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4th Annual Matthew Shepard March - Saturday, Oct. 5

With this year’s murder rate of Transgendered and gender varient people running ahead of any previously recorded year, the 4th Annual Matthew Shepard March Against Hate, protesting anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered discrimination and violence, will focus on the need to oppose anti-Trans hate and violence.
Specifically, the rally will aim to promote passage of the “Gender Identity Amendment” to Chicago’s Human Rights Ordinance, which would protect transgender and other gender variant people from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

The rally will start at 8 pm, Saturday, October 5th. Like previous years, the event will begin at Halsted & Roscoe, Chicago, but in a break with tradition, after marching down Halsted, it will march out of Boyztown on Clark Street, before returning to Halsted & Roscoe.

One of the featured speakers will by Miranda Stevens-Miller of It’s Time, Illinois, the state’s leading Transgendered rights organization. Also featured will be Lynn Sprout, who was fired from her nursing job of 18 years for standing up to anti-Lesbian hate. When Sprout attempted to take personal leave time to care for her terminally ill lover with whom she’d been partnered 18 years, instead of receiving compasion from her employer, she encountered anti-Lesbian vitriol. The downstate LGBT rights direct action group, 85% Coalition, has championed Sprout’s case against anti-Lesbian bigots at Carle Hospital in Urbana, IL.

CABN’s Kentin Waits will also address the rally about the problem of anti-gay hate. Waits currently is pursuing a civil suit against the City of Chicago, after police gay-bashed him July 23, 2000 in an interrogation room of the Belmont and Western police station. As an Amnesty International report on the attack noted, Kentin said that “while handcuffed, he was slammed into doors and walls by the arresting officers, resulting in lacerations to his wrists, and bruises to his upper arms. He states that the police officers led him to an interrogation room with its windows papered over, and handcuffed him to an overhead bar. One officer is then reported to have slapped Mr. Waits around the face and head before kneeing him in the groin. During the assault the officer is alleged to have called Mr Waits a ‘fucking faggot’ and ‘gay mother-fucker’ -- among other anti-gay epithets.”

With the Bush adminstration apparently determined to launch another war against Iraq, it would be unconscienable to hold an anti-violence rally without addressing this state-sponsored violence as well. Mahmud Ahmad, Executive Director of the Chicago Chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, will address the threat of a new war and what it means to various minority communities in this country.

The 4th Annual Matthew Shepard March Against Hate is co-sponsored by the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network and It’s Time, Illinois. For more information information call 888.471.0874, e-mail CABNstopthehate (at) aol.com or itstimeil (at) itstimeil.org, or check out the www.CABN.org or www.itstimeil.org websites.
 
 

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