Celebration of progress towards equality

There was a great array of speakers in Raleigh tonight at the celebration and info session around today's marriage victories at the Supreme Court including legislators, speakers from Equality NC, and the ACLU. My very preliminary understanding of the ruling is that there wasn't standing for Prop 8 which means marriage equality returns to California and puts about a third of the country's population in marriage equality states. And with the ruling against DOMA that means federal benefits will now be extended to same-sex married couples in states that recognize marriage equality.

I believe that means good things for bi-national same-sex married couples who are facing separation through deportation though I haven't heard as much about that. Whether federal benefits will come to North Carolinians like me who were legally married in a state that recognizes full equality, but now lives in one that doesn't still seems to be a point of contention and ambiguity.

What we do know is that today is the biggest leap forward in the fight for LGBT equality in my lifetime and it creates some precedents and legal language that will be used to fight back against marriage bans in all those states where full equality has yet to be recognized. And though less tangible, the momentum towards equality that these rulings have produced will help in state level legislative and referendum-based efforts to recognize the freedom to marry. It's a very good day indeed.

As a North Carolinian who was planning on getting married in California until Prop 8 happened during my engagement and caused a last minute revamp of wedding plans for Massachusetts, I am very heartened to see Prop 8 and DOMA biting the dust. And I'm excited to be running a pro-equality event in Wilson, NC tomorrow.

Here's a bit of what I saw at tonight's celebration.


Friday is the Stonewall anniversary

Friday is the anniversary of the Stonewall riots that launched the gay rights movement and is the reason for annual pride month celebrations and parades in June. I'd encourage folks to do whatever you can in the coming days, and especially Friday to honor that in whatever way you see fit.

Whether its a facebook status, a tweet, putting a bumper sticker on your car, wearing a pro-equality shirt/symbol/button to work, or what have you, make your support for equality known. This next Moral Monday is an opportunity to show LGBT and ally support for all the fights for justice in our state as well.

Jake ... what's the NC plan?

Discussion this morning suggests that activists in many states are gearing up for challenges at the state level, with an assumption that state laws won't stand up in the face of the Supreme Court ruling. Do you know if that plan is underway in North Carolina?

If I were gay in this state, I would be mounting a court challenge today. Unfortunately, all i can do is be a cheerleader and contributor to legal action.

I hope so

I hope something along the lines of court challenges will come to pass. The ACLU spokesperson said they'd be investing $10 million in the nationwide fight for marriage equality. And Equality NC is trying to recruit LGBT and allies to run for office here in North Carolina to build towards a better future. So it seems like there a few things in the works, I'm not in the loop enough to know the exact legal strategies, although being so soon after the ruling those strategies are probably still being figured out.