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EXCLUSIVE: 140 LGBT Leaders, Allies Endorse National Equality March

A groundswell of support for the National Equality March, set for October 10 and 11 in Washington D.C., is building as the date approaches. Towleroad can exclusively reveal a list from Equality Across America of 140 prominent LGBT figures and allies who have put their names and endorsements behind the National Equality March, which seeks equal protection in all matters governed by law in all 50 states.

Equalitymarch The new list consists of a broad range of LGBT strategists and visionaries, media figures, entertainment industry notables, elected officials, and HIV/AIDS and community activists, from across the country.

Said activist Robin McGehee, who is running day-to-day operations of the march with Kip Williams: "I will never be able to describe the humbling amazement of a once closeted lesbian from Mississippi, who would read about the movement and it's leaders, now being able to work with and plan for the people and community I had admired from afar.  The people and organizations that are endorsing the National Equality March are giving young activist and organizers, like myself, encouragement and support to continue our movement's forward push for full federal equality."

Among the 140 new endorsers of the march are activists, strategists, and leaders in the fight for LGBT equality: Diane Abbitt, Roberta Bennett, Ethan Geto, Neil Giuliano, Cleve Jones, David Mixner, Nicole Murray-Ramirez, Ann Northrop, Torie Osborn, Judy Shepard, Nadine Smith, Peter Staley, Sean Strub, Urvashi Vaid and William Waybourn.

Entertainment industry endorsements include: Oscar-winning Actress Charlize Theron; Oscar-winning Producer Bruce Cohen; Oscar-winning Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black; Emmy-winning Actress Judith Light; Tony Award winners Alan Cumming and Harvey Fierstein; Jazz impresarios Kate Clinton and Dave Koz; Chad Allen; "Mad Men's" Bryan Batt; Beth Broderick; David Drake; Herb Hamsher; Lance Horne; Dan Karslake; Michael Kearns; Tim Miller; Holly Near; Larry Sullivan; Bruce Vilanch and Judge David Young.

Elected officials and other political leaders endorsing October's march include: US Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); State Senator Tom Duane (D-NY); San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty; former US Congressman Ed Feighan; Assembly Member Micah Kellner (D-NY); former California State Senator Sheila Kuehl; Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell (D-NY); NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Victory Fund president and CEO, Chuck Wolfe; Donald Hitchcock; Charles O'Byrne; Marsha Scott; Frank Selvaggi; Richard Socarides; Rich Tafel; Will Trinkle; Jon Winkleman; Peter Yacobellis and Paul Yandura.

Endorsements by members of  the media include: Air America's David Bender, and other radio personalities, Lance Helms, Ace Lundon, Michelangelo Signorile, and Tony Sweet; as well as literary figures and blog writers, Richard Burns, Robert Desiderio, Lane Hudson, Doug Ireland, Jonathan Katz, Eric Marcus, Patrick Range McDonald, Bob Smith, and Pam Spaulding.

HIV/AIDS and other community activists endorsing the march include: Chip Arndt, Aaron Baldwin, Dr. Jerry Cade, Mark Ishaug, Corey Johnson, Dr. Tony Mills and Dan Montoya. Leaders of the faith community endorsing the NEM include: C. Weldon Gaddy (Interfaith Alliance), Mitchell Gold (Faith in America), MCC Church Founder Rev. Troy Perry, and President of Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, and Soul Force Freedom Ride Founder, Jake Reitan.

We at Towleroad (Andy Towle and Michael Goff) are included on the list as well and urge everyone to meet us in Washington D.C. in October.

The full list of new endorsers, AFTER THE JUMP...


