Safe spaces of 1st amendment parks

Harleigh Murray


There are parks all around the United States which offer people the chance to practice one of their constitutional rights: 1st Amendment Parks. These parks allow the public to hold gatherings and offer a place for individuals to voice whatever it is they desire. This can range from controversial issues on abortion to spreading awareness of the LGBTQ community.

During my time in Upstate New York, I visited many different historic places. Outside of the women’s rights museum, a group of speakers were setting up in what I soon learned was one of these 1st Amendment Parks.

One of the speakers spoke to me about the importance of acknowledging the struggle transgender people face still, even today. The group of people I met were a part of an organization called We Exist Coalition, created with efforts to show the struggles the LGBTQ still face in society today. On the groups Facebook page, We Exist Buffalo NY, their Mission Statement reads: “The coalition is dedicated to all people who identify beyond the gender binary as a way to rally together and demonstrate that we are, we exist, and we live.”

It goes on to explain how the movement is for all of those who are a part of the community and for those who want to fight for their rights.

The First amendment of the United States Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This park is a living, breathing symbol of such freedoms. These parks offer a safe haven for all those who seek a place to speak their truths.

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