On election day Marylanders will be voting on Question 6 – the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which provides civil marriage licenses to committed gay and lesbian couples, and protects churches and religious officials so they don’t have to marry anyone they don’t want to.
Chick-fil-A has once again made headlines for opposing marriage equality and some Raleigh citizens are none too happy about it. Jose Chavira of Raleigh, NC, has created a petition at Change.org titled “North Carolina State University:: Remove Chik-fil-a from the Atrium Food Court.” I have already signed this petition, adding the following reason to my digital signature:
As an NCSU alum, I don’t want my school to harbor a business that wishes to impede the rights and happiness of Wolfpack students.
The petition currently has 194 signatures with a goal of 4,500 signees. Hopefully, NCSU will join the ranks of Sesame Street by dropping its partnership with the fast food chain and releasing a similarly poignant press release:
The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD.
Add your signature to the list and put the pressure on NCSU to stand up for ALL Wolfpack students.
Between 1929 and 1974, North Carolina forcibly sterilized about 7,600 people whom the state deemed “feeble-minded” or otherwise undesirable. Many were poor black women.
An effort to give each surviving victim of the eugenics program $50,000 fell short Wednesday when it failed to get consideration in the N.C. Senate after passing the House. The $10 million allocation is not in the final budget.
Tell Gov. Perdue to veto any budget that doesn’t include money for eugenics victims.
Contact Bev now:
Phone: (800) 662-7952 or (919) 733-2391
From our friends at Southerners On New Ground (SONG).
The second guest article from Chris Brown, a freelance writer from North Carolina now based in Georgia.
As I sat in my living room yesterday, I could hear the sounds of summer playtime coming from my neighbor’s back yard. Our next door neighbor had three kids who routinely found themselves leaping, climbing, crawling over our picket fence to retrieve items they had lobbed over.
I watched the littlest one, Jonathan, do his 9 year old version of Cirque De Soliel along my fence one too many times, and decided, for his own safety, that it was time to say something. I figured I’d just say something to Jonathan, because realistically, I’m not too old to not remember what it was like when the neighbors would tell on me.
I walked over and found Jonathan in the far corner of his yard with three friends. He looked up at me, his eyes wide. I beckoned for him to come over and he and his friends obliged: two young girls and one boy around Jonathan’s age. I told him to stay off the fence and knock if he needed a ball. He agreed and apologized.
As I turned to walk away, one of the little girls screamed, “Are you gay? He told us you’re gay.” I was startled, puzzled, unsure of how to answer this little girl’s question. “Umm… well… yes, yes I am gay,” I said, in nothing more than a whisper. The three kids erupted into laughter, the littlest one shouting, “That’s gross, you ain’t supposed to be gay!”
How do you respond to that? I found myself at a loss for words, trying to have a conversation she should have be having with her parents. A conversation that said being different is ok, there’s nothing ‘gross’ about love.
As a leader in the LGBT community, I feel it is my responsibility to contribute to the conversation, shape in some small way how people talk around their dinner table to their children.
There isn’t enough outreach in the world that can have the kind of impact voting down Amendment one will have.
An affirmation that being gay is not different, that voters in the state of North Carolina don’t see being gay as wrong, that the law of the land doesn’t discriminate, sends a powerful message to everyone, parents and children alike, that being different is ok.
We live in a time where this kind of future is possible. Where its possible to be who you are in America, in North Carolina, without fear of retribution, of hate.
It all starts with a simple vote. Voting against Amendment One will someday change the interaction I had with that little girl. It sends a message that will reach across party lines, across religions, and races. It says that out of many we are one, and we won’t stand for this kind of intolerance, discrimination, and injustice. It will mean that one day, even the simplest of minds will understand that this is a place that embraces difference in all forms.
It’s a chance for all of us to start the conversation. Vote against Amendment One. Say no to exclusion, and yes to hope.
If you are a North Carolina voter, look up your voter registration info at the NC Board of Elections website and vote AGAINST Amendment One May 8th.
Join the chorus of those opposing Amendment One. Join the broad spectrum of business, faith, community and political leaders opposing Amendment One. Join the chorus of North Carolinians who have RISEN UP to fight AGAINST Amendment One.
There was a small brouhaha in Raleigh this week when Bruce Lightner penned a note asking the city to not name it’s new courthouse after former N.C. senator Jesse Helms. This letter, coming from the son of Raleigh’s first African-American mayor, was rebuffed by the conservative voices on the Wake County Board of Commissioners, several of whom are seeking higher office.
Here’s a great little op-ed published by the New Yorker’s News Desk. The author, Anne Springfield, gives a nice overview of the gargantuan efforts put forth by the Coalition to Protect NC Family’s (CPNCF) towards defeating Amendment One. As she puts it:
Amendment 1 has drawn scant attention outside of North Carolina so far, but it is poised to be a bellwether fight in the gay civil-rights movement. A defeat for the amendment is looking more and more possible as the Coalition’s momentum grows and the conversation expands.
Only a few more days left to help defeat Amendment One! Please consider helping CPNCF with their Get Out the Vote initiative. They need people to participate in phone banks across the state and to canvas neighborhoods. You can sign up to participate here. If you’re unable to help, at least make sure to get to the polls on May 8th! Tell your friends!