Jake Gellar-Goad's blog

Moral Monday Pride photoblog

LGBT Equality was one of today's themes at the final Moral Monday of the legislative session. LGBT voters have a lot at stake in the elections and special concerns to consider with how the photo ID law in 2016 will impact us especially as it comes to name or appearance changes related to marriage or transitioning.

The 2010s

I remember it was 50 years ago today that June Pride month in 2014 began. I use the word remember loosely. The President had just declared it as national Pride month as he did every month. We take it for granted now, but back then it was still a fairly new thing. The same President who spoke of the road to equality at an inauguration ceremony as running "from Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall."

Maybe moments like these come every half century. In my days as a man just entering my 30s, I would often look back to the 1960s for inspiration in much the same way we look back at the 2010s now. So much has changed since then. It's what inspired me to write this blog, a lost form of communication, which I'm bringing back as much out of nostalgia as anything else. Here are a few highlights from that decade of equality.

    Photoblog: 1st Moral Monday of the 2014 legislative session

    The legislature came back and they were not alone! Thousands marched into the legislative building with their mouths taped shut to draw attention to the disconcerting new building rules, but with signs held high for the legislators to witness.

    Rev. Barber shared about the upcoming citizen lobby day on Tuesday the 27th as next week's main activity, on the theory that we have to give them a chance to hear us out and change their ways before taking stronger actions. He's a more optimistic man than myself. But I was heartened by today's turnout.

    Biden does it again

    Two years ago, in a primary election that was ignored by much of the electorate, many LGBT North Carolinians not only cast their vote against marriage discrimination but also stood outside the polls trying to convince others that they were real people deserving of equal rights. I know I got sunburned at a rural Durham County precinct passing out literature at a polling site that day. But too many could not help publicly in the fight for equality because being gay is a fireable offense in too much of America.

    I hope our AG is hearing this

    From yesterday's NY Times:

    WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Monday injected the Obama administration into the emotional and politicized debate over the future of state same-sex marriage bans, declaring in an interview that state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws that they believe are discriminatory.

    Straight from the lips of Attorney General Eric Holder. It's your call on whether or not to defend the ban based on whether or not you think it is discriminatory. Do you?

    March voter registration month

    March is Voter Registration Month. You're going to start hearing that more soon, and hopefully start repeating it. Why is March Voter Registration Month? Because the anti-voting law that passed year necessitates it. And because it is important to turn the energy of the Moral Movement into action around voting.

    Now that Same Day Registration during early voting is gone, we have to get folks registered before early voting starts in April for the primary election. We don't have that safety net to fall back on, so we have to take action now.

    High school voter registrations during March Voter Registration Month are important too. They repealed pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds. But 18 year olds and those who will be 18 by the time of the November election can still get registered and vote in this coming election. And so it is important to get them registered before they graduate.

    Good riddance Rep. McIntyre!

    In one of his last acts as a Congressman, Rep. Mike McIntyre is trying to strip my marriage and the marriages of couples just like us across North Carolina of federal recognition. He's going out swinging, trying to harm North Carolinians as he goes, even if it means standing alone with the Republicans as he does, giving them cover to call this bipartisan.

    This is the kind of act that is helping drive youth into the growing ranks of the independents in this state rather than the shrinking ranks of the Democratic Party. His stance is firmly rooted in the past and on the wrong side of history, in opposition to Senator Hagan's and Attorney General Cooper's support of marriage equality.

    Looking back at 2013: allies in every county

    As 2013 is coming to a close, I've been thinking a lot about the year in review lately. There were local elections, a crazy legislative session, and of course Moral Mondays. The Supreme Court misguidedly struck down part of the voting rights act, but also struck down some marriage discrimination statutes as well. It has been a mixed year of frustration and hope for the future.

    Though those red equal signs felt ubiquitous when they went viral through social media earlier this year with the Supreme Court marriage case, I was still a little surprised to learn when reading the Advocate today that it was on people's profiles in every single county in the US. And by extension in every single county in NC. Nowhere in the nation or state is without allies. That is a profound and heartening thing to know.


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