LGBT

Want to join our table at the Equality NC Foundation's 2009 Gala?

Kate and I don't want to dine alone as we celebrate a great year of legislative gains in North Carolina, so why don't you join our table at Equality NC Foundation's 2009 Equality Gala on Saturday, November 14 (6:30PM-9:00PM) at the beautiful Empire Room in downtown Greensboro?

This year Equality NC Foundation will be honoring Sen. Julia Boseman for her courageous leadership in getting the School Violence Prevention Act passed. Special recognition will also be given to Winston-Salem's young Kate Mabe for drawing statewide media attention to how it feels to be bullied and to the strength of character our young people need to move forward in a tough world.

Excuse me?!

I was searching the Library of Congress page for bills on LGBT equality, when I stumbled upon something odd, that I dismissed at the time as I was running late for a meeting anyway. Then I saw it again today on another site. And I was livid.

Equality NC Conference & Gala

Nov 14 2009 8:30 am
Nov 14 2009 9:00 pm

Equality NC Foundation's 2009 Conference & Gala in Greensboro

Info here

Equality NC Conference and Gala

The Equality NC Foundation Conference and Gala will be held on Saturday, November 14 in Greensboro.

Registration is open now for the daytime conference, the evening gala, or both! Prices go up after October 30, so register early.

Full schedule here

The daytime conference at UNC-Greensboro's Elliot University Center includes an opening session, three breakout sessions with five workshops to choose from during each breakout session, and a closing keynote in the afternoon.

The evening gala will be held at downtown Greensboro's Empire Room. Senator Julia Boseman is this year's Legislative Leadership Award recipient.

My keynote address at NC Pride 2009 - with video and photos

For me the best part of attending my statewide Pride celebration is capturing the anti-gay fundamentalists along the parade route.

This year, I managed to do that, but I took the pix while riding in one of the cars in the parade this year, as I was asked to deliver the keynote address. Oy. Really, I don't understand why people think blogger=public speaker, but not all of us are extroverts. More on that later.

This year's crop of bible-beating losers was interesting.

Right: Pastor Billy Ball, a "fan" of my blog who has written me damnation Valentines and other deranged emails, made the trip all the way from Primrose, GA.

I rode in the "celebrity" jeep with Stormy Ellis, who is the only out Assistant District Attorney in the entire state of NC -- of course she is in Durham. The Grand Marshall of the parade, Mark Kleinschmidt, is an out gay Chapel Hill town council member who is running for mayor there this year.

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez Sr., who is one rocking supporter of the LGBT community, spoke; the officers at the parade volunteered to be there and those on the force who are LGBT are not in the closet.

So in this environment, our 2009 fundies found themselves wildly outnumbered; poor Billy Ball didn't even bring a bullhorn. Talk about unprepared. But we had these new ones (one reader called them Agent Smiths with "all their asinine Matrix sunglasses") who really wore the loser label quite well...

And the guy carrying this sign is a three-time attendee; he also shows up at the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival here.

In terms of the keynote, rewritten over and over up until the last moment, I was definitely nervous, since I wasn't delivering a traditional rah-rah keynote. After all, if you give me the podium, knowing my content, you may be asking for trouble -- or at least a generous amount of stepping on some third rails.

My keynote is below the fold (w/video and a slideshow).

Gordon Smith Stands Up For LGBT Population in Asheville

If you like what you read here, please visit my campaign website and donate or volunteer!

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.

Teaser:

"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."

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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.

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