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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 28, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 22
DADT rally in Westlake Park has labor speaker
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DADT rally in Westlake Park has labor speaker

by James Whitely - SGN Staff Writer

On May 22, about 50 people gathered in Westlake Plaza in downtown Seattle for a short rally about 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' (DADT) and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The rally, organized by Seattle OUTProtest served, essentially, to increase awareness and visibility of the issues and demanded 'equality on the job - in the military and at home.'

Speakers told the crowd why passing ENDA and repealing the military's DADT policy must happen now.

Speakers included executive secretary and treasurer of the King County Labor Council Dave Freiboth; Julz Carey, a retired Coast Guard veteran and vice president of the American Veterans for Equal Rights; Ela Barton, a Navy veteran; slam poet Breanna Anderson; Ryan Blackhawke of Ingersoll Gender Center; and Mike Dedrick, a Vietnam veteran and longtime local Veterans for Peace activist.

The rally heavily criticized the Obama administration for it inactivity in addressing Gay rights issues.

President Obama said last January during his first State of the Union Address that he would 'work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies Gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.'

Freiboth spoke about how LGBT issues were relevant to the labor movement and how important it was for labor to raise their voices about these issues.

The rally coincided with actions around the country in honor of the birthday of Harvey Milk, former San Francisco supervisor and the first openly Gay man elected to public office.

Seattle OUTProtest is a grassroots coalition of LGBTQ community organizations and activists. Seattle OUTprotest uses grassroots efforts to mobilize the community and encourage the involvement of a new generation of activists. For more information, e-mail seattleoutprotest@yahoo.com.

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