Organizers of the June 11 Equality March for Unity and Pride, which is being billed as a Washington protest march for LGBTQ+ rights and diversity, have released the names of 18 longtime LGBT movement leaders and activists who will serve as honorary co-chairs and advisers to the march.
Among them are David Mixner, author, civil rights activist and co-organizer of the 2009 LGBT Equality March on Washington, and Cleve Jones, longtime San Francisco LGBT rights advocate, author and creator of the National AIDS Quilt, who worked with Mixner to organize the 2009 LGBT march.
Equality March organizers also released for the first time on May 25 what they called the “official platform for the march,” which the statement says was approved by the march’s 13 national co-chairs.
“The 15 platform points are as follows,” a statement released on May 25 says: “Reproductive Justice, Immigration Justice, International, Indigenous/Two Spirit, Youth, Racial Justice, Income Inequality, Disabilities Rights, Elder Rights, Legislative Issues, Violence, Biphobia, Transphobia, HIV/AIDS, and Religion/Faith.”
Others named as honorary co-chairs and advisers include Jason Collins, the retired gay NBA player; Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the LGBT supportive Metropolitan Community Church; Sarah Ramirez, the actress, signer and activist; and A. Billy S. Jones-Hennin, founder of the D.C. Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gay Men and longtime bi rights activist.
Also named were longtime D.C. activists Dr. Imani Woody, founding director and CEO of Mary’s House for LGBT Older Adults; and Earl Fowlkes, CEO of the Center for Black Equity.
“The Honorary Co-Chairs will bring their diversity and inspiring histories of advocacy in the LGBTQ+ liberation movements to bear to elevate the voices of the most underserved within the LGBTQ+ communities,” a statement released by Equality March organizers says.
“Their experience and wisdom will also help guide more than 60 sister marches in cities across the country, on the same day, in solidarity with the March’s mission to support the ongoing struggle for rights and safety for all LGBTQ+ individuals and families, with similar emphasis on queer people of color, transgender, and gender nonconforming communities,” the statement says.
The statement doesn’t say why most of those named to the honorary co-chair and adviser positions had not spoken out publicly in support of the upcoming Equality March sooner than the date the statement was released on May 25 – less than two weeks before the march.
Mixner and Jones have been credited with initiating the 2009 LGBT march following the upsurge in LGBT activism triggered by the 2008 approval by California voters of Proposition 8, which repealed the state’s same-sex marriage law.
Organizers of the June 11 Equality March also announced for the first time last week the route of the march, which will begin near the White House and end on the National Mall. Last week’s announcement called on members of the LGBTQ+ communities and their supporters and loved ones to contribute money to help support the logistics of putting on a national march.
“We are asking that you take a moment to go to our website and make a contribution,” said march founder and one of the 13 co-chairs David Bruinooge.
The full list of the newly announced honorary co-chairs and advisers follows:
• Eric Alva, civil rights activist
• Sen. Toni Atkins, California State Senator
• Kylar Broadus, executive director, Trans People of Color Coalition
• Jason Collins, retired NBA player, NBA Global Ambassador
• The Honorable Tony Coelho, former member of Congress, disability rights advocate, principal author of the Americans with Disabilities Act
• Ruby Corado, founder, Casa Ruby
• Earl Fowlkes, president/CEO, Center for Black Equity, Inc.
• Ted Jackson, disability and LGBTQ+ Advocate and former director of Disability Community Engagement, DNC
• Andrea Jenkins, poet and activist
• Cleve Jones, activist, author
• A. Billy S. Jones-Hennin, founder, DC Coalition
• David Mixner, civil rights activist, author
• Jim Obergefell, plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges
• Rev. Troy Perry, founder, Metropolitan Community Church
• Sarah Ramirez, actress, singer and activist
• Nadine Smith, co-founder and CEO, Equality Florida
• Patrick Smith, International Mr. Leather 2015
• Dr. Imani Woody, founding director and CEO, Mary’s House for Older Adults