Thursday, August 27, 2009
Not so good news about the National Equality March.
There are some reports about things not coming together, like speakers, initiatives and talking points. Now, I just read about this issue.
It appears that a vigil for people living with HIV/AIDS will not be part of October's National March for Equality, as one of the lead organizers told the Bay Area Reporter that no agency could be found to spearhead the event.
When he first called for a march on Washington, D.C. this spring, longtime gay and AIDS activist Cleve Jones told the B.A.R. that march organizers were trying to get use of the Lincoln Memorial site for an HIV/AIDS action on Saturday, October 10, the day before the march. Jones, who is HIV-positive and founded the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, has long been outspoken on HIV/AIDS issues.
But those plans have apparently fallen through.
Kip Williams, who has been helping Jones with organizing the equality march, said this week that the AIDS vigil had to be canceled.
"There were a number of organizations considering taking the lead," Williams wrote in an e-mail. "In the end, no one had the resources or capacity to step up."
Okay? That would've been nice to have, considering how HIV/AIDS programs are being cut left and right.
Also, there's the tax exempt issue too. The event is being supported by a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and donations are tax-deductible, if I'm correct. But if so, the rules of the 503(c) 3 says:
a 501(c)3 organization can't attempt to "influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities ..."
Meaning, you can't push to change or repeal of any law/legislation or bill. So this means that they can't focus on the repeal of ENDA, DADT or DOMA. Their messages will have to be somewhat broad and vague.
I feel if they waited until next summer, then things could've been thought through more. However, I will wait to see what happens. I want this to be a success, but I'm worried this could be a huge mess.