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The March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation was a large political rally that took place in Washington, D.C.marker on April 25 1993. Organizers estimated 1,000,000 attended the March, but the National Park Service estimated attendance at 300,000.[451271]

Background and Planning

Between the 1987 March on Washington and the early 1990s, lesbians and gays achieved much more mainstream visibility than they ever had in the past. However, the LGBT community still faced vast discrimination, through such policies as Don't Ask Don't Tell, Colorado's Amendment 2, and rising occurrences of LGBT-targeted hate crimes. Amid this climate, Urvashi Vaid of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force spearheaded the movement for a third LGBT March.

In January 1991, Vaid sent a letter to LGBT organizations across the US to garner support for a third march and to invite them to send delegates to a planning meeting on March 9, 1991, in Washington, DC. No consensus was made regarding the march's potential date at this meeting, so a secondary meeting was arranged in Washington, DC, for the weekend of May 11-12, 1991. This meeting provided the mandate for the march itself: to rebuild and reinvigorate local and national activists. Subsequent organizational meetings took place in Chicago (August 1991), Los Angeles (January 1992), Dallas (May 1992), Denver (October 1992) and Washington DC (February 1993).

Platform and Demands

March organizers set forth seven primary demands, each with supplemental secondary demands. The primary demands are as follows:

  • We demand passage of a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender civil rights bill and an end to discrimination by state and federal governments including the military; repeal of all sodomy laws and other laws that criminalize private sexual expression between consenting adults.
  • We demand massive increase in funding for AIDS education, research, and patient care; universal access to health care including alternative therapies; and an end to sexism in medical research and health care.
  • We demand legislation to prevent discrimination against Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgendered people in the areas of family diversity, custody, adoption and foster care and that the definition of family includes the full diversity of all family structures.
  • We demand full and equal inclusion of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgendered people in the educational system, and inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender studies in multicultural curricula.
  • We demand the right to reproductive freedom and choice, to control our own bodies, and an end to sexist discrimination.
  • We demand an end to racial and ethnic discrimination in all forms.
  • We demand an end to discrimination and violent oppression based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, identification, race, religion, identity, sex and gender expression, disability, age, class, AIDS/HIV infection.


Speakers and Events

In the days surrounding the March, a wide range of events serving different subsets of the LGBT community were held throughout Washington, DC. These included historical exhibits, religious services, lobbying events, social gatherings, art exhibits, political workshops, public service events and candlelight vigils.

Speakers and performers at the rally following the march included Judith Light, Melissa Etheridge, RuPaul, Martina Navratilova, Sir Ian McKellan, Earth Kitt, Lani Ka'ahumanu, and Urvashi Vaid.

References



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