Minnesotans rally for equality at the State Capitol

There's been a couple demonstrations at the Capitol this weekend.

Minnesotans gathered at the State Capitol this weekend to rally for equality.

More than 100 cities participated in a national Equality March for Unity & Pride on Sunday, in solidarity with the central march happening in Washington D.C.

Twin Cities Pride led the event in Minnesota. Its mission: to inspire "people of all gender and sexual identities to fight for love, justice, inclusion, and equity in a way that unites our community and creates space for people to show up as their whole, true, and authentic selves."

“LGBTQ+ people have seen historic progress in the last decade, but we haven’t overcome our biggest obstacles and there’s still much more work for us to do. Far too many among us are facing increased hostile rhetoric, discriminatory policies, and increased violence. That’s why it’s our time to march," Anika Simpson, a National Co-Chair for the march said in a news release.

Although severe weather prompted Twin Cities organizers to cancel the march portion of the event Sunday morning, a rally that was scheduled to follow went on at noon outside the Capitol, a Facebook update says.

The rally featured several guest speakers, including poet and trans activist Andrea Jenkins, Black Liberation Project co-founder Vanessa Taylor, and a few LGBTQ-friendly state legislators including Rep. Erin Maye Quade, Rep. Karen Clark, and Sen. Scott Dibble.

Thousands of Minnesotans were expected to attend the march, but the severe weather may have affected the actual numbers. You can view a slideshow of the event here.

The demonstration came just one day after several people were arrested at the Capitol during an anti-Sharia Law protest. Anti-Islamophobia counter protesters showed up, and the hostility between the two groups led to some altercations, including some with state troopers. Seven people were arrested and booked into Ramsey County Jail, facing a variety of charges, from disorderly conduct to assault.

Among the equality march’s platform points is a call to end Islamophobia and Antisemitism, and for communities to unite to protect Muslim and Jewish people from violence and discrimination.

The rally was expected to wrap up around 2 p.m., with organizers encouraging attendees to head over to the Golden Valley Pride Festival and a Queer Prom afterwards.

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