Los Angeles (October 11, 2009) — Screen Actors Guild members, SAG’s National LGBT Actors Committee, and SAG staff marched with thousands of activists from around the country today in Washington D.C. as part of the National Equality March, which coincided with National Coming Out Day.
The march served as a call to action for a new generation of activists to join the movement in bringing full equality to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans and their families in all 50 states. Among the federal issues at stake are employment, military and immigration discrimination, as well as the repeal of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.
“Screen Actors Guild has been a leader in advocating for equality for all of our members and today we are on the right side of history,” said SAG Deputy National Executive Director and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, who attended the march. “Members of both the Guild and our staff were part of a huge step in this long march to equality, and today SAG reaffirms its ongoing commitment to achieving equal treatment under the law for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members.”
“The thousands who showed up for this march came to tell President Obama and members of Congress that now is the time to make good on the promise of the founding principles of this country, that all people are created equal,” said Jason Stuart, chair of SAG’s National LGBT Actors Committee. “We demand nothing less than full equality under the law. Come on straight people, it’s 2009. If you let us marry each other we’ll stop marrying you.”
SAG members Cynthia Nixon (“Sex and the City”) and Michelle Clunie (“Queer as Folk”) were among the speakers who addressed the assembled masses. “This movement is not just about our ability to get married,” said Nixon, an out actress. “It is about demanding equal rights, equal responsibilities, equal opportunities, equal treatment and equal protection under the law.”
“This is no longer a gay rights movement,” straight ally Clunie told the crowd. “This is a civil rights movement. This is a human rights movement.”
While the Guild works year round to advance issues of employment diversity, SAG has declared October “Diversity Awareness Month.” The National Equality March is just one of many events happening this month supported by members of SAG. A full list of events is available online here.