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The five demands made by the marchers were:

Pass a comprehensive Lesbian/Gay Rights Bill in Congress.

Issue a Presidential Executive Order banning discrimination based on Sexual Orientation in the Federal Government, the Military, and Federally Contracted private employment

Repeal all Anti-Lesbian/Gay Laws

End discrimination in Lesbian-Mother and Gay-Father custody cases

Protect Lesbian and Gay Youth from any Laws which are Used to Discriminate, Oppress, and/or Harass them in their Homes, Schools, Jobs, and Social Environments



On October 14, 1979, 100,000 members of the gay community and its supporters gathered for the first national gay rights march. It gave birth to a national gay movement. Houston was there.

Planning and organization for the march went through several iterations. The first attempt in 1973 encountered local and national resistance from LGBT organizations and plans were postponed.

In early June 1978, Ray Hill had a discussion with Harvey Milk at a meeting in Dallas. They were at odds about how to nationalize the lesbian and gay rights movement. Milk wanted a March on Washington and Hill wanted a national lesbian and gay rights congress. Milk won the debate; they agreed to support each other's efforts.

Houston had Town Meeting I, in late June 1978, where a resolution was presented and approved for a national march on Washington for Lesbian and Gay rights. Differences in the desired approach continued through the year
until November, when the death of Harvey Milk (on November 27, 1978)
and the Anita Bryant "Save Our Children" campaign served as catalysts
for organizers.

In February 1979, in Philadelphia, it was agreed to have a march on Washington on the ten year anniversary of Stonewall. The organizational structure and platform were defined and the national Steering Committee was selected by community meetings throughout the country.

A conference was called for July 1979, in Houston, to check the status of delegations. It was there that many organizations decided to endorse the march, including the National Gay Task Force, Gay Rights National Lobby, and the National Organization for Women. A strong push for transgender inclusion in the March's name was rejected at that July meeting. Despite this, the Houston meeting solidified the gender equality and racial inclusive basis for the 1979 March.

Ray Hill was a member of the steering committee, and he used his skills to organize, publicize and fundraise. He secured the seed money for the march
from Frank Caven, a Texas bar owner, who gave $250,000. At the March
Ray shared MC duties with activist/comic Robin Tyler, and the community
was united in seeking a comprehensive list of demands for various rights
and protections.

Sources: Wikipedia article; See large photo section on the March
Ray Hill Interview
Banner Ray Hill photo by Blase DiStefano