What we’re up to …

Mississippi’s HB 1523: Update and Fact Check

On June 22, 2017, a three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit ruled that plaintiffs in our challenge to HB 1523 – the most extreme anti-LGBT law in the nation – do not have standing to challenge this law. On July 6, 2017 our Legal Team filed a petition for review by the full 5th Circuit.

HB 1523 is not in effect in Mississippi. Passed in spring 2016, HB 1523 would empower Mississippi officials, state employees, and private individuals who hold certain religious beliefs to deny a wide array of services to LGBT individuals. Under the law, Mississippi clerks could refuse to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples, public school counselors could turn away LGBT or questioning youth in crisis, and a cab driver could eject a same-sex couple en route to the airport to celebrate their honeymoon. Follow our challenge to HB 1523 here.

What Level of Discrimination Will We Accept in North Carolina?

“Until the LGBT community can build real political power, we will remain vulnerable to laws that target us and our civil rights. Doing so is the work of a generation and part of a much larger project of transforming the politics of our state to be truly representative of a 21st-century North Carolina.” – Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director, Campaign for Southern Equality

Plaintiffs Respond to 4th Circuit Ruling on North Carolina’s SB2 

“We are reviewing the court’s opinion published this morning and will make a decision about whether to pursue any further appeals, either to the full 4th Circuit or to the Supreme Court,” says Luke Largess, a partner at Tin Fulton Walker & Owen and lead counsel in Ansley v. Warren.

WEBINAR: Connecting Southern Grassroots Leaders with Funding

Grassroots LGTBQ leadership is crucial to achieving lived and legal equality in the South, but it is also severely underfunded and undervalued.

We are humbled to partner with the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Out in the South Initiative, Fund for Trans Generations, Third Wave Fund, and Trans Justice Funding Project to host the upcoming webinar, “Funding for Grassroots Change,” on Tuesday July 11, 6:30-8PM Eastern / 5:30-7PM Central.

Click here to reserve your spot today!

This free webinar will provide LGBTQ grassroots organizers across the South with the opportunity to directly connect with a panel of funders that prioritize Southern LGBTQ grassroots leadership, and to learn how to access more funding for their work. Panelists will share info about their respective funds and application processes, how to navigate the often-times mystifying world of funding, where resources are going in the South, and why it’s paramount to prioritize work led by trans people and people of color.

Safe Schools, Safe Communities: New Funding Available

Do you  need funding for your work? We’ve just launched Safe Schools, Safe Communities, a new round of rapid response grants to promote safety in schools and communities across the South.

Apply today!

We’re open to all kinds of ideas. If it will make your community safer, we want to hear about it – whether you’re organizing a rally to speak out against violence against trans women of color; hosting trainings to provide sanctuary for undocumented immigrants; educating legislators about the importance of access to affordable healthcare; or building a coalition of staff, faculty and parents to reduce bullying against LGBTQ, immigrant and Muslim students.

We need all of these efforts and more to protect and defend those who are most vulnerable in our communities across the South.

Click here to apply for funding today. Grants are up to $500 and, once you apply, we’ll get back to you within one month.

We believe that organizers on the frontlines of the Southern LGBTQ movement can transform our region—but they need the funding and support to do so. Through our Southern Equality Fund, CSE redistributes a percentage of our funding to grassroots leaders doing vital and transformative work in their communities across the South. The fund prioritizes groups and individual leaders whose access to funding and support is limited due to barriers such as not having 501c3 status, or being located in a rural area.

Protect Yourself: Free Clinics Across the South

LGBTQ Southerners face real risks of physical attack, intimidation and threats. So far in 2017, at least nine transgender women of color have been murdered in our country, four of whom lived in the South. Trans youth in the South regularly report bullying and threats in schools.

To respond, we’ve just kicked off a new series of free “Protect Yourself” clinics focused on safety issues. Led by and for transgender folks, the clinics feature a self defense class, training in using pepper spray and safety apps, and HIV testing and counseling.

Read about how our recent Charlotte, NC, clinic helped one community member feel safer.

Between now and June, we’re running 14 “Protect Yourself” clinics across North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

Our schedule of clinics is:

Trans in the South: A Guide to Services and Resources

New data from the Williams Institute shows that more than 300,000 trans folks call the South home. Too often, they face a lack of resources and support. We often hear stories of people going without medical care or traveling hours to reach a doctor who will treat them with respect. That’s got to change. 

To respond to that need, the Campaign for Southern Equality is releasing Trans in the South: A Guide to Resources and Services.



In the pages of this edition of Trans in the South you’ll find lists of trans-friendly service providers – from doctors to attorneys to counselors – across the South as well as resources to assist with funding medical transition.

You can download a PDF of Trans in the South: A Guide to Resources by clicking here.

This information has been collected and vetted by Ivy Gibson-Hill, our LGBT Rights Toolkit Coordinator. We hope this resource guide helps people access the services they need to survive and to thrive.

Based in Asheville, North Carolina, the Campaign for Southern Equality is a non-profit organization that advocates for the full equality of LGBT individuals and families across the South.