NEW YORK, NY — A new group of men and boys have launched the petition to make the Equality Amendment law of the land.
The petitioners, who are also part of the “The Coalition for Equality,” say the Equality Amendments of 1993 were meant to address the discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in American society and to ensure the right of all Americans to equal protection under the law.
The group is led by former Army Ranger Daniel K. “Trey” Maberry, a 23-year-old University of Georgia law student, and a 19-year old from the New York City area, who were both recently awarded Bronze Stars for their bravery in the Iraq war.
They also say they were the ones who broke the ground for the repeal of the infamous Defense of Marriage Act.
The repeal of DOMA was widely considered a disaster for LGBT people and their families, and has led to a huge uptick in hate crimes and bullying.
“We’ve got to do something,” said Trey Mabory.
“It’s been so long.
We’re just hoping to make a difference.”
Maberry and his friend, Aaron Mabry, also 23, said they were inspired by the recent release of a video by the LGBT rights organization GLAAD which highlighted the discrimination they experienced in the military.
“I had never been discriminated against before, so this was really inspiring to me,” said Mabury.
Aaron Mabries mother, Marissa, said she was proud to see the young men at the center of the campaign.
“I am very proud of them for putting their bodies on the line,” she said.
“This is what they are trying to do for all of us.
I think it’s important to stand up for them.”
The coalition’s campaign is calling on President Barack Obama to sign the Equality Bill into law, a law that will overturn DOMA, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
“The coalition believes that the equality amendment of 1993 is the most important step in the right direction toward ensuring equality for all Americans, and that the repeal or repeal of this archaic and discriminatory law is the wrong thing to do,” the petition says.
The coalition also wants the Equality amendment passed by Congress so that people with gender identity issues can be legally recognized and able to marry without having to disclose their gender identity.
The campaign hopes to reach out to other prominent members of the LGBT community to help them achieve their goal.