Supporters of lesbian and gay men’s rights will gather on the National Mall this Sunday for the Millennium March on Washington, the fourth national rally for lesbian and gay rights in the past 21 years.
Scheduled to attend Sunday’s event will be the parents of Matthew Shepard, who died in October 1998 after having been beaten into a coma and left tied to a fence, and the mother of Pfc. Barry Winchell at Fort Campbell, KY, who was beaten to death after rumors began that he was gay.
Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, who has attended each of the four national rallies for lesbian and gay rights, will address the crowd on Sunday.
Critics of the event argue that the march was organized without enough grass-roots support. Diane Hardy-Garcia, executive director of Sunday’s March, disagrees. “One of the reasons we do marches on Washington is something that is important to the gay community – the real need to bring more people into the movement,” said Hardy-Garcia.