By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The National Action to Redeem the Dream March kicks off today in Washington, D.C. in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington. One of the speakers is from the Pennsylvania LGBT community.
Adrian Shanker is Executive Director of Equality Pennsylvania and is one of at least four speakers from the LGBT community who will articulate the need for equal rights. He says LGBT rights are lagging, especially in the Commonwealth.
“In Pennsylvania it’s still legal to fire someone from their job, deny someone housing or access to public accommodation because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Shanker.
Shanker says he takes his lead from Bayard Rustin who grew up in Pennsylvania and became an outspoken leader on Gay rights during the height of the civil rights movement. Rustin was one of the lead organizers of the March on Washington.
“Fifty years ago, Mr. Rustin was not given a speaking slot in the March even though he organized it. And I think that it’s very important to recognize how far we’ve come,” said Shanker.
But there’s a long way to go. Shanker says he’ll quote Rustin in his speech today, with a hope they’ll energize the community.
The National Action to Realize the Dream begins at 8 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m. in Washington D.C.