Roughly 40 people gathered along George Washington Way in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) rights.
The Tri-Cities Young Democrats hosted one of about 100 sibling events to Sunday’s Equality March For Unity And Pride.
The larger rally, which was held in Washington, D.C., was proposed on Facebook following the worldwide Women’s March in January, PBS News Hour reported.
The Richland event is aimed at improving the visibility of the LGBTQ community in the Tri-Cities, said Carly Coburn, treasurer of the Tri-Cities Young Democrats.
“A big part of activism is making sure that you’re seen and you’re heard,” she said. “We wanted to come out here with state issues, local issues and national issues that are affecting the LGBTQ-plus community.”
On a state level, she is concerned about a Initiative 1552, which would require schools to maintain separate facilities for men and women. It’s a move that would prevent transgender students from using the bathroom they choose.
Closer to home, Coburn wants cities to declare themselves inclusive communities.
I feel like any rights that I have as a gay person living in the Tri-Cities have come thanks to voters in King County.
Shir Regev, Richland City Council candidate
Shir Regev, an openly gay Richland City Council candidate, joined the march as a way to increase the LGBTQ community’s visibility, she said.
“On a local level, I feel like any rights that I have as a gay person living in the Tri-Cities have come thanks to voters in King County,” she said. “It’s time to try and create some dialogue and change the dynamics in the Tri-Cities.”
The event attracted one counter protester. Zack Aubert, a Richland resident, said people used the LGBTQ designation to create additional regulations for business owners, and he wants to decrease the amount of involuntary requirements on business owners.