Dallas activists have played key roles in GetEQUAL, which has quickly become one of the most influential national LGBT direct action organizations since ACT-UP.
According to its website, GetEQUAL’s mission is “to empower the LGBTQ community and our allies to take bold action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way.”
The group was founded on March 11 by Robin McGehee and Kip Williams — organizers of last year’s National Equality March — as an alternative to other groups such as the Human Rights Campaign.
Mark Reed-Walkup, a Dallas business owner who also helped organize the National Equality March, now serves on the board for
GetEQUAL, which gained nonprofit status in June. In May, Reed-Walkup became the third activist from Dallas to be arrested at demonstrations organized by GetEQUAL. He was arrested along with five others for chaining himself to the White House fence in a protest to demand a repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell.”
On March 18, Dallas activists Chastity Kirven and Michael Robinson had been arrested — Robinson in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Washington office and Kirven in Pelosi’s San Francisco office — during protests to demand a vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
This same day, Lt. Dan Choi handcuffed himself to the White House fence in his first protest of DADT as part of GetEQUAL’s new direct action campaign. Choi was dischraged from the Army under DADT.
Local members of Get Equal also organized several actions in Dallas.
They held an ENDA rally outside the Dallas office of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. They also protested outside ExxonMobil Corp.’s shareholders meeting at the Meyerson in June, and at Oak Lawn-area service stations.
Last week, Get EQUAL Texas held rallies outside Hutchison’s offices across the state to protest her vote against repealing DADT.
Reed said GetEQUAL is just beginning to organize chapters in all 50 states and should become more active in Texas in 2010.
— From staff reports
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 31, 2010.