NAACP president speaks at N.Y. LGBT center

by Michael K. Lavers
National News Editor
Wednesday Sep 22, 2010

The president of the country's largest civil rights organization received a standing ovation at New York City's LGBT Community Center on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous urged LGBT Americans to participate in an Oct. 2 march in Washington, D.C., that organizers hope will spur lawmakers to address unemployment, education and social justice. The Human Rights Campaign, the National Black Justice Coalition, GetEQUAL, Equality Wisconsin and the National Center for Transgender Equality are among the myriad of LGBT, labor and other progressive organizations that have endorsed the march.

"We are coming together-people of all faiths, nationalities and races to demand that everyone have the opportunity to work at a good job, that every child be able to go to a great school and that justice for all be a reality; not just a promise," he said. "Our movement strives to make real the promise of America for everyone."

Jealous, who is believed to be the first sitting NAACP president to visit an LGBT center, said the passage of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act would begin the process of adding sexual orientation, gender identity and expression to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He also fielded a question about how to address homophobia within the black church.

Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Whole and Department Store Union, stressed the importance of the Oct. 2 march.

"We all have to understand justice is indivisible," he said before he introduced Jealous. "You can't be for justice for some and not for all."

Jeff Campagna, head of the march's New York State LGBT Desk, praised organizers for inviting LGBT organizations to participate.

"This is truly a historic march," he said. "This coalition has welcomed us."

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Based in Washington, D.C., Michael K. Lavers has appeared in the New York Times, BBC, WNYC, Huffington Post, Village Voice, Advocate and other mainstream and LGBT media outlets. He is an unapologetic political junkie who thoroughly enjoys living inside the Beltway.


  • Andrew W, 2010-09-23 06:56:23

    The NAACP didn’t go "our" March.

  • Joseph, 2010-09-23 23:46:41

    Jealous, Please speak about gay oppresion at churches. It is unaceptable to not take action on this problem.

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