.

The Blade will have full coverage of this story as it unfolds.

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