Washington, DC&emdash;Award-winning entertainers and activists Ellen DeGeneres, Anne Heche and Melissa Etheridge will be among the special guests featured at the Rally of the Millennium March on Washington for Equality (MMOW) on the National Mall on Sunday, April 30, 2000.
They will join a galaxy of GLBT organizers, civil rights leaders, national politicians and unsung community heroes for the historic fourth national march for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights.
"As the first openly gay central character on a network TV series, Ellen DeGeneres is a trailblazer who opened doors of hope and built bridges of understanding through the power of her convictions," said Ann DeGroot, one of MMOW's four national co-chairs. "Ellen and her partner, Anne Heche, have served as inspiring role models for a rising generation of lesbian and gay youth and have furthered understanding and acceptance in the larger society," added DeGroot.
DeGeneres, who began her career as a stand-up comedian, has served as host of the Grammy Awards and the Emmy Awards and was the star of her own hit network comedy show, "Ellen." She is the recipient of the People's Choice Award, the American Comedy Award, the Cable ACE Award, 1991's American Comedy Award, and was named "Funniest Person in America" by Showtime Network.
Her partner Anne Heche made her acting debut on TV's Daytime Soap "Another World" at the age of 17. The Emmy-award winning actress has appeared in more than 25 feature films, including Psycho, Return to Paradise, Volcano, Donnie Brasco, Wag the Dog, and Six Days, Seven Nights.
"We are also honored that Melissa Etheridge will be returning for her second appearance at a national GLBT March on Washington," said Donna Red Wing, another MMOW co-chair. Etheridge first appeared at the 1993 March on Washington. "Melissa's music has been a powerful vehicle for social change and understanding," said Red Wing.
In 1989, Etheridge was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Bring Me Some Water," a hard-charging blues-rocker that mined her now-familiar themes of longing and jealousy. In 1992, she won a Grammy Award for "Ain't It Heavy" and in 1993 the media proclaimed her a superstar for her catchy hit "Come to My Window" and the searing "I'm the Only One."
The Stage Rally on the National Mall will follow a morning civil rights march through the streets of Washington, DC.
DeGeneres, Heche, and Etheridge will also appear at Equality Rocks, a rock concert presented by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation on Saturday, April 29, 2000, at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington, DC. Billed as "The Rock Concert for the New Century," tickets for Equality Rocks are available through TicketMaster.
The Millennium March on Washington, scheduled for April 30, 2000, is the fourth national GLBT civil rights march and the first human rights march of the new millennium. A free e-mail newsletter is available upon request by writing MMOW2000@aol.com.
For more information on the March on Washington for Equality, visit the official website at www.mmow.org or write to MMOW2000@aol.com.