Civil rights icon and Georgia Democratic Representative John Lewis delivered a moving speech at Atlanta Pride over the weekend. According to Rod 2.0, the congressman recalled the struggle leading up to the successful repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and encouraged advocates to continue pressing for equality.
“One year ago we had 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' but it's gone now,” said the congressman. “When people stand together, fight together and march together, we can bring about change. So don't ever give up or ever give in."
"We're one family,” he added. “It doesn't matter if we're gay or straight."
“Get in the way and make some noise. Speak up and speak out. And I will be with you every mile of the way,” the former Freedom Rider and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) chairman promised.
Last year, the civil rights veteran spoke out against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” encouraging members of the House to “vote yes” on its repeal because “discrimination is wrong.”
In 1961, Lewis volunteered to participate in the Freedom Rides, which challenged segregation at interstate bus terminals across the South. During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, from 1963 to 1966, he served as chairman of SNCC, which he helped form. SNCC was largely responsible for organizing students in the Movement, including student-led sit-ins.