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North Carolina Considers Similar Legislation to Indiana’s “Religious Freedom” Law

The N.C. Religious Freedom Restoration Act, legislation similar to Indiana’s so-called “religious freedom” law, has been introduced in both the North Carolina state House (HB 348) and state Senate (SB550). The legislation could allow for discrimination against LGBT individuals and other groups.

“I hope Governor McCrory and elected officials in North Carolina have learned that discrimination is bad for business and that they avoid making the same mistake as Indiana,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality and a minister in the United Church of Christ. 

“Religious freedom is a cornerstone of our country, but discrimination is not. These harmful bills are clearly based on animus and could open the door to discrimination against LGBT people and other groups of individuals. Religious freedoms are already protected by the Constitution and federal law.”

LGBT* in the South conference

On April 17 & 18, activists and organizers from across the South will gather for two days of amazing workshops and panels in Asheville, North Carolina at the 2015 LGBT* in the South conference.

We’ve hit our registration limit of 450 and the conference is now sold out!

You can still be added to the wait list for the conference.

We are honored to have Mandy Carter, a dynamic Southern leader and long-time activist in the civil rights and LGBT movements, as our keynote speaker.

Mandy Carter

(Keynote speaker, Mandy Carter)

At this critical time for the equality movement, the conference will connect and educate Southern organizers and local practitioners to better serve the LGBT* community. The core themes of this year’s conference are intersectionality and collaboration

Alabama Supreme Court halts marriage equality

As a response to a ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court ordering a halt to marriage equality across the state, the Campaign for Southern Equality also took action in Mobile, Alabama on Friday. Two brave same-sex couples requested and were denied marriage licenses as part of the WE DO Campaign.

 (Julie and Dottie after they were denied a marriage license in Mobile.)

(Julie and Dottie after they were denied a marriage license in Mobile.)

April and Molly, the other couple taking part in the WE DO action, have their wedding set for March 25.

Read more about their story as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and a coalition of legal groups also filed a federal lawsuit on behalf on same-sex couples across Alabama on Friday. We are hopeful that LGBT couples across Alabama will soon be able to marry.

We’ll keep working until justice reaches all 67 counties in Alabama.

CSE Launches LGBT Rights Toolkit 

The Campaign for Southern Equality has launched a new online LGBT Rights Toolkit (www.lgbtrightstoolkit.org) in order to address the urgent legal needs of LGBT Southerners – especially those is small towns and rural areas – understand and protect their rights.

The Toolkit consists of Health Care Power of Attorney forms for every Southern state, LGBT-friendly attorney and physician lists, links to legal and mental health resources, and Name and Gender Change Guides. It also provides current information about changes in state and federal law against the backdrop of a rapidly-changing legal landscape.

JBF graphic Toolkit Launch Facebook wall

This online toolkit is designed to help LGBT Southerners – especially those in small towns and rural areas – understand and protect their rights.

A report about the Toolkit is available at: http://bit.ly/1zaDQxt

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.