Raleigh, Nashville, and the fight for equality

This week, the Metropolitan Council of Nashville & Davidson County, TN made Nashville the fourth city in Tennessee to approve domestic partner benefits. Another big city on the right side of history. To put this into further context, Forbes Magazine recently released its list of “The Best Cities For Jobs 2014”. Here are the top six, along with whether or not the governing body of that respective city has passed legislation providing for domestic partner benefits:

1. San Jose, CA - Yes
2. San Francisco, CA - Yes
3. Austin, TX - Yes
4. Raleigh, NC - No
5. Houston, TX - Yes
6. Nasvhille, TN - Yes

We honor Civil Rights martyrs by continuing the struggle in our time.

This weekend, as we reflect on the 50th anniversary of the fatal bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, we are tasked to look at our own times and our own role in the struggle to preserve the constitutionally guaranteed Civil Rights of all Americans.

On Sept. 15, 1963, members of the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church, killing Addie Mae Collins, 14, Denise McNair, 11, Carole Robertson, 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 14. The tragic bombing was part of systematic campaign of domestic terrorism carried out by The Klan and other hate groups against black citizens and Civil Rights activists in an attempt to slow the progress being made on behalf of justice and equality.

Moved to act

They are arresting students instead of educating them. Something is wrong with this picture. One of the arrested students said that her arrest is worthwhile if it moves even one person to act. Will you be that person?

A gay American’s response to the President’s inaugural address

Dear President Obama:

I write to you today not as a Democrat, nor as the Chair of the Gaston County Democratic party, but I write to you as a proud man and Gay American.

MLK Day video

Elon joins the fray

Ain't democracy a bitch?

Elon wouldn't be the first North Carolina school to cut ties with Chick-fil-A. Davidson College and Duke University let the restaurant go not long after Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy said the United States was inviting God's judgment when its people supported marriage outside the traditional, biblical definition.

Progressives: now is time to seize on political progress (as messy as it can be) and build a larger coalition

After President Obama's declaration of support for marriage equality for gay couples, we should pick up on this political progress and RUN with it. Don't let our disappointments hold us back, and don't let the election on Tuesday splinter our potentially larger coalitions--which would benefit all our causes including gay rights.

Thoughts on combating the marriage amendment

Listening to the rhetoric from progressives around the constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in May, one might think the amendment has nothing to do with marriage, equality or the LGBT community.

Instead I see tweets like this

This has been the tone of the anti-amendment campaign since its beginning. It has focused on the conclusions drawn by UNC Law Professor Maxine Eichner in her paper on the broader effects of Amendment One. I have the utmost faith in Eichner’s scholarship and I am fully prepared to accept her conclusions. In a rush to appease their far-right financial backers, the GOP hastily pushed through an amendment that is vague and will certainly have unforeseen consequences, no doubt harming families and children.

But that’s not why the amendment is bad.

It’s bad because it enshrines hate and discrimination into our constitution. It's bad because it sends a message that members of the LGBT community aren’t welcome and aren’t equal in North Carolina and it's bad because it drags us back to the days of separate water fountains and segregated lunch counters. Not to mention that within a generation it will certainly be repealed.

Rally in Raleigh on Thursday Feb 16th

In case you haven't heard, there is going to be a rally in Raleigh on Thursday Feb 16th at 11 AM in front of the General Assembly at 16 W. Jones Street as they come into their February session.

I've heard from different people a number of different reasons why they are going. Some will be there to protest. Some will be there to speak out against the amendment. Some will be there as watchdogs to let the General Assembly know that midnight sessions and other such behavior is unacceptable and incompatible with open and transparent public service.

For me, I see this as a chance to follow up with all the positive messages I heard at HKonJ, while the General Assembly is actually town. There was a lot of creativity and positivity with chants, songs, shirts, and signs at HKonJ, and I think they should get more than one use.

National Coming Out Day

Today was National Coming Out Day. An event that was started over 2 decades ago. Today at NCSU hundreds of students got their I <3 Diversity shirts from the NCSU GLBT CA and about 100 of them came over to my Democracy NC table and registered to vote. The free expression tunnel was painted in recognition of this event. There are a whole week of celebratory events. It was a good day for democracy and equality.

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, etc. people and communities. The name coming out describes their process of publicly identifying their sexual orientation. It is observed annually by members of LGBT communities and their straight supporters on October 11.

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