Diane Abbitt, President, California Equality and Lesbian Legend!     
Chad Allen, Actor/ Producer                    
Jeff Anderson, Fundraiser/ Activist (San Francisco)            
Chip Arndt, Activist, Winner of the Amazing Race 4            
Toni Atkins, Former City Council Member of San Diego        
Dennis Bailey, Author/Actor                    
Aaron Baldwin, LGBTQ/HIV Activist                
Tammy Baldwin,  Congresswomen (D- WI)            
Jarrett Tomás Barrios, President, GLADD                
Bryan Batt, Actor, AMC’s “Mad Men”                
David Bender, Air America                    
Roberta Bennett, Attorney/Legendary Activist            
Jeff Berman, Attorney at Law / New York City            
Dustin Lance Black, Oscar Winning Screenwriter (”Milk”)        
Jeremy Blacklow, Entertainment Industry            
Steven Bluestein, Playwright                    
Beth Broderick, Actress                    
Bil Browning, Founder and Publisher of        
Richard Burns, Screenwriter                    
Dr. Jerry Cade, Director HIV Service University Medical Center/Las Vegas    
Jeffrey H. Campagna, Founder,        
Tom Carpenter, Former CoChair of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN)
Michael Cashman, Member of the European Parliament        
Lt. Daniel Choi, West Point and United States Army            
Kate Clinton, Comedian/Writer                
Bruce Cohen, Oscar Wining Producer                
Alan Cummings,  Actor                    
Robert Desiderio, Actor                    
Tanya L. Domi, Former US Army Captain/ Human Rights Advocate    
Clay Doherty, Former Executive Director, Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council of the DNC
William Alan Donius, Former Chairmen/ CEO Pulaksi Bank/ St. Louis    
Craig Dougherty, Corporate Leader/ Entrepreneur            
David Drake, Obie Award Winning Actor/ Playwright and Director    
Tom Duane, New York State Senator                
Bevan Duffy, San Francisco Board of Supervisors            
Rabbi Denise Eger, President of Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis    
Brian Ellner, Political Activist/ New York                
Edward Feighan, Former United States Member of Congress (D-Ohio)    
Harvey Fierstein, Actor/ Writer                
Sally Fisher, Founder/Intersect Worldwide            
Randy Florke, Founder, Rural Connection            
Robert Forbuss, Nevada Board of Regents            
Joe Freeman, Political Activist                    
Alan Friel, Labor Day LA                    
C Weldon Gaddy,  Interfaith Alliance                
Ethan Geto, Geto and de Milly                    
Neil Giuliano, Former Mayor of Tempe, Arizona and President of GLAAD    
Mitchell Gold, Faith in America – Board President            
Michael Goff, Towleroad/ModUrban Media / Founder, Out magazine
Herb Hamsher, Producer/ Manager                
Lance Helms, Talk Show Host, “Lundon Calling”            
Lance Horne,  Musician                    
Mark Ishaug,  President, AIDS Foundation of Chicago        
Chad Johnson, Former Executive Director National Stonewall Democrats    
Corey Johnson, New York Democratic Party Activist            
Lane Hudson, Commentator and Writer                
Doug Ireland, Journalist                    
Cleve Jones, Activist, The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt        
Kim Kakerbeck, Former CoChair of Empire State Pride Agenda (New York)
Gregg Kaminsky, Travel Expert                    
Barry Karas, Political Operative/ANGLE                
Fred Karger, Founder, Californian’s Against Hate            
Leslie Katz, Former San Francisco Supervisor            
Dan Karslake, Director/Producer (”For the Bible Tells Me So”)        
Jonathan Katz, Author/Historian/ University of Buffalo        
Michael Kearns, Actor/Activist                    
Micah Kellner, New York State Assembly Member            
Dave Koz, Smooth Jazz Legend For Sax                
Sheila Kuehl, Former California State Senator            
Donald Hitchcock, Democratic Party Activist            
Judith Light,  Actress                    
