Archive for Marriage Equality
The Campaign for Southern Equality is marching across the south, calling for full federal equality for LGBT citizens. Watch the new video. All of us have a responsibility to be as brave as the couples who are requesting marriage licenses and standing up for a more perfect union. With all of the unjust laws being considered here in North Carolina against the poor, the middle class, minorities, college students, the elderly, pregnant women, etc. – understand that our LGBT compatriots are fighting to speed the day when they will be allowed recognition under the law.
After you watch the video, here’s a link that may help you know what to do next.
The Campaign for Southern Equality has just released a new WE DO video:
Ivy and Misha, who live in Piedmont, S.C. and are engaged to be married, show what it means to live with courage and dignity as an LGBT family in the South. And what it means to choose love.
Everyday LGBT people in the South face moments like this, against the backdrop of a political landscape that couldn’t be more dynamic. Buncombe County just passed domestic partner benefits. Next week, our country’s highest court will hear two landmark cases regarding LGBT rights. Public support for marriage equality is at 58% according to a recent national poll.
– Jasmine Beach-Ferrara
Director, Campaign for Southern Equality
The Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) is excited to share that we joined an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court as part of the “Prop 8” and “DOMA” cases, which will be argued before the Court on March 26th and 27th. Filed today, the brief was authored by Paul C. Burke and Brett Tolman, lawyers representing the Utah Pride Center, with assistance provided by Meghann Burke, an Asheville-based attorney with Cogburn & Brazil, who leads CSE’s Legal Team.
Among its arguments, the brief asks the Supreme Court to extend the fundamental right to marry to gay and lesbian Americans, including those who live in Southern states where constitutional bans on marriage equality are in place. Using the case study of Utah laws, the brief speaks to the experience of lesbian and gay Americans in a majority of states – including the entire South – where systems of entrenched legal discrimination treat LGBT people as second-class citizens. The brief states “At every stage of life – from the moment a child has an inkling of being gay, through
adolescence, adulthood, and sometimes beyond the grave – gay Americans are haunted by laws that deny the existence of gay people, demean them as lesser human beings, deprive them of fundamental rights, and denigrate their lives and familial relationships.” The brief urges the Court to dismantle these systems of discrimination.
The brief submitted today to the Supreme Court outlines some of these harms. “The keystone of existing systems of [discrimination against] gay Americans is the denial of the right to marry. It is both the crux of the matter and the root of other forms of legal discrimination against gay citizens. The heartbreaking message to gay couples: Your love and commitment is unworthy of marriage. The deprivation of the right to marry harms gay citizens and . . . marks them with a stigma that has been used to justify other deprivations.”
A total of 28 LGBT advocacy organizations from 23 states, including Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, are signatories to the brief. CSE is proud to stand with LGBT organizations from so many states.
The entire brief is available for download at: http://www.southernequality.org/doma-and-prop-8-amicus-brief/.
Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara
Executive Director, Campaign for Southern Equality
Step by step, town by town, the Campaign for Southern Equality is calling for full federal equality for LGBT Americans. Watch the video below. I’m heading to Washington, D.C. to join CSE for the actions on Thursday. You can learn more here. Be a part of it.
The Campaign for Southern Equality has begun Stage 4 of the WE DO campaign in the pursuit of full federal equality for LGBT Americans. They will be leading actions in seven states between now and January 17th – Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia – and Washington, D.C. Read more about WE DO here after you watch this video.
It’s time we all stood up and demanded equality for one another. Thank you CSE, and thanks to all the brave couples who are putting themselves on the line in the hopes they will be recognized as fully equal human beings.
Skipping around the internets, I found these delectables:
Turns out gerrymandering did the GOP a lot of favors nationwide this year, and the coup de grace was what they pulled off in North Carolina. The top line in the graphic below represents the popular vote, and the bottom line represents number of seats won. Read all about it at Mother Jones.
We’re driving through Tennessee right now (yes, I’m in the car writing this – the miracle of a wifi hotspot via Lindsey’s phone), heading down to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This week, we’ll be holding WE DO trainings in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia as we gear up for Stage 4 of the WE DO Campaign. In January, we’ll be holding actions in seven Southern states and Washington D.C. as we continue to push for marriage equality.
Check out our newest WE DO video to learn more about what we’re up to:
Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director
Campaign for Southern Equality
The Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara slipped this into my email inbox:
Last night was historic. For the first time, marriage equality has won at the ballot box. In Maryland and Maine, marriage equality will become law of the land, while discrimination was defeated in Minnesota. We’re still waiting on an official result in Washington, but current returns show a majority of voters approving marriage equality.
These results confirm that a growing majority of Americans support marriage equality.
But they also reflect reality: LGBT people live in every town in America, are fully equal and have a fundamental right to marry. Our nation’s laws need to catch up with these human realities. And they will, as we keep pushing for full federal equality.
Today, we thank those who worked so tirelessly this election cycle to help us take these huge steps forward. There is reason for great hope as we look at the years to come.
Next week, we’ll be back in touch with some exciting updates about Stage 4 of the WE DO Campaign, which will launch in January 2013 as we take action all across the South to resist unjust state marriage laws and call for full federal equality.
Nathan Ramsey sent out a mailer touting his opposition to marriage equality, and a Ramsey advisor used an anti-gay slur against Ramsey’s opponent.
Buncombe women running for office threw a press conference:
recent communications coming out of the Buncombe County GOP have gone from heated to downright degrading, despicable, and unethical. It is one thing to oppose someone’s policy, it is quite another for an official political organization to release photo-shopped filth and false insinuations of phony scandals through their official Facebook and Twitter pages.
Donate to the Power of 5 campaign today to support these outstanding female candidates! They need one last financial push to get across the finish line.
UNC-Asheville hosted a Food Day event on Wednesday that was packed! I had the opportunity to appear as a panelist.
I voted six days ago, and I’ve been wearing an I Voted Early sticker every day.
The Pumpkin Pedaller is Saturday. Come ride the city with us.
What’s happening with y’all?
On Wednesday afternoon three individuals – Laura Blackley, Cindy Jordan and Craig White – were found not guilty on second-degree trespassing charges in Buncombe County District Court, stemming from their acts of peaceful civil disobedience in the Buncombe County Register of Deeds office on May 11th. As part of the WE DO Campaign a total of eight individuals were arrested that day when they conducted a sit-in at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds office after LGBT couples were repeatedly denied marriage licenses.
Although legally wed in California in 2008, Ms. Blackley and Ms. Jordan were denied a marriage license in Buncombe County on May 11th. During today’s trial, the couple stated that they requested a marriage license and then participated in the sit-in after the denial in order to seek legal recognition of their marriage in North Carolina, including the more than 1,138 rights that are granted through marriage. Their friend, Mr. White, participated in the sit in to express his belief that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry. They refused to leave the office until LGBT couples were granted marriage licenses.
In her opinion, the judge said that the individuals were exercising their Constitutional right to petition public officials for equal protection under the law.
Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality said, “It was powerful to see a North Carolina court recognize the fundamental right of LGBT people to petition our government to change discriminatory laws that ban marriage between LGBT couples. This is one more step in our effort to achieve full equality under the law.”
The five other individuals who participated in the May 11 sit-in have court dates in Buncombe County District Court scheduled for tomorrow for their second-degree trespass charges. All eight individuals charged are residents of Buncombe County.
These actions are part of the WE DO campaign, through which more than 35 LGBT couples have requested marriage licenses in 10 cities across North and South Carolina. The next stage of the WE DO Campaign, which calls for full equality under federal law for LGBT people, will take place across the South in January 2013.