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Denver 3rd-Grader Holds Equal Rights Rally at Capitol Saturday

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 By Eric MackContact
May 15, 2009

Denver – It's a big project on an even bigger issue, and it was created by one little boy. His name is Ethan, and the Denver third-grader is wading into the equal marriage rights debate.

Ethan wanted to do something after learning one of the children in his neighborhood had two moms who are unable to be married in Colorado. He called local officials, worked on the permits to hold a rally, created a lineup of speakers and hung fliers around town. Ethan's rally is Saturday at noon on the West steps of the Capitol, and he says the message is simple.

"People should be treated the same and they should have equal marriage rights and equal protection."

Ethan has invited local politicians and members of groups including GLBT Community Center of Colorado and P-FLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) to speak. He also will present a proclamation signed by Mayor Hickenlooper declaring May 16 "Marriage Equality and Equal Protection for All Day."

In preparing for the rally, Ethan says he researched the philosophies of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, as well as the murders of Mathew Shepard and Angie Zapata, and came to one conclusion.

"We're all the same people, it's just that we think differently or we were born differently, and these people should be treated the same way as you would treat somebody else."

Ethan also interviewed Mindy Barton, legal director of the GLBT Community Center, which became involved with the rally. Barton says seeing the issue through a child's eyes is powerful.

"It makes the picture much clearer on how much further we have to go toward fighting for equality."

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