Tony Leonhardt, Union Advocate, Association of Professional Flight Attendants
Ace Lundon, Talk Show Host, “Lundon Calling”            
Jack Mackenroth, Fashion Designer/ TV Producer            
Sean Maloney, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP            
Eric Marcus, Writer/ Journalist                    
Patrick Range McDonald, Award Winning Journalist            
Robin McGehee, Activist, Meet In The Middle Organizer        
Dana Miller, Producer/ Writer                    
Tim Miller, Actor/ Performance Artist                
Dr. Tony Mills, HIV/ AIDS Activist                
David Mixner, Author/Activist                    
Patrick Menasco, Attorney                    
Dan Montoya, Former Presidential Commission on HIV/AIDS Member    
Larry Moss, New York Democratic Party Official            
Christopher Murray, Author/ Psychotherapist            
Holly Near, Musician/Actress                    
Ann Northrop, Activist, Co-host Gay USA                
Charles O’Byrne, Prominent Political Strategist            
Danny O'Donnell, Assemblyman, NY                
Andrew Oldershaw, LGBT Media Specialist            
Torie Osborn, Author/Activist                    
Dan Osheyack, Point Foundation Board Member            
Alfredo Paredes, Executive Vice President, Polo Ralph Lauren        
Jay Perez, Attorney at Law/ St. Louis                
Dana Perlman, Human Rights Campaign Board Member        
Rev Troy Perry, Founder of the MCC Church            
Christine Quinn, City Council President of New York City        
Nichol Ramirez, City Commissioner, San Diego, Activist        
Phil Reese, Talk Show Host, “Lundon Calling”            
Jacob Reitan, Founder of Soul Force’s Equality Rides and “The Right To Serve”
Randi and Philip Reitan, Parent Activists for LGBT Rights        
Howard Rosenman, Film and Television Producer, Writer and Actor    
Guy Ross, Trustee, University of Richmond (Virginia)        
Marsha Scott, White House, President Clinton            
Frank Selvaggi, Co-Chair of Empire State Pride Agenda/ New York    
Judy Shepard, Matthew Shepard Foundation            
Michelangelo Signorile, Talk Show Host/Writer            
Bob Smith, Comedian/ Author                    
Richard Socarides, White House Special Assistant to President Clinton    
Jeff Soukup, Fundraiser/ Activist (San Francisco)            
Pam Spaulding, Blogger                    
Peter Staley, Founder and Advisory Editor/        
Jonathan Stoller, Financial Advisor                
Alan M. Strasburg, Former Board Chair, The Trevor Project        
Sean Strub, Founder of Poz Magazine and CEO of Cable Positive    
Tony Sweet, Talk Show Host/ Los Angeles            
Larry Sullivan, Actor/The Trip                    
Rich Tafel, Founder of Log Cabin Republicans/ President of RLT Strategies
Charlize Theron, Academy Award Winning Actress            
Andy Towle,
Jeff Trandahl, Washington, DC / Environmentalists            
Will Trinkle, Board Member of GLAAD                
Curt Truman, Los Angeles, President Truman Real Estate        
Urvashi Vaid, Author/ Activist/ LGBT Leader            
Dana Vera, Managing Editor/ White Crane Journal            
Bruce Vilanch, Writer/ Actor                    
Bo Young, White Crane Institute/ White Crane Journal        
Honey Ward, The Experience                    
William Waybourn, Former Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, Former Managing Director of GLAAD
Scott Widmeyer, Former Board Chair of Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and CEO of Widmeyer Communications
Kip Williams, Activist, One Struggle One Fight            
Rev. Nancy Wilson, Head of International MCC Church        
Bob Wingate, Publisher, Outbound Press                
Jon Winkleman, Stonewall Democrats                
Chuck Wolfe, CEO and President of National Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund
Peter Yacobellis,  Aide to Governor Paterson            
Paul Yandura, White House, President Clinton            
Judge David Young, Television Judge                
Jose M. Zuniga, CEO of International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care

