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Building the Dream for LGBT Equality: LGBT Community Members Honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

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This week the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial opened for public viewing in Washington, D.C. The memorial includes a 30-foot-tall sculpture of Dr. King and an inscription wall with 14 of the most notable quotes from the civil rights leader. An LGBT reception will take place this evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill to coincide with the festivities surrounding the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial next weekend.

The event hosted by the District of Columbia Host Committee for the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, in partnership with LGBT advocacy groups like the National Black Justice Coalition, will honor the living legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. LGBT local and national figures and allies will reflect on what Dr. King means to them and what his dream means for LGBT equality.

“We knew we wanted something specifically LGBT to be front and center at the beginning of the week,” said Nick McCoy, project director of the DC Host Committee MLK Memorial Dedication, to the Washington Blade.

The dedication ceremony will take place on Sunday, August 28, the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, during which King delivered his seminal "I Have a Dream" speech. The March on Washington was organized by openly gay civil rights advocate Bayard Rustin, who also served as key adviser to Martin Luther King, Jr. The Washington Post recently commemorated Bayard Rustin’s life and commitment to the civil rights movement.

Tonight’s joint effort is planned to ensure LGBT visibility among the numerous events leading up to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial dedication ceremony.