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
Today, couples across North Carolina (from Onslow County in the east to Haywood County in the west) are putting their love on the record as we keep growing the WE DO Campaign. Through our new statewide effort, legally-married LGBT couples are recording their marriage license as public documents in their home counties across NC as an act of protest against Amendment One.
Couples like Hilary and Emma are married in their hearts and in the eyes of the federal government. That’s a human reality that no one can deny, regardless of a discriminatory law like Amendment One. By going to the Buncombe County Register of Deeds and paying $26 to record their marriage license as a public document, Hilary and Emma created a record of their love and commitment. Their action also highlights how illogical and unjust Amendment One is.
If you are legally married same-sex couple and would like to register your marriage license to take a stand against Amendment One, click here. You can also support our work for equality by making a gift of $26 - the amount it cost Hilary and Emma to record their marriage license.
. . . → Read More: Put your love on record
It’s been an incredible week.
(1) Here in Buncombe County, the WE DO Campaign took us one step closer to equality, as Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger began accepting marriage license applications from LGBT couples. Watch what happened at Tuesday’s WE DO action in this great video from the Asheville Citizen-Times.
(2) Mecklenburg County Commissioners voted to include gender identity in their employment discrimination policy, thanks to the hard work of local organizers and elected officials.
(3) Oregon has just announced that it will recognize the marriages of LGBT couples wed in other states.
(4) New Jersey is poised to legalize marriage equality starting on Monday.
What happened in Asheville this week demonstrates that the WE DO Campaign is working. We’re changing the public conversation about equality in the South and, through strong national media coverage, our country’s understanding about LGBT life here. In the past two months as we’ve led WE DO actions across NC, numerous state and local elected officials in Greensboro, Charlotte and Asheville have stood with us to call for LGBT equality. This is what happens when you show up again and again at marriage license counters across the South to say, we are equal and laws that deny that are simply wrong. As a supporter of CSE, you are making this happen and we are so grateful to be on this journey with you.
(Waiting for the Buncombe County Register of Deeds Office to open on Tuesday morning.Photo credit: Laurie Johnson.)
The marriage license applications that have been accepted in Buncombe County now sit with the Attorney General’s Office, along with a formal request for an opinion on legal questions such as “what legitimate interest does the state of NC have in denying a marriage license to a same-sex couple?”
This moment highlights exactly why . . . → Read More: We’re winning
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
On October 2, 2013, Mary and Carol, residents of Henderson County, North Carolina, will request a marriage license at the Henderson County Register of Deeds’ office as the WE DO Campaign continues to grow across North Carolina. You can read about their life together below as told by Mary:
In 1974, Mary and Carole made a life-long commitment to be there for each other. We each had four children from our previous marriages. In 1974 their ages were 18 to 9. The 1970’s were difficult. We sent more than one psychologist around the world as we went through the process of learning how to cope with angry and confused children and our own homophobia.
As the years passed, our children grew up, got married and gave us 13 grandchildren. Through those years, love won out and today our relationship is celebrated by all. In 2014, we will celebrate our 40th anniversary and our 80th birthdays.
We are excited about having a small part in the “WE DO” campaign in Hendersonville, NC. Never did we dream that in our lifetime marriage of gay people would be discussed or a possibility. After hiding out for many years, we are proud to now stand up for what is fundamentally just and constitutionally right. We believe strongly that all peoples, regardless of sexual orientation, should be able to stand before a judge and say “I do” and in so doing receive the same rights and privileges that married people have both federally and in their states.
Our children and grandchildren, as well as our friends, are thrilled that we are taking this step to speak out for justice. Unfortunately, our children all live a distance. However, one of them is driving to be with us and walk by our side when we apply for a . . . → Read More: Mary and Carol