We Do – Update and AppealBy
This morning, we’re in Asheboro, N.C. At 9:30 a.m., we’ll stand with Barb and Angela as they request – and are denied – a marriage license in their home town, surrounded by friends, family and clergy.
It’s been quite a week as we’ve traveled across North Carolina in the days following the passage of Amendment One. From small towns like Bakersville to cities like Winston-Salem, we’ve stood with LGBT people and allies who have taken public action to call for full equality under federal law. So far, 35 couples have requested – and been denied – licenses, and ten people have been arrested as a result of peaceful sit-ins after the denials occured. (You can read more here, here, here).
But taking this action in North Carolina carries real risks for the couples that have requested marriage licenses, in part because you can be fired for simply being LGBT here, as in every other Southern state that fails to offer employment discrimination protection. When couples stand at the counter, a lot is at stake. This is part of the daily reality of being a LGBT person in the South: Living without basic legal protections and living with the vulnerabilities that accompany second-class citizenship. And yet, people are ready to do so, expressing a courage that is also a familiar part of daily life for LGBT people here.
What motivates us is the urgency of our cause. If we wait for full equality to be achieved in each state in the South, we will be waiting a very long time indeed. We simply cannot afford the human costs that come with this incremental approach. Instead, we must pursue full equality on the federal level, which is the most efficient way to overturn discriminatory laws on the state level. And we believe the South has a vital role to play in accelerating the path to full federal equality.
We need your help to grow the WE DO Campaign. Your financial support will accelerate and expand our efforts across the South. One of the couples who requested a license last week has generously pledged to match every dollar we receive up to $5,000.