"Equality Across America (EAA) is a network of decentralized organizers in every one of the 435 Congressional districts. These organizers form Congressional District Action Teams (CDATs) that work within their own communities to achieve full equality for LGBT Americans and their families. EAA supports the following key pieces of legislation: the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), the Repeal of Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and the Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT). With members of every race, class, faith, and community, EAA sees the struggle for LGBT equality as part of a larger movement for peace and social justice. The National Equality March (NEM) is being organized by EAA to show broad-based support for full equality for LGBT Americans on the doorstep of those who can make that happen – the United States Congress. The event will be held Saturday, October 10, and Sunday, October 11, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Each EAA Congressional District Action Team will mobilize its community to attend the event. "

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  1. This march is an out-of-the-box failure. It will be attended by less than 20,000 - maybe 10,000 people. There are tons of hotel rooms available in Washington that weekend. Tons.

    It's a bad economy. It's on Sunday of a Columbus Day weekend, which means everyone on Wall Street (thousands of LGBT folks) and at least half of non-government employees work.

    Their budget, posted on the website, is laughable and doesn't begin to cover all of the expenses, so it will end up being another loser financially with unpaid bills and related nonsense.

    Few people I know are going outside of political types who view their attendance as a peacekeeping gesture (i.e., Stonewall 1.0 reaching out to Stonewall 2.0 in a cursory way).

    If you want to help the movement, take the money you'd spend in Washingtona and support the marriage effort in Maine.

    Cleve Jones' ego project is doomed.

    Jones doesn't want constructive criticism. He wants his baby to succeed. And to those who argue that activists can support both the ill-conceived march and marriage efforts in Maine and elsewhere, resources are finite. It's either/or despite arguments to the contrary.

    Jones should move immediately to cancel the march, make it a leadership and Stonewall 2.0 summit and abandon the delusion that this event has more than a modicum of support among the LGBT community at large.

    It's a vanity project and should be treated as such.

    Posted by: Josh G. | Sep 2, 2009 6:10:13 AM

  2. If I can attend this march in spite of the danger of possibly running into that big stupid horse Ann Northrop, then anybody can put aside their differences and go.

    Posted by: JT | Sep 2, 2009 10:15:53 AM

  3. Democrats, including the White House and christer rightists like Lonnie McClurkin, Kirbyjon Caldwell and Rick Warren, all big time Obama cronies, have tried to stop this march since day one because they understand that it can't help but become an anti-Obama rally.

    They'll be as successful stopping it as they are in slowing Obama's headlong slide in the polls.

    Obama and the Democrats are Republicans in drag.

    Who needs more of that?

    It’s win, win for the LGBT communities. We get to have a march that will help pull together the movement and help it become independent of backstabbers like Obama and the Democrats and his junior partners the Republicans.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Sep 2, 2009 12:01:34 PM

  4. Ann Northrop is one of the smartest, kindest, most dedicated, and most hardworking LGBT activists I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

    Posted by: 24play | Sep 2, 2009 12:59:40 PM

  5. 24, if you like that sarcastic dope Ann Northrop then you'll be at that march right beside her. (Maybe by now she's dropped that pseudo-Dinah Shore look).

    Posted by: JT | Sep 2, 2009 3:37:56 PM

  6. We are still for songwriters to submit a song that would convey what the March is all about. We want our own "We Shall Overcome" The song should have a great hook and be easy for people to remember.
    Go to Song Idol Contest at Equality Across America to see rules and regulations.
    And hopefully will see you at the March in October

    Posted by: Bert Coleman | Sep 2, 2009 4:02:08 PM

  7. ...and while considering the March: Remember this .... from jaysays
    "While many are debating whether or not to proceed with at 2010 ballot initiative and whether or not to support the National Equality March, here in my neck of the woods, we’re still trying to figure out how to keep kids from hanging themselves from the rafters because they are demonized for being “gay.”

    We need a national front to help change the lives of the future generations of our people. If you still don’t support the National Equality March, try walking a mile in a gay or transgender kid’s shoes in Jonesboro, Arkansas where social and legal changes to LGBT equality will likely never occur without involvement from our national government. After that, you may be singing a different tune."

    Posted by: LOrion | Sep 2, 2009 4:24:31 PM

  8. Also see JOE's post above.
    SOMEONE needs to March for those who CANT. I hope someone meets him, if he wishes, gets his photo, make a poster and carries it with them at the March.
    .... and Think about others you could do that for!

    Posted by: LOrion | Sep 2, 2009 4:26:19 PM

  9. Right, Lorion. Because anyone who's criticizing the National Ego March obviously just doesn't realize that most progress on LGBT issues needs to come from the federal level.

    How silly of us!

    Posted by: 24play | Sep 2, 2009 4:32:45 PM

  10. Its not about me.
    its not about you.
    its about us and our rights and the future of our younger brothers and sister.
    support the march because
    its a "we" thing.

