Archive for Local
This just hit my inbox. With Attorney General Roy Cooper’s earlier announcement regarding his support for marriage equality, this is going to make for an interesting and historic opportunity.
Buncombe County Register of Deeds Willing to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses; Requests Attorney General Review
Asheville, North Carolina. Monday, October 14, 2013
Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger will be the first government official in the South to seek approval to grant same-sex marriage licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
Reisinger will accept and hold same-sex marriage applications and push the question of equal marriage rights to the state’s chief legal adviser, Attorney General Roy Cooper.
“I will let each couple know that it is my hope to grant them a license, but I need to seek the North Carolina Attorney General’s approval,” Reisinger said. “I have concerns about whether we are violating people’s civil rights based on this summer’s Supreme Court decision.
The Campaign for Southern Equality notified Reisinger that at least six same-sex couples would request marriage licenses Tuesday. Reisinger will allow the couples to complete and sign their applications. He will accept the applications but withhold his own signature.
“I will then let the Attorney General know that I would like to issue these couples licenses, but that I need his clarification on the laws of the state that seem to contradict the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution,” Reisinger said.
Tuesday will be the first time same-sex couples have requested marriage licenses from Reisinger since the June 26 Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
This fall, we are traveling North Carolina with the WE DO Campaign, standing with LGBT couples as they request marriage licenses in their home counties. We are actively seeking a Register of Deeds who will issue a marriage license as an act of conscience.
Our tour is bringing us home to Asheville next week, as we join local LGBT couples at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds Office at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 15. This will mark the fourth time that Carol McCrory and Brenda Clark have requested a license. Together for 25 years, Brenda and Carol have said they will keep going to the counter until they are served. We’d love to have supporters stand with them and other couples. Come to a Family Dinner on Monday to learn more and get trained for Tuesday’s action:
When: Monday, 10/14 | 6 – 7:30 PM
Where: Friendship Hall, First Congregational UCC, 20 Oak Street, Asheville
Note: Please bring a dish or beverage
So far this fall, we’ve been in Madison, Forsyth, Guilford, Henderson and Mecklenburg Counties. In Henderson County, Mary and Carole (pictured here) requested a license after 40 years together; they were denied, but, surrounded by 80 supporters, sent a powerful message that people are calling for full LGBT equality in Henderson County. Read about our action earlier this week in Charlotte here. Upcoming WE DO actions are scheduled for:
- October 15: Buncombe County
- November 1: Transylvania County
- November 4: Cabarrus County
- November 22: Rowan County
- Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara
Executive Director, Campaign for Southern Equality
“I really don’t get involved in social issues.” — Representative Tim Moffitt (R-Buncombe)
More video today from that August 5 realtors’ luncheon where Tim Moffitt admitted to engaging in legislative retaliation against the City of Asheville, a litigant in a pending lawsuit against the state.
In this exchange, attendee Cindy Ward asks Moffitt his thoughts on the abortion restrictions enacted by the legislature and signed by Governor McCrory.
“I really don’t get involved in social issues. At all,” Rep. Moffitt replies.
“But you vote on it [unintelligible] so you must be involved,” insists a second woman.
“I’m not involved,” Moffitt insists right back.
“Who are you representing?” Ward asks, not buying the not-so-smart-ALEC response. “If you’re not involved, who are you representing? You’re a representative.”
“Right,” says Moffitt.
“In Raleigh,” Ward adds, driving home her point.
Moffitt explains that the abortion debate in the Republican caucus is driven by the women in the caucus. He just goes along in support, because he supports the women.
Just so you know, social conservatives — and women in general — if you think you’re paying Tim Moffitt to represent you on social issues, he doesn’t consider it part of his job description.
Cindy Ward’s interview on The Jeff Messer Show (880 AM) is here. Segment starts at 25:20.
Fresh, Easy, Affordable, Sustainable, and Tasty – That’s what FEAST stands for, and they’re giving you the opportunity to support their mission! Website here.
The mission of FEAST Asheville is to promote healthy eating choices and make them accessible to people of all income levels through hands on cooking classes that encourage and empower participants by teaching skills needed to make fresh, wholesome and tasty food.
All that eating raises money for one of Slow Food’s educational program, FEAST (Fresh Easy Affordable Sustainable Tasty), which serves 800 school children in Buncombe County every year. FEAST shows students how to incorporate fresh ingredients into their meals.
Feasting for FEAST takes place Thrursday, Sept. 12, from 6-9 p.m. More than a dozen restaurants, breweries and wine shops will provide samples. Tickets cost $25 in advance and $35 at the door.
Vendors include: All Souls Pizza, Ambrozia Bar and Bistro, Chorizo, Doubletree Catering – VIP only, Earthfare, Everyday Gourmet Catering, Farmer’s Daughter Catering, French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Mayfel’s, MG Road, Sunny Point Cafe, The Junction, The Laughing Seed, The Cantina, True Confections, Beer provided by Oskar Blues Brewery and Burial Beer Co. – VIP only.
I hope to see all of you there!
