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January 22, 1999. Washington, DC - The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL) was banned from participating in the 26th Annual March for Life under threat of arrest. Eric Mines, an officer of the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police, ousted members of PLAGAL moments before the event began. He stated that his orders came from unnamed leaders of the March.

Every year, PLAGAL peacefully joins the tens of thousands of pro-lifers who march each January to protest Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in 1973.

"Many members of PLAGAL were strong pro-life leaders before they identified themselves as gays and lesbians," said Moses Remedios, newly elected president of PLAGAL, who spoke from the March for Life stage four years ago as president of American Collegians for Life. "For 26 years, PLAGAL members have provided free legal aid to fellow pro-lifers, staffed and directed crisis pregnancy centers and sought and won elective office." In spite of this, Nellie Gray, the organizer of the annual March, had expressed her displeasure in recent years with PLAGAL's participation.


PLAGAL members decided that their arrest would prove counterproductive to their mission -- to work on behalf of the unborn victimized by abortion -- and instead hurried ahead of the parade to the Supreme Court Building, where they handed out brochures stating that an inclusive pro-life movement will save more unborn children from the threat of abortion. Spencer Epps, a student at Georgetown University, said "March organizers can't tell someone ‘you're too black to be pro-life; you're too Jewish to be pro-life.' Why are they telling us ‘you're too gay to be pro-life'?"

"It is sad for the cause of women and unborn children that Miss Gray would exclude pro-life participants based simply on who we are," said Ms. B.A. Keener, Vice President of PLAGAL. "Today, a few narrow-minded pro-lifers said that gays are not fit to help save lives. The truth is that there are plenty of gays and lesbians who are sincerely pro-life."

"As a minority, we know firsthand what it is to be treated as less than human, to have our very lives endangered," said Tom Sena, founder of PLAGAL. "This has taught us to fight for all human lives similarly endangered; that includes the unborn. Miss Gray thinks we're here to push a ‘gay agenda.' But she's wrong. We're here to show that, contrary to her stereotypes, we care about the unborn as much as any other pro-lifers. PLAGAL believes that anything that endangers human life is wrong. Homophobia is one such danger. So is abortion."

Mr. Remedios and his colleagues pledge to be present at the March for Life next year. "If we let ourselves be silenced, we fail to follow our conscience: we perpetuate the abuse of human rights that began with Roe v. Wade, and we let narrow-minded straights insist that gays and lesbians are not fit to help the unborn."

The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians was organized in 1990 to advance, within the lesbian and gay community, the message of the dignity and sanctity of human life from the moment of conception , and has participated in every March for Life since 1991. Currently, it has a mailing list of over 800 individuals, and active groups in Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC.