–Civil rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), speaking at the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 National Dinner in Washington on Saturday, Sept. 10. As with many of the night’s speakers, Lewis struck a combative tone, telling the assembled that they needed to resist complacency and continue “moving forward” on LGBT rights, particularly in a presidential election year.
“Ours is not a struggle against flesh and blood, but against falsehood and lies,” Lewis said. ” We’re not locked in a struggle for individuals. We are part of a powerful effort to remind human beings of their own humanity. Noting that marriage equality was a “critical step,” Lewis added “there is still great work to be done…. This election presents an important challenge, and we must not fail in our response to it. I must tell you, as one who gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, the vote is precious, almost sacred. And we must get out there and vote in this election, and vote like we’ve never, ever voted before.”
Lewis also offered an indictment of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, echoing themes touched upon earlier in the night by Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and HRC President Chad Griffin.
“I’ve followed every election since the election of President Kennedy. And met every president since President Kennedy. This is the worst. Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States. We need to run, not walk, to the polls, and do all we can between now and Nov. 8. We must do it. Our lives depend on it. We must do all we can to ensure this man does not end up in the White House.”
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