Archive for Marriage 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.

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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.

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Sunday Morning Reading

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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.

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En Route to Mississippi

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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:

To learn more about CSE visit our website  and check us out on Facebook to keep with our travels around the South.

- Jasmine

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director

Campaign for Southern Equality

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The Streak is Over

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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.

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Friday Open Thread

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Biden Time – With the Presidential race tied in NC and amazing Dem turnout in early voting, Jill and Beau Biden are coming to AVL.

Moogfest is on.

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?


Not Guilty

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From a Campaign For Southern Equality press release. This is big news, people. Bold emphasis is mine.

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.

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DNC2012: Barney Frank Lights ‘Em Up

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The room was full at today’s LGBT Caucus meeting at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, and the speakers came one after another proclaiming the inevitability of equality and the hard work left to do. Who spoke?

Obama Campaign Manager, Jim Messina, who said, “It is not enough to win legislative victories, you have to win elections, too.”

Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, who said of Democrats’ diversity, “We accept, and that’s what makes us so strong.”

Second Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, who said, “We have the first President and Vice President in history to confirm support for gay marriage.”

Mayor Cory Booker, who all but announced a gubernatorial run vs. Chris Christie, explained that since Barack Obama came out in support of marriage equality, attitudes are changing among African-Americans.

Senator Al Franken, who talked about the positive change in military culture since the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell, who has led the passage of multiple equality measures in that state.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, who said, “I want Minnesota to be the first state to defeat this divisive marriage amendment.” She also reported that General Mills Co. Has come out against the anti-marriage amendment, so go buy some Cheerios.

Representative Barney Frank, whose speech in its entirety is in the video below. Watch the whole thing. You’ll be cheering and wondering how any LGBT person can support the Republican Party.

After the jump you can see photos from the Caucus.

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DNC2012: LGBT Caucus

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Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, asked a standing-room-only room at the Democratic National Convention whether they are better off than they were four years ago, and the cheers that met her question shook the walls. The audience was made up of LGBT delegates and allies attending their first of two caucus meetings.

If you’re wondering why they were so excited, you have only to look at the list of recent achievements touted by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a National HIV/AIDS strategy, a Presidential anti-bullying initiative, no longer defending Section 3 of DOMA, protections for transgendered citizens, first transgendered presidential appointee, repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and an endorsement of marriage equality. “Never,” Jarrett said, “has the journey to equality seen such success.”

Now that Amendment One has gone into effect, we’re hearing from lots of people with questions about what exactly it does – and doesn’t – mean. Ultimately the courts will have to weigh in on the measure’s precise legal meaning, but there is some basic information that LGBT people across NC need to know in the interim.

The Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) is excited to share this video, which provides an in depth analysis of the issue. Recorded at a CSE “What Amendment One Means for You and Your Family” legal workshop, the video features Asheville attorneys Meghann Burke and Diane Walton:

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Here’s the short version, based on what we now know.

Amendment One does not impact your:

  • Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Will
  • Hospitable Visitation Form
  • Child Custody Order

We have heard from many people who are afraid that these legal documents, agreements, or court orders have been invalidated by Amendment One. However, at this juncture, that is not the case. We strongly encourage every LGBT person in NC to take steps to complete these documents (as applicable). Additional information is available here.

If folks have any questions, I will check back in the comments section and be happy to answer as best I can.

- Jasmine
Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director
Campaign for Southern Equality