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Shepard March to Focus on Rights for Trans
2002-10-01

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With this year's murder rate of transgendered and gender-variant people running ahead of any previously recorded year, the 4th Matthew Shepard March Against Anti-Gay Hate Sat., Oct. 5 will focus on the need to oppose anti-trans hate and violence. Specifically, the rally will aim to promote passage of the "Gender Identity Amendment" to Chicago's Human Rights Ordinance, which would protect transgender and other gender-variant people from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

The rally will start at 8 p.m. at Halsted and Roscoe, Chicago, but in a break with tradition, after marching down Halsted, it will march on Clark Street, before returning to Halsted and Roscoe.

One of the featured speakers will be Miranda Stevens-Miller of It's Time, Illinois, the state's leading transgendered-rights organization. Also featured will be Lynn Sprout, who was fired from her nursing job of 18 years for standing up to anti-lesbian hate. When Sprout attempted to take personal leave time to care for her terminally ill lover with whom she'd been partnered 18 years, instead of receiving compassion from her employer, she encountered anti-lesbian hate. The downstate LGBT rights direct-action group, 85% Coalition, has championed Sprout's case against Carle Hospital in Urbana, Ill.

CABN's Kentin Waits will also address the rally about the problem of anti-gay hate. Waits currently is pursuing a civil suit against the City of Chicago, after police allegedly gay-bashed him July 23, 2000 in an interrogation room of the Belmont and Western police station. As an Amnesty International report on the attack noted, Kentin said that "while handcuffed, he was slammed into doors and walls by the arresting officers, resulting in lacerations to his wrists, and bruises to his upper arms. ... During the assault the officer is alleged to have called Mr. Waits a 'fucking faggot' and 'gay mother-fucker'."

Co-sponsored by the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network and It's Time, Illinois. Call (888) 471-0874, email CABNstopthehate@aol.com or itstimeil@itstimeil.org .


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