Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hope, Part 2: A 3rd Grader puts together a rally of hundreds of people for same-gender marriage!

A few days ago a teacher contacted me to let me know that one of his 3rd grade students had put together a marriage equality rally... at the state capital in Denver, Colorado! (Here's one of the many articles on Ethan's rally in the Denver Post.)

Here are some photos from Ethan's Rally that his teacher sent me to share with you all:

Times like these make us yearn for hope. And this child, nine year old Ethan - who is so wise, gives it to us.


Here is the text of the speech that Ethan read on the steps of his state's capitol building:

First I want to thank everyone for coming, specifically the speakers that took their free time to come and speak and support me and equal marriage rights.

At our rally today there might be some people that have a different view than us and they might say some unkind things, but please keep all of your positive energy on the rally. Despite the view of these people

I believe that I am doing the right thing and it will help lots and lots of people and make many lives better.

I believe that everybody is equal. No matter their religion, race, or sexual orientation. In the past different figures in history have improved civil rights, like Martin Luther King and Ghandi. And things got better. But not for everyone.

We need to continue to fight for equal rights for gays and lesbians. Over time things have gotten better for gays and lesbians, but there are two things that have not improved: 1. equal protection for gays and lesbians and 2. Equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians.

I believe that everybody deserves equal protection. This includes police officers and government officials, without bias. On July 9, 2008 an off duty police officer threw the first punch in an anti-gay bar fight and smashed a glass into a gay man’s face before running off. In school you’re taught that the police are supposed to be your friend. How are you supposed to believe that when you’re gay and a police officer just smashed a glass into a gay person’s face? Have you ever heard of a police officer smashing a glass into a straight man’s face? [not all police officers are like this]

I also believe that everyone deserves the choice to get married. I don’t understand why people seem to think that civil unions are the same as marriage? In civil unions you don't get the same benefits such as if your partner dies you don't get their retirement Why are straight couples better than gay and lesbian couples? If you were gay or lesbian how would you feel if you weren’t allowed to get married then later you
see a straight couple get married? People marry because they love each other and want to stay together the rest of their lives. That’s important to children and to adults. If you are married you can go to the hospital to see your partner. If you aren’t married you can’t be there if your partner is sick or dies just because you are gay and lesbian? Do you think that’s fair that one person can stand by their partner when they are sick but a gay or lesbian person can’t? But getting married is not only a right but a responsibility.

In conclusion, there is a lot more work to be done regarding marriage equality and equal protection. I hope this rally will make an impact and let our voices be heard. Once again I would like to thank everybody for coming.

Wow. I have another new hero. And I feel hope for the future of our world!

Thank you Ethan. And thanks to your Mom and to your teacher for supporting you in this amazing step for Gay rights!

With great respect,



Angie said...

Awesome. :D I hope that kid runs for office some day.

Angie, cheering Ethan

Kim Baker said...

What a fabulous kid.
Thanks for posting this, Lee!

Summer said...

awwwww that's awesome

Anonymous said...

Once again, I am proud to be a Denverite