Families continue 65-mile relay march from Colorado state capitol to Focus on the Family headquarters
SOULFORCE PRESS RELEASE: July 18, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Richard Lindsay, Interim Media Director
(DENVER, CO) — The families continuing the 1000 Watt March set off from the southern suburbs this morning, the skyscrapers of Denver far in the distance. Marchers walked along the shoulder of a southbound state highway past shopping centers and subdivisions, bearing their banner calling for an end to religion-based discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their families. Passers-by greeted them with friendly waves and honking car horns.
Yesterday’s comments from Dr. Judith Stacey of NYU at the kickoff to the march found their way onto doorsteps around Colorado this morning in the Rocky Mountain News, the Denver Post and the Colorado Springs Gazette, and across the country through the Associated Press. Dr. Stacey, a professor of sociology from New York University, objected to Focus on the Family’s misuse of her research about the children of same-sex parents to justify discrimination against LGBT people and their families.
Marchers today included Doug Lundin and Richard Chacon from Colorado Springs and their young sons, Gabe and Chris. Lundin expressed his desire as a father to see his children raised in a more equal society. "I want the same things every parent wants for his children: to raise them in a safe neighborhood, send them to good schools and to provide for them the best I can," Lundin said, as Gabe and Chris colored and watched videos on the bus waiting for their turn to march. "In his misrepresentations of the gay community, Dr. Dobson makes my job as a parent much harder."
Also joining the march today was Lars Clausen, a straight ally who last year rode his unicycle from Burlington, Vermont to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness about the need for LGBT equality. His book about the experience, Straight into Gay America was released today. He called the book a "coming out story," about the changes and discoveries in his life the trip brought about.
James Mulder and Chuck Philyaw, from Madison Wisconsin, marched in celebration of their marriage last October. The two had been planning to honeymoon this summer in California, but decided to come to Colorado instead when they heard about the march. (The newlyweds have scheduled time to enjoy national parks and tourist attractions around Denver and Colorado Springs after the march.)
This Saturday July 22 at 6 PM, actor Chad Allen and Judy Shepard, executive director of The Matthew Shepard Foundation, will lead a final 2-mile march from Rampart Park in Colorado Springs to the headquarters of Focus on the Family. The crowd will encircle James Dobson’s headquarters, joining hearts and hands in vigil as they peacefully call on him to cease his defamation of the LGBT community. At 8:30 PM Broadway star Billy Porter will protest in song outside Focus on the Family, with an electrifying jazz concert that celebrates the lives of all people and loving relationships that seek the American dream. The entire community – lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, their families, friends and supporters, are invited to the final march and concert.
To find out more about the Soulforce 1000 Watt March, Vigil and Concert, please see: www.soulforce.org/1000wattmarch.
Consistent with the first step in the principles of nonviolence taught by Gandhi and King, Soulforce researched and documented false claims by Focus on the Family about LGBT people, couples and families. That research is compiled in a booklet, entitled "A False Focus on My Family" and a DVD, entitled, "Dear Dr. Dobson." This powerful and eye-opening booklet is available free online at www.soulforce.org/article/false-focus-family and the DVD is available free to press upon request.
Soulforce’s purpose is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information go to www.soulforce.org.