Media Release From:
THE PRO-LIFE ALLIANCE OF GAYS AND LESBIANS
Post Office Box 33292
Washington, DC 20033
Tel: (202) 223-6697
Fax: (202) 265-9737
For Further Information:
Philip Arcidi (508) 369-0700
GAY PRO-LIFERS MEET AND MARCH
Washington, DC. January 22, 1996.Twenty three members of the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians from throughout the nation today marched from the Ellipse to Capitol Hill in the Twenty Second Annual March for Life. They joined several tens of thousands of other pro-life citizens in calling for a prohibition of abortion on demand in the United States. They marched carrying a large banner emblazoned with their name, their motto, "Human Rights Start When Human Life Begins" and their symbol, a pink triangle enclosing an unborn child, despite the demand from Miss Nellie Gray, who directs the March for Life, that lesbians and gays abandon their identity and their banner. They were greeted as they have been for the six years they have marched -- with remarks of consternation, appreciation, and friendliness -- but no evident hostility. As has been its custom, PLAGAL's members stopped at the crest of Capitol Hill in front of the Russell Senate Office Building and distributed two flyers, An Open Letter to the Pro-Life Movement and Save the Whales! Save the Rainforest! Kill the Babies? to the other participants in the March for Life.
Following the March, the PLAGAL delegation kept their appointment with Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), the pro-life leader who is now Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives. They offered Chairman Hyde their " heartfelt gratitude for his unwavering support of the rights of unborn children." Additionally, they urged him to support a ban on abortions based on both gender and sexual orientation in the future. PLAGAL members then expressed their thanks and presented their hopes for a ban on sex and sex-orientation abortions to Congressmen Chris Smith (R-N.J.), the Chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, to Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), the leading pro-life Democrat, and to pro-life Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth (R-Id.).
The previous evening, January 21, 1996, Mary Haines, a Vice President of NOEL, the National Organization of Episcopalians for Life, the wife of the Episcopal Bishop of Washington, D.C., and the mother of a gay HIV+ son, addressed an audience of 35 hosted by PLAGAL at the Hyatt Hotel on Capitol Hill. Mrs. Haines carries the pro-life flag in a church where the defense of the unborn is "episcopally incorrect."
Mrs. Haines testified to the "great diversity" of the Pro-Life movement. She urged pro-lifers of every variety to let their talents be known. The Pro-Life movement, Mrs. Haines observed, needs the God-given gifts of everyone, gifts that are to be used, not overlooked. She described her wellspring of energy in her pro-life efforts: "a deep Christian belief that human life is a gift to be welcomed, no matter how difficult the circumstances of its arrival." She urged both pro-choicers and pro-lifers -- both of which were represented in the audience -- to do more to care for unanticipated children if their support of women in need is to appear authentic.
Missing from the March this year was Ms. Betty Ann Keener. Ms. Keener, a National Vice-President of PLAGAL, was in New York City participating in a news conference announcing a "Contract With The American Woman," a proposal to alter the malpractice insurance laws of the fifty states "to insure that women who have abortions are protected against the criminal acts, anti-social behavior, and inferior medical practices of abortion providers."
The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians was organized in 1990 to advance the Pro-Life Message within the lesbian and gay community. Currently, it has active groups in Boston, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, and has a mailing list of about 530. It has participated for the last six years in the March for Life. An article from The Washington Post, January 27, 1996, is attached.