MARCH 7 UPDATE: The House Judiciary Committee passed SB 2681 in amended form on March 4. The amended version does NOT address concerns about the bill and is still a license to discriminate against LGBT people and on the basis of race. The bill can go to a floor vote through March 14. It’s critical to keep the pressure up each day.
Suggested Tweet for March 7: “Former Miss. Supreme Court Justice opposes #SB2681, calls it “vague and overbroad.” @DSProgressive coverage at http://bit.ly/MTQsnw”
Read the latest coverage:
BuzzFeed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/tonymerevick/discrimination-concerns-persist-over-mississippi-religious-f Deep South Progressive: http://bit.ly/MTQsnw
Background: The Mississippi state Senate unanimously passed the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” (SB 2681) on Jan. 31 and the House Judiciary Committee is now considering it. This bill is similar to legislation in Arizona that has been dubbed as a “Turn Away the Gays” bill.
ACTIONS TO OPPOSE SB 2681:
1) Call and email your member of the Mississippi House of Representatives TODAY:
Call the MS Capitol Switchboard at (601) 359-3770 to voice your opposition to SB 2681. Be ready to share your representatives’ name.
Call your rep. directly to express opposition. Find your representative, their phone number and email at: http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/ …
Call script: “I’m a resident of your district and oppose SB 2681, which is bad for business in Mississippi and hurts my community. Please oppose this bill.”
The HRC has a handy email tool for Mississippi residents to contact state House members via email as well:
2) Post this graphic and this link - http://bit.ly/1gD2jj3 – on your Facebook page and stand against SB 2681.
. . . → Read More: Take Action on Mississippi “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (SB 2681)
On Saturday, 80,000 to a 100,000 people made history at the Moral March in Raleigh, NC. People from all over NC and across the country joined the NC NAACP in marching for a fair and just North Carolina and yes that included LGBT rights!
David and Gary traveled down from Buncombe County to march for equality. The state of North Carolina does not recognize their marriage.
Carmen representing the WE DO Campaign, which calls for full equality under the law for LGBT individuals and families.
LGBT supporters and allies sent a message to elected officials in Raleigh with their visible presence. Amendment One may remain on the books for now, but someday soon in North Carolina, LGBT people will be full and equal citizens under the law.
Sue shows straight allies how it should be done with her homemade “Love Will Win” headband.
You know the song – someday in North Carolina LGBT couples will have the legal right to put a ring on it.
Speakers from The Campaign for Southern Equality, Equality NC and the Freedom Center for Social Justice spoke to the crowd about LGBT issues. From left to right, Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Chris Sgro and Bishop Tonyia Rawls.
The message of love & respect for LGBT people was loud and clear from Rev. Barber, head of the NC NAACP.
. . . → Read More: The 7 best equality photos from the Moral March
Asheville, N.C. (January 24, 2014) – Yesterday Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that his office will cease to defend Virginia’s ban against same-sex marriage in a federal lawsuit that is progressing through the courts.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that NC Attorney General Roy Cooper will continue to defend Amendment One:
“Cooper said today North Carolina should change its law to allow marriage equality and he believes ‘basic fairness eventually will prevail. However, when legal arguments exist to defend a law, it is the duty of the Office of the Attorney General under North Carolina law to make those arguments in court,’ he said in a written statement.”
“I am hopeful that NC Attorney General Cooper will take the same course of action as Virginia Attorney General Herring and choose not to defend Amendment One, an unjust law that will ultimately be ruled unconstitutional,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality. “Every day that Amendment One remains on the books, same-sex families in North Carolina are harmed because they are denied fundamental rights and protections. We’re calling for full rights and protections under the law immediately for LGBT people. Patience ceases to be a virtue when people are suffering.”
Recent actions by the North Carolina Department of Revenue and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC clearly demonstrate Amendment One’s negative impacts on North Carolina families.
Directive PD-13-1 issued by the North Carolina Department of Revenue states that legally married same-sex couples in North Carolina must file their state taxes separately, despite the fact that they will file federal taxes jointly. Additionally Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC does not offer family coverage plans to legally married same-sex couples due to . . . → Read More: North Carolina Attorney General Cooper should cease to defend Amendment One
CSE’s year in video and images! Thank you for being with us every step of the way in 2013. None of this would be possible without your belief that LGBT people and allies in the South can help our country realize the promises of equality.
1) On January 2nd, five LGBT couples applied for marriage licenses in Hattiesburg, Mississippi as part of the WE DO Campaign. These brave couples took this act, knowing they would be denied licenses, as a show of love in the face of discriminatory laws that relegate LGBT to second-class citizen status in Mississippi. Below, Rolanda and Dawn at the counter applying for a license.
2) From January 2-17, CSE traveled across seven Southern states (Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia) to stand with 37 LGBT couples as they applied for marriage licenses in their hometowns. Matt and Raymie on their farm in White Pine, Tennessee applied for a license in Hamlin County.
3) Tim and Mark were married on January 17th in Washington, D.C. after being together for 20 years. Just three days before, Tim and Mark were denied a marriage license in their hometown of Winston-Salem, N.C. as part of the WE DO Campaign.
. . . → Read More: Definitive 2013 CSE Round Up
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