I've been following the two bus tours of the 50 young people who are travelling our nation and asking for audiences at schools that discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. At times there has been good conversation. Far too often there have been arrests.
And then this... Seattle declares April 11 as Equality Ride Day. And our state legislature just approved domestic partner benefits. What a feeling of sunshine!!! Here's the Soulforce announcement and the text of the proclamation for all of us to celebrate. Go riders, go!
Seattle Proclaims April 11 as Equality Ride 2007 Day
City Abhors Discrimination, Prejudice and Oppression Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
After successful stops at three West coast Christian colleges, Equality Riders arrived in Seattle this week to visit two local schools that discriminate against LGBT students. Yesterday, Equality Riders teamed up with Equal Rights Washington, statewide advocacy organizations, and Q Center at the University of Washington, to address marriage equality with community members in Gasworks Park. Today the Equality Ride will engage with both Northwest University and Seattle Pacific University in a full day of programming, which includes discussion panels, classroom visits, presentations, communal meals and worship.
In honor of the Equality Riders' visit to Seattle, the City Council has proclaimed Wednesday, April 11, 2007, to be "Equality Ride Day" in the City of Seattle.
A PROCLAMATION recognizing Equality Ride 2007 in Seattle
WHEREAS, the City of Seattle is a welcoming city to diversity, including those who identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender;
WHEREAS, the City of Seattle abhors discrimination, prejudice and oppression based on sexual orientation and gender identity, among other protected classes under city, state and federal statutes;
WHEREAS, fifty young adults on two buses traveling across the nation are using nonviolent means to raise awareness about the discrimination, prejudice and oppression Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people may face;
WHEREAS, the City of Seattle recognizes the historical significance of bus tours and their ability to create conversation about difficult issues and create reflection within a community;
WHEREAS, the West Coast bus tour of the Soulforce Equality Ride 2007 will share their message of inclusion and tolerance within the boundaries of the City of Seattle;
WHEREAS, some of our city's most respected organizations and businesses, such as Multifaith Works, Equal Rights Washington and the Seattle Gay News are hosting the West Coast bus tour here in Seattle;
WHEREAS, Soulforce, the sponsor of Equality Ride 2007, is a non-profit social justice organization made up of many faith traditions, including those with no belief in a deity; NOW,
THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE THAT:
Wednesday, April 11, 2007 shall be "Equality Ride 2007 Day" in the City of Seattle.
Adopted by the City Council the 11th day of April, 2007, and signed by us in authentication of its adoption this 11th day of April, 2007.
Council President Nick Licata
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Sponsor
Councilmember Sally J. Clark, Sponsor
Councilmember Richard Conlin
Councilmember David J. Della
Councilmember Jan Drago
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Richard J. McIver
Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck
To view a copy of the official proclaimation go to www.soulforce.org/pdf/seattle_proclamation.pdf
To help fund the final two weeks of the 2007 Soulforce Equality Ride click here.
The goal of Soulforce is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.
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