As if the legislature hand not pissed off enough citizens in North Carolina, this item has been flying largely under the radar. Hold onto your groundwater, people, these frackers mean business and they mean to force you into theirs:
Known as compulsory pooling, or forced pooling, the policy allows drillers to tap local natural gas, even if property owners don’t want drillers probing under their homes and farms. Critics compare it to a government’s right to seize private property for the public good, except in this case the parties claiming rights to the land would be for-profit businesses.
“That’s just unfair,” said Therese Vick, a community organizer for the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. “They’re taking control of your property – your neighbors, the government and a commercial interest – and making you sell your resource.”
The idea is not a new one and has been on the books since 1945, just rarely used writes the News & Observer. Now energy companies want to. The delicately named Compulsory Pooling Study Group will be holding a public meeting Wednesday in Raleigh and forwarding recommendations to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. It may be the last public meeting before the issue moves to the legislature.
Wonder ow all those “No Zoning” folks out in our bright, red counties will respond once they find out control of their their property has been sold to the highest donors?
Don’t forget, those frackers will need water to frack with. Lots of it.
Your Asheville City Council meets Tuesday night for another night of deliberation and decision making. This week’s agenda is below the fold, or you can click here to view it at the City’s website.
This Saturday, you have the chance to stand together with people who are ready for our clean energy future. Gordon Smith for City Council campaign volunteers will be canvassing Saturday at 10am (details here – FB event page), so consider making a day of it! From the Beyond Coal: A Rally for our Future Facebook event page:
Let’s move Asheville beyond coal! Come take action and call on Duke Energy to retire the Asheville power plant and lead our state in renewable energy. Come out on August 24th from 2-4pm Pack Square and take action! There will be music, kids activities, and speakers, and much more! #ActOnClimate, #FearlessSummer
Currently our electric energy comes the Asheville coal-fired power plant, which is the largest single source of CO2 in Western North Carolina; amounting to over 500,000 extra cars on the road. It is polluting our air, our water and our communities. Not only that, but the coal that we are burning comes from mountaintop removal, which is destroying mountains, sickening communities, and harming the air and water of communities in Appalachia.
With music, kids games, speakers, and much much more!
Speaker Program includes:
Mary Anne Hitt, Beyond Coal Campaign director
Terry M. Bellamy, Mayor of Asheville
Ian Somerhalder, actor (Lost & Vampire Diaries)
Hartwell Carson, French Board Riverkeeper
Drew Jones, Climate Interactive
Dr. Richard Fireman, retired MD
Nick Mullins, coalfield resident
That’s exactly what’s happening in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where Register of Wills Mr. Bruce Hanes began issuing licenses to same-sex couples a month ago. He believes that the Pennsylvania state law banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and that enforcing it is inconsistent with his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. History tells us similar stories – of public officials and leaders who reached a point where they could no longer in good conscience enforce discriminatory laws. Will an elected official in the South stand up in this way? We’re going to keep asking the question and keep taking action to resist laws we know to be discriminatory.
Transcript of exchange between Chris Pelly and Tim Moffitt – August 5, 2013. Taken from video shot at the event by another attendee. It’s my understanding that neither Councilman Pelly nor Representative Moffitt were aware they were being recorded.
Pelly: If we wanted to join the Culture and Recreation Authority, does the current legislation allow that to occur?
Moffitt: No, we took that away from you. When you filed your lawsuit, we… You did three things: First of all you filed your lawsuit, ok, so we’re not going to let you file the lawsuit on this side and sue the state and charge your taxpayers money but at the same time be the benefactor of this because it’s going to cost people outside the city some of their hard-earned money, so until the lawsuit is settled, we took the Authority away from the city.
Pelly: And does any other city in Buncombe County have the right to join the Authority?
Moffitt: Right now Buncombe County has asked for two years to not allow anybody to join. So they feel it’s going to take two years to kind of get the foundation set, for them to undertake that. So the limitations are going to be based on what the County is willing to do.
Pelly: And there’s a lot I could argue with you about about the issue of the water system, but this isn’t the place to do that…
Moffitt: Well, you know the history I’m talking about, Chris, you can find it. The history you’re talking about, I’m not sure.
Pelly: I have just one question for you.
Pelly: Later on today there’s going to be a rally in downtown Asheville, your hometown…
Pelly: …and the newspapers are estimating thousands of people are going to be there.
Pelly: Does that give you pause that….
Pelly: decisions you’re making in the legislature are concerning people?
Pelly: Does it concern you that 86% of Asheville residents voted against the water referendum, for the water referendum that retains the water system?
Moffitt: What really concerns me is that you would actually put a referendum on the ballot that was not about the issue that was actually being discussed. As far as the folks that are participating in Moral Monday, we predicted this would happen in 2011 when it started in Wisconsin and Michigan. We predicted it would be 18 months before it hit North Carolina because North Carolina is considered a purple state. So North Carolina is seen by the unions as a state that they can flip, and if you go back and look at the chatter regarding Moral Mondays, it’s really a union driven event and doesn’t really…
Pelly: Does it affect the future of education and voter identification or any of those issues?
Moffitt: It affects people’s opinions on those things, but a lot of those opinions are not based on fact.
Your Asheville City Council convenes on August 13th to deliberate and decision-make. Click through into ReadMoreLand to see the entire agenda with supporting documentation. Please share your questions, suggestions, requests, and dedications in the comments.