Thousands of marriage equality proponents descended on Fresno, California this past Saturday for one of the largest equality demonstrations since Proposition 8 became law last November and was upheld by the California Supreme Court last week. Over three thousands people were in attendance for the Meet In The Middle 4 Equality march.
Marchers walked 15 miles from Selma, California to Fresno and were joined by actors Eric McCormack (Will & Grace), Michelle Clunie, T.R. Knight(Grey's Anatomy), Charlize Theron, activist Cleve Jones, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black(MILK), and others.
In light of the obvious racial divide and ongoing debate regarding marriage equality as a civil rights issue among African-Americans, the presence of Rev. Eric Lee as one of the speakers at Saturday's march spoke volumes about how members of the black community view this issue differently.
Rev.Lee is President/CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles and was an active participant in the black civil rights movement. He is a straight ally and has repeatedly spoken out against homophobia. Rev. Lee marched 15 miles for equality and remarked of the pain his body ensued but vowed he would do it again if necessary.
"We walked 15 miles...the pain that is in my feet, in my knees, and in my back is nothing compared to the pain of discrimination and injustice that you're going through now", said Rev. Lee.
"So I can walk that 15 miles knowing that it doesn not compare to the discrimination that you're facing. And i'll walk another 15 miles and another 15 miles and another 15 miles until we have marriage equality"!
Yet another example that the black community is not monolithic and there are courageous individuals who are willing to stand up and be counted when any group of people are facing injustice. Bishop Harry Jackson does not speak for the entire black community or black clergy on this issue.
Get into video of Rev. Lee's remarks at Meet In The Middle 4 Equality in the video below.