Prayer Vigils Held Across North Carolina
September 13, 2011 by Karin Quimby, Regional Field Director
Last night LGBT people of faith and their allies gathered in 9 cities across the state to give voice and to raise candles to the values of love, compassion and equality. These values were sorely missing in yesterday’s vote in the North Carolina state house where a majority of House members—75 to 42—voted to place a Defense of Marriage constitutional amendment on the May 2012 ballot to outlaw not just marriage for gays and lesbians, but any form of relationship recognition, including domestic partnerships or civil unions.
While a number of legislators spoke powerfully against such a hateful, mean-spirited and discriminatory amendment on the floor, at the end of the day the House passed the bill. It moves now to the Senate for a vote as early as today. But last night, despite this loss, the gatherings of faith leaders and thousands of people in cities across the state was powerful solace.
At the vigil in Raleigh, Rev. Dr. Spearman, Bishop Tonya Rawls, NC Council of Churches President, Stan Kimmer, Dr. Tim Tysons and his father, the renowned Rev. Vernon Tysons, were joined by Representative Marcus Brandon, country music star Chely Wright, and interim Executive Director, Alex Miller, to talk about how, while we may have lost the vote yesterday, we will be triumphant in the end, that justice and love will prevail—because it always does. We all needed that time last night to come together and reflect upon our journey, here in North Carolina and around the world, to fight back against bigotry and to share with one another the strength and love that will enable us, in the end, to prevail.