March 16, 2012 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
‘Worldwide’ marches set for D.C., Baltimore

A screen shot of the group's Facebook page

D.C. and Baltimore are slated to be among at least 30 cities in the United States, Europe and Asia in which a “Worldwide LGBT Civil Rights March” is scheduled to take place on April 21.

The marches were initiated and are being organized by a Facebook group called “Let’s Reach 1 Million People Campaign…It’s a Start! LGBT Equality.”

Richmond, Va., gay activist Curtis Sledge, who was named lead organizer of the D.C. march, told the Blade this week that participants are scheduled to assemble for a kick-off rally at 10:45 a.m. at Upper Senate Park, located at Constitution and Delaware avenues across the street from the U.S. Capitol.

Sledge said he recently obtained permits arranging for the march to begin about 1 p.m. from Upper Senate Park, where it will travel west on Constitution Avenue, N.W., to 15th Street, N.W. The march will turn right on 15th Street and head toward Pennsylvania Avenue, Sledge said. He said it will turn right on Pennsylvania Avenue and continue along Pennsylvania Avenue to Third Street, N.W., near the Capitol, where it will end.

A website set up by organizers says the Baltimore march is scheduled to begin at 11:45 a.m. on April 21 at War Memorial Park and travel to its destination at the Inner Harbor via Fayette, North Gay, Pratt, and Conway streets. The website doesn’t say whether a rally is planned for the Baltimore march.

High school student and Dundalk, Md., resident Brian Rohrbaugh is listed as the lead organizer of the Baltimore march.

With the exception of the national LGBT direct action group Get Equal, which has said it would provide an as-yet-undisclosed role of support for the marches, no other mainline national or D.C.-area LGBT organization has said it is taking part in the marches.

“Our core mission is to achieve full LGBT equality mainly through proper and peaceful channels employing many different vehicles among the way,” Worldwide March organizers say in a statement posted to their website.

“Strong emphasis is placed on enlightening and educating society in order to achieve the ample understanding and acceptance that is necessary to garner the support we need to win at the polls and in Washington,” the statement says.

Further details of the marches and a list of cities in the U.S. and abroad where organizers say marches will take place can be found at letsreachonemillionpeople.com/locations_36.html.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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