Activists from across the country will converge on D.C. on Sunday to participate in [the National Equality March, a rally to promote equal protection for LGBTQ Americans](http://equalityacrossamerica.org/blog/?category_name=march).

The march will begin on Sunday at noon. Participants – including many students – will gather at 10 a.m. at President’s Park South, the Ellipse south of the White House, and the march will end with a rally on the U.S. Capitol West Lawn.

The march comes in a period of widespread debate over LGBTQ rights, with [a bill proposing same-sex marriage introduced in the D.C. Council earlier this week](http://www.thehoya.com/news/alum-introduce-dc-marriage-bill/) and multiple states contemplating the legalization of same-sex marriage.

“The NEM isn’t a fight about Proposition 8 in California, or about a fight in Maine; it’s a national movement projecting itself into inclusion into the 14th Amendment and into civil rights law,” said Dave Valk, student outreach coordinator for the National Equality March, in a conference call.

GU Pride Co-Chair Carlos León (COL ’10) said he is excited for the march.

“I’m most energized by the [National Equality March’s] message of full federal equality, as there are countless disparities outside the spheres of marriage and the military that are rarely addressed at a national level,” León said.

This weekend’s events will kick off with a flash protest against the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on Saturday at The George Washington University.

The march has received national endorsements from politicians like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and notable entertainers like Lady Gaga, who announced her intent to participate in the weekend’s events. Georgetown student leaders from the Georgetown University Student Association, GU Pride and the LGBTQ Resource Center also endorsed the march. Prominent LGBTQ activists leading the march on Sunday will include AIDS activist Cleve Jones and Lt. Dan Choi, a gay former military officer challenging “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

President Obama plans to discuss LGBTQ issues at a Human Rights Campaign dinner on Saturday. The Human Rights Campaign is a prominent U.S. LGBTQ rights lobby and advocacy group.

The National Equality March has been largely student-organized and many of the participants are expected to be university students.

“I’m most excited [to be] a part of something way greater than just the Georgetown or even the D.C. area. This is an exciting time to be part of change on a national level,” said Joseph Graumann (SFS ’11), co-chair of GU Pride.

“We are going to have a couple of thousand students involved, and if nothing comes out of the march, those involved are going to go back home with that feeling of knowing how to inspire others,” Valk said. “Not just on gay rights issues. We can use this energy to move forward in anything.” “

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