Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pride Rally for Rights, Equality, and Change

I rolled my little video equipment cart down to the Michigan Equality rally at the Capitol Building in Lansing on Saturday, June 13, 2009. I had received a voicemail message on Friday evening from someone asking me to record a speech by local activist and journalist Todd Heywood. I was willing to do it because I had planned to be downtown the next morning. Still, the caller risked my doing the favor by concluding his call with an ill-timed "Go Pens" shout out, which was just one hour before the fateful Game 7 in Hockeytown. Needless to say, I wasn't up all night celebrating a Detroit Red Wings victory.

Michigan Equality -- a prominent political arm of the LGBTQI community -- sponsored the noontime rally, which was sandwiched by the enthusiastic, high-energy Michigan Pride parade and celebration gathering at Adado Park. I did not get a count of the crowd but as everyone streamed onto the Capitol grounds from the parade route, the numbers appeared impressive -- way, way bigger than that teabagging anti-tax rally a few weeks ago.

Realistically, I should accept that part of me that is becoming, in effect, a video blogger because I recorded Heywood and all the other speakers at the rally. Heywood's video recorded speech is below and you can follow the links of the other speakers listed below. Or, if you prefer that CNN TV news-type feel, you can watch the speeches on my LiveStream channel posted below right or here.

Michigan Equality Rally Speakers

Kathie Dunbar, Lansing City Council Member and author of the city's Human Rights ordinance, uses her stand-up comedy skills to kick off the rally with humorous and welcoming remarks here.

The Mayor welcomes the Pride crowd to Lansing and talks poignantly about his brother who died of AIDS here.

Longtime activist talks about marriage rights in Michigan here.

Co-Director of Michigan Equality talks about future battles to ensure equality in the state here.

A leading ally of equal rights talks about legislative issues pending in Michigan here.

Another prominent legislative ally talks about the legal challenges in Lansing here.

Co-director of Michigan Equality speaks of the progress the equality movement has achieved in various states around the U.S. here.

This politician/candidate stopped by to discuss rights, equality, and need for political change here.

Activist and journalist talks about the community's need to discuss HIV status in a open and honest fashion here.

-- Rico Thomas Rico

Todd Heywood Addresses
Michigan Equality Rally
13 June 2009 * Lansing, MI

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