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Phone: 828.242.1559
Email: Snail mail: PO Box 364, Asheville, NC 28802

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Click here to submit a report from anywhere in the US. The Progressive Project LGBT Civil Rights

Free Legal Services at Blue Ridge Pride

Please join us at Blue Ridge Pride on Saturday, October 5 from noon to 5 p.m. We will have our volunteer legal team on hand, so that LGBT individuals and couples can complete a Health Care Power of Attorney on site for free! We will have notaries, attorneys and witnesses on hand, so that when you walk away this document will be 100% legal and ready to go.

No matter how old you are, whether you’re single or partnered, it’s critical that LGBT people complete this form so that your medical choices will be respected. It would normally cost hundreds of dollars to consult with an attorney, but it’s free on Saturday.

Topic: Health Care Power of Attorney Clinic at Blue Ridge Pride – Complete Your Forms On-Site with a Volunteer Attorney

Date: October 5, 2013; 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Location: Blue Ridge Pride, downtown Asheville, N.C. (Our booths will be near the corner of Spruce Street and the fire station.)

Led by: CSE’s Legal Team

Lead Sponsor: Human Rights Campaign

Partnering Law Firms: Cogburn & Brazil and Walton Law Office

Co-sponsor: Southern Poverty Law Center

CSE offers a series of free Community Law Workshops across the South. The goal of CLW’s is to empower LGBT people in the South to protect our rights to the full extent possible under current laws. CLWs take two forms: (1) community education sessions led by attorneys about special topics in LGBT law, such as name changes and family rights; and (2) legal clinics at which volunteer attorneys provide pro bono services (e.g. completing health care power of attorney forms). We are proud to collaborate with community partners and law firms to provide these free workshops.

Working with law enforcement to prevent hate crimes

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara of the Campaign for Southern Equality gave a presentation On August 15th at the FBI office in Charlotte.

FBI agents from across the state heard from Rev. Beach-Ferrara and discussed how LGBT advocacy groups can partner with law enforcement agencies to help prevent hate crimes and ensure victims have access to LGBT-sensitive services.

(Ms. Susan Conrad and Special Agent in Charge John Strong of the FBI Office in Charlotte with Rev. Beach-Ferrara.)

Check out our LGBT Rights Toolkit at for more legal resources:

Anti-LGBT Language in North Carolina Senate Bill 132

The North Carolina state Senate advanced Senate Bill 132, which includes anti-LGBT language and assertions, by a 41-5 vote yesterday. The bill would require North Carolina public schools to teach students a number of items including:

“Teaches that a mutually faithful monogamous heterosexual relationship in the context of marriage is the best lifelong means of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.”

Read more about the bill here.

The bill is expected to come up for a final vote in the state Senate on Monday, May 13th. Please contact your North Carolina state Senator about this bill. You can find your state Senator and their contact info here.

Gender Benders Publishes

The amazing folks at Gender Benders have just published this Southeastern Trans Resource List, which lists trans-friendly medical providers and attorneys across the Southeast.

Gender Benders spent months compiling this information so that trans folks across the South would have a reliable resource in finding the services they need. You can also access the resource list here.

We hope you’ll spread the word to LGBT folks across the South and then take a moment to learn more about Gender Benders, which does great equality work in Upstate South Carolina. We are proud and grateful to partner with them!



CSE Launches “LGBT Rights Toolkit”

We are very excited to announce that CSE has launched its LGBT Rights Toolkit. We’re launching the Toolkit with information on how to legally change your name in two states. The name change process is one that is particularly important to members of the trans community; however, it is also important to someone who wishes to change his or her surname to their partner’s.

In the coming months, the LGBT Rights Toolkit will grow alongside CSE’s WE DO Campaign. As the WE DO Campaign grows to more communities across the South, the Toolkit will expand to include more jurisdictions. Ultimately, the goal of the Toolkit is to provide information on range of topics, from name changes to creating Power of Attorney documents. Laws dictate how these processes take shape in each jurisdiction; therefore, processes do not look the same across jurisdictions. They are also subject to change. On each page of the Toolkit you will find a date that notes when the page was last updated. To ensure the process has not changed since that date, it is best to contact a local attorney.

Core to the mission of CSE is the belief that LGBT people are fully human and equal. Current laws, however, deny this. Despite this discrimination, there are measures LGBT people can take to help affirm their identities and protect themselves and their families. The LGBT Rights Toolkit is meant to assist Southern LGBT people in navigating systems to help ensure these protections are in place until discriminatory laws change. We also invite you to join us for CSE’s Community Law Workshops, where you can learn more about how to protect your rights from LGBT-sensitive lawyers.