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Day of statewide action for marriage equality in Mississippi

On August 13, same-sex couples in nine counties across Mississippi will record their out-of-state marriage licenses at their local Chancery Court offices. Organized by the Campaign for Southern Equality, this statewide day of action for marriage equality will involve local couples recording their licenses in Amite, Desoto, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Lafayette, Lamar, Oktibbeha and Pearl River counties.

Meet the couples that will call for rights on Wednesday:

(Jena and Jennifer with their daughter)

(Pamela and Mary)

(Nathan and Paul)

. . . → Read More: Day of statewide action for marriage equality in Mississippi

On Heels of 4th Circuit Ruling, LGBT Couples Apply for Marriage Licenses in Greenville, South Carolina

On Monday the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The same day South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced he would continue to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“Currently, South Carolina’s law remains intact,” said Mark Powell, a spokesman for S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson. “People should not rush to act or react until that time when a decision is made by the highest court in the land.”

Just two days later, five LGBT couples living in South Carolina went to the Probate Court in Greenville to apply for marriage licenses as part of the WE DO Campaign.

Supporters of the couples lined up around the block to walk to Probate Court with the couples.

North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia are all in the 4th Circuit and are now on the verge of marriage equality after Monday’s historic ruling.

This was Ivy and Misha’s third time applying for a marriage license in their home state of South Carolina. They do not want to travel out of state to be wed.

Ivy is a co-founder and the Program Director of Gender Benders, a grassroots social justice and support group working on trans* issues.

Supporters circled up outside Probate Court as clergy lead an interfaith blessing of the couples before they enter the building to apply for marriage licenses.

. . . → Read More: On Heels of 4th Circuit Ruling, LGBT Couples Apply for Marriage Licenses in Greenville, South Carolina

Gay couple's courageous stand in Marion, North Carolina

Keisha and Dericka knew that when they went to the McDowell County Register of Deeds’ Office this morning to request a marriage license as part of the WE DO Campaign, they would almost certainly be denied. What they didn’t expect, however, was that 150 counter-protestors would hold a rally on the courthouse lawn.

WE DO participants pray in front of the McDowell County Courthouse, where hundreds of anti-gay protestors had gathered.

With the sounds of condemnation in the background, the couple received a blessing from their minister, Rev. Christy Corna, who will officiate their wedding ceremony in September. They then proceeded to the Register of Deeds Office, hand-in-hand, followed by friends and supporters.

. . . → Read More: Gay couple’s courageous stand in Marion, North Carolina

Summer Schedule of Community Law Workshops

During 2014, the Campaign for Southern Equality will offer at least 12 free Community Law Workshops (CLW). The goal of a CLW 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. We are proud to collaborate with community partners and law firms to provide these free workshops.

Starting in June 2014, CSE is also excited to launch a partnership with the Freedom Center for Social Justice’s LGBTQ Law Center to jointly provide free health care power of attorney clinics at Pride celebrations across North Carolina.

UPCOMING CLWs:

Salisbury Pride (June 21, Salisbury, NC); Health Care Power of Attorney offered with LGBTQ Law Center. Gender Benders Summer Camp (July 18, Piedmont, SC); Name change & Health Care Power of Attorney offered Charlotte Black Gay Pride (July 19, Charlotte, NC); Health Care Power of Attorney offered. Charlotte Pride (August 16, Charlotte, NC); Health Care Power of Attorney offered with LGBTQ Law Center. Blue Ridge Pride (October 4, Asheville, NC); Health Care Power of Attorney offered with LGBTQ Law Center. Pride Winston-Salem (October 18, Winston-Salem, NC); Health Care Power of Attorney offered with LGBTQ Law Center.

(Attorney Diane Walton leads a CLW in Gulfport, Mississippi.)

2014 Completed Community Law Workshops

Topic: Stand up for Equality When You File Your NC Taxes (February 5, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.)

Led by: Todd Greene, CPA of Brader Greene

Location: First Congregational UCC | 20 . . . → Read More: Summer Schedule of Community Law Workshops

Raleigh WE DO action

Same-Sex Couples Call for Marriage Rights on 2nd Anniversary of Amendment One

On May 8 local same-sex couples will apply for marriage licenses at the Wake County Register of Deeds Office. They will be joined by legally-married same-sex couples who will pay $26 to record their out-of-state marriage licenses in order to create a public record of their legal marriage.

Trudy and Justine Price-O’Neil of Wake County are among the couples that will record their Massachusetts marriage license at the Wake County Register of Deeds office. Together for a decade, they are mothers to a two-year-old and are both teachers. Trudy Price O’Neil will be honored as Enloe High School Teacher of the Year at a ceremony on Thursday evening.

“While the federal government recognizes our marriage, it’s important to us that our home state of North Carolina does too,” says Justine Price-O’Neil. “This matters for reasons like state taxes and insurance policies, but also for our little girl to have two legal parents, and so she can know without a doubt that her family is just as valid and important as everyone else’s.”

Trudy and Justine with their daughter

The couples will be joined by family and clergy from across faith traditions, such as Rev. Nancy Petty of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh and Rev. Doug Long, Trudy and Justine’s pastor at Umstead Park United Church of Christ, who will stand in support of them as they record their license. This action takes place two years to the day since the passage of Amendment One, North Carolina’s Constitutional ban against same-sex marriage.

Join us for a series of events this week . . . → Read More: Raleigh WE DO action