Why do I march?
Today October 16 from 3 until 5pm, I will be marching in the Second Annual Pride Alliance “March For Equality”. I expect the march will be a relatively simple event, a few hundred people perhaps, walking the square block around the State Capitol building. The marchers I am sure will carry signs and banners inscribed with messages of justice and equality. Without question, there will be an abundance of rainbow lei and flags too. There will be music and speeches and smiles and hugs. I expect there will be talk about the ups and the downs of the protracted HB444 effort – first the anger and then exhilaration after winning in the Senate, that last great day and euphoric victory in the House and then the depression and disappointment of the veto. There will be talk also of the future, optimistic talk yet I suspect tinged with some trepidation should things go awry in the coming 17 days.
So why do I march? Why will I spend two valuable hours of my Saturday afternoon walking one square block or so around the Capitol?
I march because I care.
I march because I refuse to sit silently and do nothing while injustice prevails.
I march to show solidarity with my friends and neighbors who suffer the abuse of discrimination and intolerance.
I march to send a clear message that I am not going away. Whether I serve in public office or not, whether we elect a governor who is a Democrat, a Republican, Christian, Atheist, Buddhist or Jew – I will be here working for justice and equality regardless of who occupies the seats of elective office.
I march today because years from now, when the stories are told about this great effort, about the wonderful and committed people who gathered together and worked to end discrimination and intolerance against the GLBT community and refused to accept anything less – when those stories are told I want to be able to say that I helped make it happen, that I marched, and that I played a part in bringing a little bit more justice to our world.