Full Steam Ahead In North Carolina: Fighting the Anti-LGBT Constitutional Amendment
May 10, 2011
HRC is in North Carolina working to stop two bills in the legislature (SB 106/HB 777) that aim to ban gay and lesbian marriage. HRC is working with Equality North Carolina to make sure these two bills do not pass. ENC just finished their Equality in Action Tour around the state. The tour served brought together supporters around the state to participate in a town hall discussion about the House and Senate versions of the anti-LGBT constitutional amendment.
House Bill 777, considered the lesser of two evils, limits marriage between one man, one woman at one time as opposed to Senate Bill 106 which will also ban domestic partnerships and civil unions.
House Bill 777 was introduced by Republicans David Lewis and Rayne Brown and Democrats Jim Crawford and Dewey Hill, along with 62 co-sponsors. The 66 total sponsors include 60 Republicans and 6 Democrats. Although that is a majority of the House, it is short of the 72 votes required to put a a constitutional amendment on the ballot.
HRC has been on the ground for almost two months working with Equality North Carolina activating the community and encouraging them to sign up with our Postcard Campaign. We will be delivering these postcards to legislators to let them know that their constituents want them to vote on the side of fairness and equality. HRC has worked to get more than 2,500 postcards signed from residents in the Charlotte region. ENC has sent out over 30,000 postcards throughout North Carolina. "We've got a difficult fight ahead of us, and it's going to take all the supporters of equal rights across our state to ensure that North Carolina remains the only state in the Southeast without an anti-LGBT marriage amendment written into our constitution," says Equality North Carolina's Director of Community Organizing and Outreach, Rebecca Mann.
HRC has attended several LGBT organizational meetings and visited local businesses including nightclubs and farmers markets to spread the word about the postcard campaign. Among many events, HRC has attended Queen City Stomp, a country line dance event held by Southern Country Charlotte and Scarlet Fever, a fundraiser for the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network hosted by the University of North Carolina Charlotte campus Pride. This past weekend, at the AIDS Walk and at a Roller Derby Game, we collected our highest number of postcards signed in one weekend to date: over 400 postcards over Mother's Day Weekend!
If you live in North Carolina, please contact your state legislators via email, hand written letter and phone call to urge them to treat all North Carolinians equally and to vote no on SB 106 and HR 777.
Interested in volunteering? We will begin our weekly Phone Bank starting on Monday, May 16th. Phone Banking days are Saturdays 2:30-5:30 and Monday 5:30-8:30. We’ll be calling like minded NC citizens asking them to contact their legislators about not voting for either of the ant-LGBT amendments. The phone banks in Charlotte are located at the Lesbian and Gay Community Center in Charlotte, NC. 820 Hamilton Street Suite B11 Charlotte, NC 28206 (map). Please RSVP at Jessica.Osborn@hrc.org.
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