BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Republican state lawmakers in Louisiana have pushed a barrage of bills targeting LGBTQ+ rights. Down at the Capitol, a new wave of activism has been awakened, as youth a part of the LGBTQ+ community, advocate for change. 

Real Name Campaign, a New Orleans-based advocacy group, arranged the Saturday afternoon march.

“We want to maintain the representation that we have in Louisiana as an important part of Louisiana history and important part of the voting base,” said Quest Riggs, who organizes events in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Organizers say the focus is on asking Gov. John Bel Edwards to veto anti-child bills while making public schools safer for LGBTQ+ students and teachers.

“If any of these bills do end up on his desk, we are calling for him to veto them even if the Republicans want to call a special legislative session it’s up to our Democratic governor to do the right thing,” said Riggs.

Other focuses for the group include:

  • letting medical professionals provide care to youth,
  • stopping the criminalization of kids,
  • stopping attacks on library internet access as state officials have cracked down. 

“The numbers matter, and I think that’s what the lawmakers are thinking about when they see a crowd with this amount. These people care about children just as much as anyone else does. I think it’s a terrible target, and these children need our help, they don’t need to be the subject of our attacks,” said William Doerrler.

The march wanted to send a strong message to legislators who could arrange a veto override session.