Gordon Smith Stands Up For LGBT Population in Asheville

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While we’re working towards marriage equality for same-sex couples who want the same rights as their heterosexual equals, the City of Asheville can take a step toward social justice by offering same-sex health benefits to its employees.

City employees are currently empowered to include their spouses on their health plans and can take bereavement leave in the case of a spouse’s death. Same-sex couples, even if legally married in another state, are not eligible.

The gay and lesbian citizens of Asheville deserve equal recognition and equal benefits. To deny these benefits is to relegate gay and lesbian couples to second-class status. We all know that Asheville is a gay-friendly city, and our city government ought to reflect our commitment to honoring the civil rights of all our citizens.

5 years after Marriage Equality, Massachusetts has lowest divorce rate in nation

Here's the evidence, folks.

Gays have not destroyed marriage. In fact, they've brought the Massachusetts divorce rate down to where it was in 1940.

Facts and figures from the National Center for Vital Statistics among others.

No more can the NC media claim to just "be fair" when quoting the American Taliban and other theocrat lobbyists.

I've got the research right here. There's even a Daily Show clip to make things fun.

So how does North Carolina stack up against MA, or even Vermont - where civil unions have been in place for just as long? Take look at the chart.

Civil unions and gay marriage do not increase the divorce rate and do not threaten any straight couple's marriage.

Durham City Council Votes for Marriage Equality

Pam Spaulding has all the details at The Blend.


"I am very proud of my hometown tonight after attending the Durham (NC) City Council meeting where a resolution supporting civil marriage equality for same-sex couples was passed unanimously. Mayor Bill Bell and council members affirmed marriage equality."


On Respect, Or, How To Avoid Mispronounciation

For today’s story, we will travel far afield from the typical domains of politics or science or law that have so often provoked our thinking into an often overlooked area of human relations:

To which gender do you belong?

It’s a simple question, or so common sense would tell us—either you’re male, or you’re female.

As it turns out, things aren’t quite so simple, and in today’s conversation we’ll consider this issue in a larger way. By the time we’re done, not only will we learn a thing or two about sex and gender and sexuality, we’ll also learn how to offer a community of people a level of respect that they often find difficult to obtain.

Tolerance ends

Listening to the House debate on bullying yesterday was an mind-opening experience. A legislative dance on the edge of a straight razor, where process seemed to matter more than substance, and substance amounted to the least we could do. If ever you doubted it, gay is the battleground.


NC GOP Leader Lies Again and Trashes Lesbian Mother In Front of Her Son

Anyone watching the debate in the General Assembly knows that House Minority Leader Paul "Skip" Stam (R-Wake) just can't stop lying about the School Violence Prevention Act, but this morning he outdid his usual unhinged ravings.

It's hard to fathom that any sane member of the bar (Skippy's a lawyer dontcha know) chosen to serve as leader of his party, can stand up with a straight face and say that same-sex parents are more dangerous than second-hand smoke.

This mind-numbingly idiotic and hateful remark was not made as part of a private joke in some dark hallway in the Legislative Building on Jones Street, but spoken aloud in the House Judiciary I Committee as Senator Julia Boseman stood there explaining the bullying bill - not a marriage or foster care or adoption bill - just a bullying bill.

Presidential Proclamation – June is LGBT Pride Month

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 1, 2009

- - - - - - -

Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

Choose the gay guy!

The NC GOP is in a tailspin, looking for a magical messiah to drag them out of the wilderness.

School Violence Statistics

I've been talking to a lot of people on the local level about the School Violence Prevention Act, and urging people to write, e-mail, phone, or otherwise contact their representatives and urge them to support this important piece of legislation.

Well, recently I was asked to gather some statistics on school bullying for a local Democrat newsletter. The information was quite abundant on the web, and it really drove home the point that has bothered me. Opponents of the bill seem to be objecting to the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity, because they fear it will lead to other rights being granted to LGBT people. (Yes, I know the idea of me being granted the same rights as my brother and sister is absolutely terrifying but bear with me.)

Lobbying black legislators during the Day of Action was an eye-opening experience

Cross-posted at Pam's House Blend.

It was a wonderful sunny and crisp day in Raleigh on Tuesday, and there was a great turnout for the Equality NC Day of Action. It drew 250 people from across the state -- that more than doubled the attendance at prior lobby days. We had people come from as far away as Duck (that's on the Outer Banks) and to the mountain town of Hendersonville to meet with the legislators to discuss pro-LGBT legislation in the queue and to urge them to oppose the marriage amendment. (ENC):

"We are thrilled to see so many North Carolinians, both LGBT and allies, who took time off of work to travel to Raleigh and make do the hard work of building support for fair and equal treatment of everyone, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity," said Ian Palmquist, Executive Director. "We know that face-to-face conversations are the single most effective tool we have to get more legislators to support our issues."

It was my first time participating in the Day of Action, and it was also the first opportunity for longtime activist Mandy Carter.

We got together with other black LGBTs and allies in attendance to meet with members of the legislative black caucus. Things got very interesting during those meetings. More on that below the fold.

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