Join the Nationwide March for Human Rights: At Home!
This flyer, produced by the Coalition for Human Rights, invites people to a demonstration in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, August 20th. Other text identifies where marchers will meet and a small map shows the meeting point, the new federal building, and surrounding area of downtown. It features an image of demonstrators marching down an unidentified street.
Throughout American history, people have taken to the streets to march and nonviolently protest against things they found to be unfair. These protests often focus on specific issues, such as ending the Vietnam War or allowing women the right to vote. Sometimes, however, activists will combine issues to create larger demonstrations on behalf of multiple causes. The hope is that larger marches can have a larger impact and will be more likely to influence lawmakers and other leaders in society. These flyers show one such effort. The Coalition for Human Rights, which existed from 1977 to 1985, was mainly a gay rights organization, but the group connected gay rights to other issues and causes. From the first flyer, we see many different issues at play in this demonstration, ranging from gay rights to women’s rights to poor people’s rights. By framing their cause as “human rights” and building coalitions with other causes, the activists hoped to spread their message more effectively.
Demonstrations such as the one listed here often serve a variety of purposes that may be worth discussing with students: they try to influence public opinion, influence specific legislation, and gain sympathetic media coverage. Teachers may want to put such a march in the larger context of street demonstrations throughout US history. Large street demonstrations such as this only became possible for LGBTQ people during the 1970s because of the repeal of anti-gay laws throughout that decade. (During the 1970s, 25 states repealed their anti-gay laws.) But in the late 1970s, mainstream society was still getting used to the idea of mass gay visibility, so it was not unusual for activists to frame their actions in more general terms. The phrase human rights has often served this function for LGBTQ activists. In fact, the largest LGBTQ rights group presently operating in the United States, Human Rights Campaign (HRC for short), still uses this strategy. The basic idea is that gay rights are human rights, and it is harder to argue against human rights than gay rights. Some activists criticize this strategy, however, because it waters down the message and implies that being gay is something that should be downplayed or concealed. It should be noted that after years of steady gains during the first half of the 1970s, the gay rights movement started suffering setbacks and backlash from opposing political factions around 1977. Notice the reference to Dade County in the second flyer — this refers to the 1977 repeal of a gay rights law in Dade County, Florida. The repeal was led by singer and anti-gay activist Anita Bryant, who became a leading national figure against gay rights in the late 1970s. Bryant argued that gay people were dangerous predators who wanted to “recruit” children into homosexuality and should be denied basic rights. Bryant’s “crusade” against homosexuality helped stall the progress of gay rights, forcing gay activists to come up with new strategies for visibility and empowerment. These battles would set the stage for the “culture wars” of the 1980s.
The Coalition For Human Rights/Los Angeles Invites You to Participate in a Demonstration
Join the Nationwide March For Human Rights
Doesn’t Jimmy Carter know that women’s rights and gay rights ARE human rights?
Protect equal employment rights for gay teachers * End police harassment of gays, women, minorities and the poor in Hollywood and elsewhere * Free, elective abortions for the poor * Full equality for women/ support the era * Get the metro squad out of Hollywood * Full custody rights for gay and lesbian partners * end the used of “urban removal” to drive gays and others from their homes
[Visual image of hundreds of people marching in the street with banners. One reads, “….Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights.”
Sat Aug 20th. March at 11:00AM Rally at 12:30 New Federal Bldg in downtown L.A. The federal building is at 300 North Los Angeles Street between Temple and Aliso Sts. [Includes map of the cross streets]
Speakers and Entertainment
The Coalition for Human Rights organizes peaceful and legal demonstrations, and we ask that all who march with us abide by that policy. For information, please call (213) 463-3928.
We are a coalition of wide range of individuals and organizations united to work activity for the attainment of full economic, social, and political equality for oppressed women and men of all races, ages, and sexual orientations. Although activated in response to organized attacks by reactionary forces, we recognize that this effort to defeat gay rights is part of the broader movement to deny or abridge human and civil rights not only to gays but to women and minorities as well. We seek to accomplish our aims through legislative change, community organization, public education, and the coordination of the efforts of gays, women, and minorities with the community at large. The Coalition is open to all who support it’s aims.
Please slip and mail this coupon to the COALITION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS P.O. Box 2349 Los Angeles, California 90028
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