LGBTQ movement organizes for Charlotte, N.C., protests

By on August 20, 2012

Organizing is in high gear for protests outside the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in Charlotte, N.C., and Tampa, Fla., respectively. In Charlotte, the Sept. 2 “March on Wall Street South” will target the big banks that are headquartered in that city as well as the Democrats’ role in keeping up the status quo of the wealthy 1% or ruling elite.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people are a vital part of this movement and are organizing a contingent in the Sept. 2 march. A recent call to action listed some important reasons to join this contingent: “Demand equal access to employment, housing, health care, and education NOW! Equal rights now! Show your outrage over the passing of North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ marriage amendment. Free LGBTQ activists CeCe McDonald and Pfc. Manning!”

The call noted: “As LGBTQ people we are discriminated against [in] housing, health care and education, paid less as workers, fired for being who we are and then excluded from societal institutions like marriage. Marriage equality is, of course, not just about the recognition of our relationships and families, but it is rooted in fighting for economic justice.

“There are over 1,000 federally provided economic benefits that we are denied access to that are granted to heterosexual married people. We believe that all working people — married or single — should have access to affordable health care and health insurance. We also want to see an end to cuts in social services, including HIV/AIDS-related programs.”

Workers World asked MOWSS activists in North Carolina why the LGBTQ contingent is so important. Here’s what some of them said:

“We’ve seen a tremendous upsurge in the mass LGBTQ movement, from struggles around marriage to bullying and beyond — and now we are taking aim at the banks because we want to raise this struggle to the next level. It’s the ruling class bankers that use anti-LGBTQ bigotry to divide the people, and we want to take the fight to their doorstep.”

“As LGBTQ people, we have always been leaders in our communities. We have been a crucial part of historic movements for justice, and we are a crucial part of the 99%! The struggle for queer liberation is deeply intertwined with the struggles for economic justice, antiracism, environmental justice, and justice for immigrant communities. In North Carolina and throughout the country, discrimination against queer people, immigrants, people of color, and working people is law. At the DNC, we will show the corporate-controlled political parties what the democracy of the 99% looks like. We’re here, we’re queer, and we organize!”

“The Democrats pretend to support ­LGBTQ people, but they only do just enough to keep up their image, while the Republicans straight-up spit in your face. The only way we can be sure to get the justice for LGBTQ people we so desperately need is to get out in the streets and fight for it.”

To endorse the LGBTQ contingent for the Sept. 2 March on Wall Street South at the Democratic National Convention, send an email to mowsslgbt@gmail.com.

Imani Henry contributed to this article.

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