At least three national LGBT rights organizations and a large number of LGBT supporters will join tens of thousands of people expected to turn out for a Women’s March on Washington scheduled for Jan. 21, one day after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Human Rights Campaign, and GLAAD are among 158 mostly progressive organizations listed as partners of the march.
Jackie Savage, one of the coordinators of a group organizing participation in the march from the D.C. area, said the local coordinators have been reaching out to the LGBT community among other communities in the area to encourage their participation.
“Absolutely everyone” in support of the cause of women’s rights is welcome to join the march, including men and LGBT people, Savage said.
HRC announced on Wednesday that it is organizing a contingent of HRC staff, members, and volunteers to participate in the march.
The Women’s March on Washington is scheduled to kick off at 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 21, at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street, S.W., near the American Indian Museum and the U.S. Capitol.
Savage said she was not aware of plans for an LGBT contingent in the march other than the HRC contingent, but she said members of the D.C. area organizing group would welcome such a contingent and announce it on the local group’s website, wmwdclocal.com. The site for the national group organizing the Women’s March on Washington is womensmarch.com.
She said at least two of the city’s gay bars, Cobalt and Nellie’s, expressed interest in joining other local businesses in supporting the march and were looking into hosting events for marchers on the evening of the march.
“This march is not a protest. It is not about one person,” Savage told the Blade. “It is a showing of solidarity” for the cause of women’s rights and women’s equity, she said.
But the official mission statement on the march’s national website, while not mentioning Trump by name, suggests that organizers had Trump in mind when they drafted the statement.
“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared,” the statement says.
“We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear,” it says.
“In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore,” the statement continues.
“The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us,” it says.
HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement released Jan. 11 that HRC was also serving as a sponsor of the Women’s March and a separate rally for immigrant rights.
“At a time of great uncertainty in our country, we join our fellow Americans in standing up and speaking out for our shared values and equality and justice for all,” he said. “Next week and beyond we will stand in locked arms with our progressive partners, reminding our new president that our communities are as diverse as the fabric of this nation.”