Coalition chair Robert A. Marchman Speaks at March for Equality in SOMa

While many locals were at the big march in Washington DC, there was a great turn-out in SOMa on Sunday, June 11, 2017 for the March for Equality and Pride. We heard from activists and leaders from our towns and throughout the state including Maplewood Mayor Vic Deluca, South Orange President Sheena Collum, Steve Mershon, Christian Fuscarino, C.J. Prince, Robert Marchman (Chair of the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race), youth from Columbia High School, Diane Du Brule from the ACLU, and Jillian Weiss (Executive Director of the National Transgender Legal Defense Fund).

For a video of Robert A. Marchman’s comments, click here or read below.

Thank you for the invitation to participate in today’s Equality March.

I join you here today as Chairman of the Community Coalition on Race, a member of the National PFLAG Board, and , most importantly as a proud PFLAG Dad.

We live in a time when our nation is infected with a VIRUS OF HATE: the prevalence of alt facts, racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and, of course, homophobia evidence that immediate and prompt action is required to save this nation and protect our loved ones whether they be family, friend or stranger. For those of us here and around our country today who understand that we are all part of the human family as well as our sisters and brothers keeper we must serve as the ANTI-DOTE to this virus of hate. We must demonstrate that our way is not only the moral way but the only course to take that ensures a beneficial tomorrow for us all not just some of us. We can do so by not only calling out the obvious injustice that occur when individuals are denied equal rights or threatened with physical violence BUT through action. It is not enough to see something and say something. We must persist in demanding change from elected officials and hold them accountable, we must speak up and call out family, friends and others who make offensive comments, we must hold companies accountable who promote and benefit from the spread of hate, educate the ill-informed, and we must volunteer and participate in organizations that are making a difference.

While it is easy to despair and the road ahead has many difficult challenges we must remember that past struggles for equality in this nation evidence that PERSISTENCE, HOPE and KEEPING THE FAITH in this critical fight WILL result in our reaching our desired mountain top of full equality for our LGBTQ family and a better tomorrow for our beloved nation.

Thank you and Onward!

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