What we’re up to …

New HB 1523 Court Filings Document Extensive Role of Anti-LGBT Group in Passing Mississippi Law

“HB 1523 was drafted by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), was promoted by the ADF and other conservative Christian groups, and that, as a result, HB1523 improperly and unconstitutionally reflects the sectarian Christian values of these organizations.” – Roberta Kaplan

On July 21, our legal team filed an affidavit from lead counsel Roberta Kaplan documenting the findings of a public records request to Governor Phil Bryant regarding HB 1523 and the role that the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) played in authoring and passing the law. Read Washington Post coverage of the new filings here.

The affidavit and supporting exhibits can be found here.

Trans Job Fair to Take Place in Asheville

On July 21, a Trans-Friendly Job Fair and Resource Bank will take place at the UU Church (1 Edwin Place, Asheville).

These events are free and community members are invited to attend.These joint events are designed to connect the Transgender community in WNC with support related to job-readiness and to local trans-friendly employers and resources.

TransFriendlyJobFairJuly21FBGraphic

This event is co-sponsored by TranzMission, Malaprops, and the Asheville UU. Invite your friends to help us spread the word, and come join us! All are welcome!

RSVP for these free events here.

Stand Against HB in Style

front

Stand up and speak out against HB2 with this T-shirt, designed by the Campaign for Southern Equality. Proceeds from sales will support our organizing efforts to repeal HB2. Order here.

Judge Reeves Strikes Down HB 1523 in Mississippi! 

U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves issued a ruling striking down HB 1523, the nation’s most sweeping anti-LGBT law, which was scheduled to go into effect across Mississippi on July 1.

“In striking down HB 1523, the Court enforced the fundamental constitutional principle that the government cannot establish any religion. As a result, Mississippi will no longer be permitted to favor some ‘religious beliefs’ over others, and the civil rights of LGBT Mississippians will not be subordinated to the religious beliefs of only certain religious groups,” says Roberta Kaplan, lead counsel for the Campaign for Southern Equality.

The full 60-page order from Judge Reeves can be read at: www.southernequality.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/CSE-v-Barber-Order.pdf

HB1523StruckDown

“I am grateful that the court has blocked this divisive law. As a member of the LGBT community and as minister of the Gospel, I am thankful that justice prevailed,” says Rev. Susan Hrostowski, an Episcopal priest who is a plaintiff in the case and resident of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Funding the Future of Queer Youth in NC

The Campaign for Southern Equality is thrilled to announce the most recent round of grantees of the Southern Equality Fund. CSE has awarded $3,350 to nine groups and individuals working to support Queer youth across NC.

This round of funding was inspired by Kat Williams, a Grammy-nominated musician living in Asheville, North Carolina and a dedicated advocate for LGBT youth. When one of her regular gigs, Catholic Charities, told her they’d no longer be needing her services for their annual fundraiser because they learned that she had once been married to a woman—she turned to her community to ask for support and to respond with love.

The same day of the Catholic Charities fundraiser in March of 2016, Kat held her own fundraiser in Asheville and raised over $1,500 which she dedicated to the Southern Equality Fund for a round of funding to support Queer youth in NC. With this round of funding, Kat wanted to send a message to all youth across the state—gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, queer, gender non-conforming, black, brown, undocumented, disabled—that we see you, we value you, and you are worth investing in.

Read more about their projects here.

Federal Court Hearing Set for SB2, “Magistrate Recusal” Law

On August 8 at 9:30 a.m. in Asheville, U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. will hear the state’s motion to dismiss our lawsuit, Ansley v. Warren.

Six plaintiffs filed a federal lawsuit challenging Senate Bill 2, the North Carolina law passed in defiance of federal court orders that struck down Amendment One and declared that marriage is a fundamental right for gay and lesbian citizens. Senate Bill 2 allows magistrates who do not believe in marriage equality to renounce their judicial oath to uphold and evenly apply the United States Constitution. The plaintiffs are represented by Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, a Charlotte-based law firm that led the legal challenge that struck down Amendment One, and by Meghann Burke, of Asheville-based firm Brazil & Burke.

LukeLargessQuoteFB

“This law distorts the true meaning of religious freedom. From the day it was proposed, it was clear that SB2 is about one thing and one thing only – finding a new way to discriminate against same-sex couples. We will keep standing up to discrimination until LGBT people are equal in every sphere of life,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.

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.