Recent mass marches on Washington, no matter how noble or well-attended, have generally been dispiriting affairs. On various days in the past six years liberals and leftists have gathered on the Mall by the tens of thousands in support of labor unions, abortion rights, and low-income housing—only to wake up the next morning to discover that the news coverage of the march had been slight, and that hardly a dent had been made in congressional agendas or in the political zeitgeist.
The April 25 lesbian and gay civil rights march dramatically escaped this fate. The march, whose date had been set over three years ago, turned out to be extraordinarily timely, perfectly positioned to catch the crest of national attention surrounding the military’s ban on lesbian and gay soldiers. Cable news channels carried extensive live coverage of the march and rally; the major national newspapers gave it prominent notice; and, of course, MTV was there. The week after the march, New York magazine ran a cover story on “Lesbian Chic.” All of this media attention, both the serious...
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