    Posted by: Bill McCann | Sep 2, 2009 5:03:50 PM

  11. I know of one person whose name was included on this list without their consent. This person has never supported the March and has been critical of it in the past. However, I am disappointed to say, this person has decided to allow their name to continue to be included.

    If I was this person, I would be incredibly angry, but I guess that's me, I suppose. I think it just proves that the organizers of the March will do anything (lie, distort the facts, fail to get confirmation of support, etc.) to further the cause of the March. I was particularly offended by the attempt to tie the March to recent memorial in Tel Aviv for slain LGBT children.

    If I am wrong about the eventual outcome of the March, I will be more than willing to say so, but I still fear that this whole thing is going to blow up in our faces. It doesn't matter if a person supported the March or not. This is going to impact on all LGBT.

    We are living in extremely volatile times and the right wing and Fox News will stop at nothing to paint this in a negative light. Look at the damage that they have caused to health care reform by spreading lies and fear. I have already stated several times how this will look in lieu of our present economic situation. I can just see the news reports on Fox about "rich gay people jetting off to Washington DC for a weekend of partying and whining about not getting special rights when many people in our country can't even afford to properly feed their families and give them sufficient health care." People have criticized my view of the right wing and Fox News using the March against us as being illogical. When have the right wing and Fox News ever used logic? It doesn't matter. A large percentage of the American public who love Fox News will eat this up.

    I am also ready to take the blame if the March fails. LGBT who never supported the March in the first place will be blamed for its failure. Those of us who were opposed to the March will become the scapegoats. I often hear March supporters say "If you don't support the March, shut up and get out of our way!" I have been branded a traitor to LGBT rights and called worse just because I don't support the March and believe that the consequences will possibly do more harm than good. Dissent is not allowed in the LGBT New World Order.

    Posted by: Michael Dean Montgomery Brockway | Sep 2, 2009 5:41:36 PM

  12. Bert,

    I have a couple nominees for official anthem of the National Ego March.

    This one would be perfect:

    Of course, I can also totally picture Cleve Jones delivering a definitive version of this classic:

    Posted by: 24play | Sep 2, 2009 8:40:13 PM

  13. At 38 days before the March, The Madison Hotel (where the National Equality March "war room" will be headquartered) still has several rooms available for the weekend of the March. There are even rooms that allow dogs available. I know from previous experience that finding rooms in large cities when you are traveling with a dog on a weekend is sometimes very difficult. The Madison Hotel has less than 400 rooms. You would think if David Mixner's prediction of one million marchers is going to come true, The Madison Hotel would be booked up. Even if a thousand people were attending the March, The Madison Hotel would be booked up. Is there something here that I am missing?

    Posted by: Michael Dean Montgomery Brockway | Sep 3, 2009 2:45:55 PM

  14. All the hotels listed on the Equality Across America website have rooms available. One hotel has over 100 rooms available. I've found over 50 hotels in the March area that have rooms available for the three nights of the March weekend (Fri/Sat/Sun). Is anyone planning to go?

    Hello? Is there anyone out there?



    Is this thing on?

    Posted by: Michael Dean Montgomery Brockway | Sep 3, 2009 11:06:12 PM

  15. This thread has died. It seems rather peaceful here alone. I might just be that tree that falls and lands on the Pope shitting in the woods and no one hears him being smashed to death.

    My real concern now is that LGBT who cannot really afford to attend the March are going to squander their rent and utility money needed for the middle of winter by traveling to Washington DC to find that only a handful of people showed up. I've spoken to one lesbian with disabilities and limited income who is determined to attend if her health holds out. I can only imagine the anguish she will feel after struggling to get Washington DC to find the streets empty. If that happens, I hope Cleve Jones burns in hell. I hear that there are no "Milk" movie posters or "Milk" movie sweatshirts to use as look-at-me props there.

    I truly believe that most of us do more to further human rights every day on the internet than any event or action held anywhere. We didn't have the same means to convey our messages before Web 2.0. That is why marches and demonstrations were important in the past.

