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50 years in 50 weeks: 1993 March on Washington

by BAR staff

Photo: Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Photo: Courtesy B.A.R. Archive  

The April 29, 1993 cover of the Bay Area Reporter featured that year's March on Washington for lesbian, gay, and bi rights. It was the third national march members of the LGBTQ community staged in the nation's capital (the others took place in 1979 and 1987 and were billed as marches for lesbian and gay rights, according to a 2017 timeline from the Washington Blade). The B.A.R.'s coverage noted that President Bill Clinton was up in New England that day, and instead of a live electronic link to speak to people on the National Mall — as had been assured by Torie Osborn of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force — Clinton had Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) read a letter from him. At the time, Clinton had only been in office two months, and many of the demonstrators called on him to "lift the ban" against gays serving in the military. Of course, Clinton instead came up with the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" compromise that still saw queer service members bounced from the armed services. (DADT was repealed in 2010). Today, Pelosi is House speaker and one of the most powerful figures in Washington. To see the issue, click here.

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