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12 Oct, 2009 09:40

“Being gay is OK” US protesters call

Thousands have marched though Washington to demand that Barack Obama keeps his promises on equal rights for gay people.

The protests come a day after the US president said he would allow gays to serve openly in the military, by ending the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. They're also calling for a quick change to the law to allow same-sex partnerships.

“I’m here to support a very important cause. Gay rights, equal rights. Being gay is OK,” one protester said.

But “OK” doesn’t guarantee equality: in the US, gay people don’t enjoy many of the benefits and freedoms awarded to heterosexuals, including marriage and the ability to become adoptive parents.

“Only one of us can adopt,” another protester explained. “They won’t allow same sex couples to adopt,” she added.

Those marching were specifically attempting to show that the US is a country that tries to bring attention to human rights and freedom everywhere else in the world:

“We try to act like we’re morally superior to the whole rest of the world but we have a lot of improvements that we need to make,"
another demonstrator pointer out.

People from all across the US are protesting in Washington DC. They say this march is just the first step in building a network that will continue to organize marches until full equality is achieved.

Though all those protesting are marching for one cause, each of their stories is unique in its own way.

Earle Ball and Tim Hare have been a couple for over three decades, but in America they are legal strangers.

“We’ve been together 33 years,” Earle told RT. “We married in Canada 6 years ago. We’ve tried to do everything we can to protect our relationship.”

“We’re denied the right to marriage, which are afforded to us in Canada and everywhere else,” Tim added.

It’s stories like this that inspire Zack Rosen, editor-in-chief of the “New Gay” a publication that lets Americans know what it means to live the gay life.

“It’s frustrating to be a taxpaying, hard working citizen and denied some of the most basic rights that there are,” Zack said.

And it seems young and old share the same sentiment when it comes to Barack Obama’s policies towards this issue: they feel betrayed.

“This happens year after year where people kind of use gays as a bargaining chip in elections. Either they use hatred of gays or gay support as a way to get into office and then completely abandon us once they get there,” Zack explained.

“Barack Obama has greatly disappointed me. I would not vote for Barack Obama again,” Tim Hare said.

For a country that boasts liberty and justice for all, the US has too many people who don’t feel as though the government is on their side. Now, more than ever, they are demanding their fair share, hoping to see concrete action rather than just words.