Students gathered on campus Thursday for a rally meant to raise awareness of a national march aimed at gaining equal protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The National Equality March is scheduled for Oct. 11 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
“It is important that young people recognize equal rights as a moral imperative,” said Alliance for the Realization of Legal Equality President Sam Sussman. “The 14th Amendment states that no state should deny any person equal protection.”
The purpose of the Student Association-chartered rally, which was hosted by the Rainbow Pride Union and their subgroup Out Loud, as well as the College Democrats, was to get students to sign up to take a bus from BU to Washington, D.C. and participate in the rally.
The bus to the march in Washington, D.C. is sponsored by Alliance for the Realization of Legal Equality, located in Orange County, N.Y. There is a $12 fee.
In his speech, Sussman, a sophomore majoring in philosophy, politics and law, addressed why it is important for college students to take a stand on the issue of equal rights.
“Young people are shaping America’s future,” he said. “Discrimination has no place in this future.”
So far, approximately 40 people, all associated with BU, are signed up to attend the march, but more are expected to sign up once there is more publicity for the event, Sussman said. The bus will be leaving at 6 a.m. and return to campus around midnight.
“[Coming to D.C.] is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Sussman said to the crowds of students that walked along the path between Glenn G. Bartle Library and the New University Union on their way to class. “How many of you would have liked to have been there when Martin Luther King told America ‘I have a dream’? We didn’t have the chance then, but now we do.”
A second speaker, Darren Glenn, a senior double-majoring in comparative literature and German, agreed with what Sussman had to say.
“How long have we been told to wait?” he asked the few students who stopped in front of the rally on their way to class. “For hundreds of years we have been told to wait. ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ is not good enough. We have to stand up and say no more discrimination. Not just acceptance, equality.”
While many students passed by the rally, only a group of approximately 10 students stopped to listen to the speakers. Those who did agreed with the message of the rally.
“Everybody deserves basic rights,” Amanda Albert, a sophomore majoring in environmental studies, said.