Our push for full equality for LGBT individuals and families in the South is moving full speed ahead. With your support, 2013 has been a year of momentum – and results. We’ve mobilized people all across the South – from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi to the Piedmont of North Carolina – to stand up and tell our country a new story about the urgent need for full LGBT equality in all spheres of life – employment, housing, health care, family rights and marriage.
The country is listening. In November, Time Magazine listed North Carolina as a marriage equality battleground state because of the WE DO Campaign. Putting the South on the map as winnable territory was one of our goals when we started our work two years ago. We will continue the fight against unjust and immoral laws like Amendment One.
Now, we need your help. Until midnight Tuesday, we’re competing in a national fundraising contest. If we finish strong, we can win up to $15,000 for our work in 2014. Can you make your year-end, tax-deductible gift to CSE right now?
We run a lean, nimble campaign and promise to stretch every dollar we raise to the max. Below are a few of our 2013 initiatives, all of them fueled by your support:
- During July, CSE offered FREE legal clinics in Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Jackson and Tupelo, Mississippi so that LGBT individuals could complete an Advanced Mississippi Health-Care Directive with the assistance of an attorney. In total our legal clinics this year resulted in 239 LGBT individuals’ completing Health Care Power of Attorney Forms (for free!) so that their medical choices will be respected in emergency situations.
(Bob and Jon create the first public record of a legally-married LGBT couple in Rowan County, . . . → Read More: Results
Amy Evans is a playwright from North Carolina who lives in New York City and is an incredible champion of CSE’s work as an ally. On Sunday, she’s literally going the extra mile – 26.2 in fact! – by running the New York City Marathon to raise funds for CSE. Amy’s already raised more than $1,700 and is nearing her goal of $2,620. Pushing for full LGBT equality in the South is its own kind of marathon and we’re so inspired by folks like Amy who are stepping up.Here’s more from Amy about why she’s running. Join us in cheering her on! - Jasmine
I got a really nice message from a friend who said that running a marathon is a brave thing to do. On my run this morning – an easy pace in Central Park, crisp blue sky, birds, squirrels, all that was missing was Bambi – itoccurred to me that there is nothing brave at all about marathoning. Vain, maybe. Self-indulgent by all means. But brave? About as brave as buying new lipstick.
Here’s brave: Walking into a county courthouse in the South with your life partner and requesting a marriage license, knowing the odds are stacked against you and that you’ll probably be denied. And then doing it again. And again. And again. That takes courage. But more than courage, it takes commitment, community, and a firm belief that we have the power to end injustice if we choose to. That’s what the Campaign for Southern Equality has been up to lately in the state of North Carolina. And at the same time they’re looking now for a local elected official in the South who openly shares the view that laws disenfranchising LGBT folks need to be stricken from the books once and for all.
Now the best thing about . . . → Read More: Going the distance with CSE
Brenda and Carol have spent 25 years together in a committed relationship and raised 2 kids. They seek the right to marry in their home state of North Carolina. On October 15 they will apply for a marriage license for the 4th time in Buncombe County as part of the WE DO Campaign.
Brenda and Carol remain hopeful about being granted a marriage license, saying “We are simply asking for the same rights that other straight couples in North Carolina enjoy. We are hopeful that Drew Reisinger, as the Buncombe County Register of Deeds, will consider approving our marriage license application in light of what has occurred in other states in regard to marriage equality.”
Please send Brenda and Carol a message of support here.
Two years ago this week, LGBT couples first applied for marriage licenses as part of the WE DO Campaign. You can watch couples call for rights in this video, including Brenda and Carol.
On October 9, 2013, Scott and Ron, residents of Charlotte, North Carolina, will request a marriage license at the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds’ office as the WE DO Campaign continues to grow across North Carolina.
You can send Scott and Ron a message of support here and read their letter to the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds below.
Scott and Ron
Dear Honorable David Granberry,
My partner Ron and I have been residents of Mecklenburg County for over 18 years and we consider Charlotte our home. We met here not long after we both moved here independently and have been in a committed relationship for over 16 of those 18 years. I am writing to you today to request that you grant us a marriage license to have our relationship recognized by the state of North Carolina. We plan to come to your office to make this request in person onWednesday, October 9th at 11:00 AM.
I am from Boston and Ron is from Quincy, Illinois. We both love living in Charlotte and we plan to spend the rest of our lives here. We could be legally married in Massachusetts, or have a civil union in Illinois, but our goal has always been to get married in North Carolina where we would be surrounded by our friends and family who know us and treat us as any other legally married couple they know. By all reasonable measures, this is how we should be treated.
. . . → Read More: Scott and Ron
Last week Brent and Jerry Morin paid $26 to register their legal marriage license as a public document in North Carolina.Why do this?
Because even though Brent and Jerry were legally married in the District of Columbia on August 26, 2011, their home state of North Carolina regards them as legal strangers. By legally registering their marriage license at their local Register of Deeds office they have created a public record that literally shows their love and commitment for each other (anyone can now look it up in the office or online).
This action - a new strategy in the WE DO Campaign - highlights how illogical and unjust it is that Brent and Jerry’s home state, where they live, work and pay taxes, denies their legal marriage, even as our federal government, 13 states, and the District of Columbia recognize it.
(Jerry and Brent at the Forsyth County Register of Deeds Office.)
We’re asking couples all across North Carolina to stand up like Brent and Jerry. On October 22, we’re launching a statewide effort of legally married LGBT couples’ registering their licenses to take a stand against Amendment One. Learn more and sign up here. . . . → Read More: Put your love on the record