    In my opinion, marches and demonstrations are about as relevant today as my reel-to-reel tape recorder, my Apple IIe, and my Betamax. Those relics of the past still work and they have a certain nostalgic value, but I never even plug them in and turn them on anymore.

    I was involved in the underground press during the Viet Nam anti-war era. I remember all the work involved in typing text and pasting up graphics and haggling with printers 30 miles away. I remember cold winter days standing on street corners handing out newspapers until the police finally showed up to threaten arrest or to escort my friends and me to the city limits of a town. Now I can do all that we did faster, safer, and more effectively sitting right here at this desk.

    And I still wonder if anyone is listening, just like I wondered back then.

    Posted by: Michael Dean Montgomery Brockway | Sep 4, 2009 3:20:45 AM

  16. Michael Dean, I can see some of your points. But a lot of march attendees will be local residents. Getting together 50,000 people for a march in a major metropolitan area for a civil rights cause isn't actually that difficult---as long as the weather is half-decent (yes that's true: weather plays a huge role in turnout).

    The Madison is a nice hotel. I understand that a lot of other hotels have vacancies too, but I also think a lot of out of towners will be staying with friends, family, or in the MD/VA suburbs. Most people simply don't have the resources to make a weekend visit trip to DC if they live more than a couple hundred miles away.

    All that said, what the hell happened to Urvashi Vaid? When I was in college I was utterly convinced that she would be the LGBT leader we so desperately needed. That was nearly 20 years ago, and this is the first time I've seen her name since then. She's an incredible speaker.

    Posted by: Paul R | Sep 4, 2009 7:09:17 PM

  17. 50,000 people?

    What happened to David Mixner's prediction of one million marchers? And if "most people simply don't have the resources to make a weekend visit trip to DC if they live more than a couple hundred miles away" why aren't they calling this "Equality Across Maryland and Virginia"? Is the purpose of the March to train people to go back to Virginia and Maryland and work for LGBT Rights?

    Everything that you are saying in your comment contradicts what Cleve Jones says in the video interview. I still haven't heard a single rational argument explaining why the National Ego March is even occurring. The reasons given change more often than the name of the March.

    Posted by: Michael Dean Montgomery Brockway | Sep 4, 2009 11:21:27 PM

  18. I'm not a spokesperson for the March, just making a couple points. I attended the last two, and I have to admit that I don't see much point in them and that the timing for this one is poor and seems to simply reflect when they've happened in the past. Happy? And I say that with the sincerest apologies to Derek Washington, a commenter here I greatly respect who I know is working very hard to advance the March. My feelings could be undermined by my loathing of DC, where I lived for a couple decades. I'm not pals with Cleve or David.

    And 50,000 was a gross underestimate. The SF LGBT parade gets at least 500,000; Folsom Street Fair almost as many. I have no idea how many will attend the March in DC, but it will be a lot more than 50K.

    Posted by: Paul R | Sep 5, 2009 4:24:58 PM

  19. Wow, you get to EXCLUSIVELY publish the list??!?!?! That makes you one of the IN crowd!!! Whoo hoo!

    Posted by: JustMeee | Sep 6, 2009 3:50:53 PM

  20. Stevielee. you're an idiot. A judgmental idiot.

    Posted by: JustMeee | Sep 6, 2009 4:05:14 PM

  21. As a straight person, I could be the least welcome person here. I heard Cleve Jones speak and I think he makes sense. Only the Federal government can change the laws. I know the argument about timing and finances. But it isn't over after this march. The only logical battlefront is Federal. Even in the states where marriage is legal, you get no Federal Rights. If you don't think a march itself is a good idea, fine. But show me the logic of how this is going to work state by state, playing "now you can get married", "now you can't". Anti-gay activists will never stop until it's Federal Law. And if you live in Mississippi, you'll never see gay rights in your children's lifetime.
    BRIMADISON, you are right on the money.
    For those of you who think this is about ego and rich gays, I can take a bus for $60 roundtrip from Wisconsin. Stop whining.

    Posted by: Jude | Sep 14, 2009 9:47:26 PM

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