POSTED: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 12:30pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 12:34pm
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) — Gay rights - it's a national issue that took center stage at Tuesday night's Lake Charles City Council agenda meeting. Local gay and lesbian supporters went before the council to raise awareness and support for their campaign for basic human rights.
"As you might know. I'm gay - that's why I'm wearing a rainbow," explained Richard Noble.
Noble is on a jouryney. A gay rights activist, he's traveled more than 2,000 miles on foot from San Francisco stopping along the way, asking cities for support of the American Equality Bill.
"This will ensure that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have full equality and civil rights protections at the federal level," said Noble.
Noble said he's received support all along the way and believes it's time for change.
"We need to send a strong message to young people, especially that are gay, lesbian bisexual or transgender, that their lives are worthy of equality and we need to send a very strong message to those that oppose us or want to commit hate crimes towards us or impose any sort of discrimination based on our sexual orientation," said Noble.
The council also heard from the Lake Charles Pride organization. The group asked the council to put aside their differences and focus on what they have in common.
"I didn't want to be gay. I tried not to be gay. But it's like trying not to be white," said Michael Scott. "I'm glad you all are considering opening the door. To me it's like where African Americans were 50 years ago or the Native Americans were 100 years ago. It's like we are all just people and we are just talking about love."
"Just community. Not the LGBT community, not the heterosexual community. Just our community. Our city. And that's all we are asking," said Christopher Vice.
"I'm not asking you to approve of my lifestyle. I'm just asking you to accept the fact that I'm human and that I want the same things as you do. I want to live. I want to be happy. And I want to be free," said Michael Liles.
Mayor Randy Roach acknowledged they have had several conversations with the group and thanked them for sharing. No word on if anyone on the council will sponsor a resolution of support.
Meanwhile Noble is set to make his way to Congress and hand over the resolutions of support he collects along the way.