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Tens of Thousands to Attend More Than 350 Events

GLAAD's Special Edition: 'Equality Begins at Home'

Historic Local Surge in Activism Week of March 21-27

Courtesy of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

ebahlogonew.jpg - 7.52 K Equality Begins At Home is an historic, first-ever campaign of actions in all 50 states for equality. It is the largest grassroots political action in the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movement. During the week of March 21-27, tens of thousands will attend more than 350 events in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Everyday, decisions that affect our very lives are made by legislators, governors, attorneys general, and other public servants. Most Americans live in states that allow discrimination based on sexual orientation, ban same-gender consensual sex, and do not consider violence against us a hate crime.

More and more young people find their school groups and clubs the target of right-wing legislators who understand the power that gay-straight alliances hold. Nearly every issue facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community today is played out in town councils, school and county boards, state legislatures and state ballot measures.

At least twenty-four states will have lobby days; thirty-one will have rallies or marches in the capitals; twelve will hold town meetings to discuss future statewide organizing; nine will hold statewide conferences; and nine states will hold stand-alone press conferences not related to other events.

At least fifteen states will have actions specifically to counter hate violence and to pass hate crimes legislation. In addition, dozens of states will have exhibits and cultural, educational, and social events.

While each state has determined its own agenda and legislative priorities, there are a number of consistent themes: hate crimes and non-discrimination legislation rank as the highest priorities among the states. Supporting safe schools legislation and fighting legislation against our right to marriage and adoption figure prominently as well. Approximately one dozen states will display sections of the AIDS Quilt in or near their state capitals. Events include:

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NGLTF 1998 : Creating Change

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  • History will be made when the rainbow flag waves over Connecticut's capitol in Hartford during the whole week of Equality Begins at Home - the first time the rainbow flag has flown over a state capitol building.

  • In California, thousands will rally at the state capitol to fiercely defend a safe schools bill which bans discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

  • In Colorado, a photo of a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender family will sit on the desk of every state legislator.

  • In Florida, one thousand people are expected to attend a statewide organizing conference in Tallahassee. They will also rally at that state capital with Congressman Barney Frank.

  • In Georgia, the week will be filled with at least ten events, including a lobby day, a youth rally, a party honoring local movement heroes, workshops, and an interfaith action against hate violence.

  • In Kentucky, a rainbow-bus tour through the state will galvanize support for the year 2000 legislative session--and the introduction of the state's first ever pro-gay legislation-- a bill to ban lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender discrimination.

  • In New Mexico, a "Homos on the Highway" caravan will take people to the capital for a rally.

  • North Carolina will hold its first-ever statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lobby day.

  • In South Carolina, a contingent for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will march behind an Equality Begins at Home banner in Columbia's Saint Patrick's Day Parade.

  • Activists in North Dakota will announce the formation of that state's first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political group - Equality North Dakota.

    Finding an Organizing
    Contact in Your State:

    ebah3.gif - 16.12 K For a full calendar of events, as well as the name and phone number of the organizing contact in your state, please visit the Equality Begins at Home web site at /

    For general questions please contact (212) 633-9775. Press inquiries please phone (202) 332-6483 x3303. Email NGLTF at

    Equality Begins at Home is coordinated by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and organized by the Federation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Political Organizations.
    Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

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