Across US, thousands rallying and marching for LGBT rights

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — In the nation’s capital, and dozens of other cities across the U.S., supporters of LGBT rights mobilized for marches and rallies Sunday, celebrating their gains but angered over threats to those advances.

The centerpiece event, the Equality March in Washington, was endorsed by virtually every major national advocacy group working on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. Leaders of those groups have been embittered by several actions of President Donald Trump’s administration — including the rollback of federal guidance advising school districts to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice.

The activists also complain that Trump, although he campaigned as a potential ally of gays and lesbians, has stocked his administration with many foes of LGBT-rights advances, including Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Throngs of marchers, many thousands strong, paraded past the White House and toward the Capitol, trailing behind a giant rainbow flag near the head of the procession.

“We’re here, we’re queer, get that Cheeto out of here,” was among the chants directed at Trump.

For the LGBT community nationwide, it’s an emotional time. Monday is the anniversary of the mass shooting a year ago in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people — mostly Latinos — at Pulse, a gay nightclub.

Among the marchers in Washington was Gil Mendez, a Puerto Rican native who traveled with his partner all the way from San Francisco to join the parade. He carried a sign that included the names of all the Pulse victims.

“The attack on Pulse really struck me hard,” he said. “It made the connection between the physical violence of guns and the political attacks on our community.”

Also marching, and singing freedom songs and patriotic songs along the way, were scores of members of gay choruses from various cities.

“It’s an opportunity to tell everyone we’re still here, and we’re not going away at all,” said Gregory Elfers of Teaneck, New Jersey, who was with a contingent from the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus.

“We have to be heard — we have to be sure we’re not trampled on,” said L. Owen Taggart of Washington’s Gay Men’s Chorus.

Roughly 100 marches and rallies were planned across the U.S., from Portland, Maine, and Boston to Anchorage, Alaska, and Honolulu. More than 100,000 people were expected to turn out in Los Angeles where the annual Pride Parade was renamed the ResistMarch. Activists in Casper, Wyoming, planned that city’s first-ever pride parade.

Among the activist leaders on hand in Washington was Sarah Kate Ellis, president of GLAAD, which monitors media coverage of the LGBT community.

She noted that Trump, breaking from the practice of Barack Obama, has declined to issue a proclamation in honor of Pride Month, and that the Trump administration has deleted questions about sexual orientation from planned federal surveys.

“If you look at their prioritization, we’re really low on it,” she said. “There absolutely is a resistance aspect to this march.”””

Equality March for Unity and Pride participants march past the White House in Washington, Sunday, June 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Local News

Jeff Davis School Board approves one-time pay supplement

Crime

15-minute deliberation before Vernon man convicted of recruiting prostitutes

Crime

Kinder man convicted in double homicide

Crime

10/22: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

More than 500 vehicles expected at Last Resort car show

Local News

SW La. nightlife calendar: Here’s what’s happening

Local News

It’s Spooktacular: Coats for Kids kickoff Oct. 29

Crime

DeRidder man convicted of kidnapping will be resentenced on drug charges

high-school Football

Dragons return home to face Bolton

Local News

Happy Halloween: Your thrill guide to fall fests and all kinds of frightening fun

Local News

Katie Daniel: Favorite thing about teaching art is seeing imaginations on display

Local News

Parents given quarantine option in Jeff Davis

Local News

Calcasieu wants nearly $4 billion more in relief funds

Local News

Photo Gallery: McNeese Homecoming Parade

Business News

AT&T expanding footprint in Lake Charles

Business News

Metalplate Galvanizing asks Jeff Davis School Board for tax exemption

Local News

Monoclonal antibody community-based treatment sites open

Crime

Driver in Moss Bluff hit-and-run sought

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Some past history helps

Local News

Doctor: COVID cases improving, but region still at risk

Local News

Mayor: Laura left behind 300-400 condemned commercial buildings

Local News

Remaining animals will not be euthanized while shelter temporarily closed

Crime

Leesville man will be resentenced in robbery

Crime

Elton man accused of arson attempt