The Time Is Now: Seize This Movement Moment!

From The Huffington Post:


Yesterday I had a choice: Attend my children’s Valentine’s Day events at their elementary school or get arrested in a nonviolent civil disobedience stand for LGBT equality in San Francisco. I can only imagine the choice that First Lady Michelle Obama or retired Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might make if either were faced with such a dilemma, but I have to believe that they’d miss the Valentine’s Day events and seize the moment that has the greatest possible likelihood of changing the lives of families like theirs.

You see, we are in the middle of a “movement moment” for LGBTQ equality, a fight that has gone on for decades, and that many believe we will inevitably win. President Obama referenced one of our movement’s most famous moments, “Stonewall,” in his recent inaugural address — perhaps or perhaps not knowing that he was referencing a moment led by queer and trans people of color whose ferocity revolutionized our movement. We are decades past those days in New York, but we are still fighting for our lives, our families and our rights, and although it feels like we are so close, we still have miles to go before we are fully equal under the law. And our challenge is to seize this movement moment as was done at the Stonewall Inn in 1969.

It will take more than the president’s words to complete our journey to full federal equality in all matters governed by civil law. It will take action, as two of our movement’s historical leaders, Cleve Jones and David Mixner, so eloquently point out.

When I first joined this fight, I was a mom who was working full-time while raising my beautiful young children in the conservative Central Valley region of California. I took action because inequality came knocking on my door: Though I had run from the oppressive environment of my native Mississippi and sought refuge in the gleaming promise of California, I couldn’t escape the shadow of inequality when Proposition 8 passed. It’s been five years since our families were targeted by the religion-based bigotry that stripped the freedom to marry away from so many Californians.

I will never forget the pride I felt while watching the emergence of the Join the Impact events and actions that quickly transpired in response to the passage of Proposition 8. Many of us were so inspired by that “movement moment” that we dove into organizing in our local communities — calling attention to our demand for full equality under the law by highlighting the real and concrete harm that discrimination causes. Thousands of people across the country made a pilgrimage to the center of the state for Meet in the Middle for Equality, and then we marched on Washington for the National Equality March.

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