Approximately 200 people attended a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Severe thunderstorms forced event organizers to cancel a short march down John Ireland Boulevard but the rally itself was able to take place as planned.
The event was a sister march to the Equality March for Unity and Pride held in Washington D.C. today and featured speakers consisting of members of the LGBTQ+ community, predominantly people of color, although members of the Minnesota state legislative branch and those running for elected positions within Minnesota also spoke.
The speakers focused on multiple issues, including equal rights and protections for members of the community, access to shelters and housing for youth, health care for all, violence against transgender people of color and “increased resources to address the large health disparities present in the bisexual and transgender communities and among all LGBTQ+ youth”.
A full list of demands can be found here on the event’s Facebook page.
While the focus of the event was the LGBTQ+ community, multiple speakers took the time to remind people that they were “on Dakota land” and to be mindful of that when talking about issues within the country.
Representatives from the Minnesota Two-Spirit Society which is a Native American group that, according to their Facebook page, “promote[s] cultural awareness of Two Spirit people in Minnesota and surrounding communities based on a foundation of intertribal traditions and values.”
The event started with a sobering remembrance of those that were murdered during the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando on June 12 2016. The event MC named off each person that lost their life on that day with the crowd responding with “presente”. This, according to the event MC, was something that is done in Latin cultures to remember those that have passed.
In contrast to the beginning of the event, a dance party ended the rally with a DJ playing dance music while the crowd danced along in celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.
Twin Cities Pride, Outfront, the LGBTQ Guard and Golden Valley Pride Festival were the organizers.
Editors note – A previous version of this story listed the LGBTQ Guard as the LGBT Guard.