Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality is ready to roll with an equality action following the results of today’s primary. Its WE DO Campaign involves LGBT couples in Southern communities requesting – and being denied – marriage licenses in order to call for full equality under federal law and to resist unjust state laws. During these actions clergy, family and friends stand with them. She shares her feelings about passage of Amendment One.
This is a hard night. As I sit in Wilson, N.C. I’m thinking most about the LGBT youth across the state who, for months now, have been hearing increasingly vitriolic messages that they are less than. My heart is heavy for them, and heavy with the news that Amendment One has passed.
But that’s not all that I feel. Looking forward, I feel deeply hopeful about what is possible – tomorrow and in the years to come. This hope comes from knowing people like you and from knowing that we are building a new southern equality movement that, I truly believe, can accelerate the path to full federal equality.
We can’t change the results of this vote, but we can determine what comes next. Tomorrow when kids across the state wake up, I want them to know that this story isn’t over.
Starting the morning of May 9, we will run the next stage of the WE DO Campaign in eight communities across North Carolina, from small towns with populations of less than 500 to cities of more than one million. Across the state, over 40 LGBT couples will request marriage licenses, knowing they will be turned down and yet taking this action in order to resist unjust laws and call for full federal equality. They will be joined by hundreds of family members, friends, clergy, and elected officials who will stand with them in support. In select towns, trained volunteers will conduct peaceful sit-ins after the denials of marriage licenses occur, as a form of civil disobedience. At every turn, we will express love and empathy towards those who oppose LGBT rights and those whose job it is to enforce unjust laws.
But there’s another, more urgent reason why we’re starting these actions on May 9. We want to send a clear, simple message to LGBT youth across our state, especially those who, for months now, have been hearing increasingly vitriolic messages condemning them. We want them to know that there are people all across our state – and all across our country – who are ready to stand up for their full equality. We want them to know that this story is far from over.
If you live in North Carolina, here are three things you can do:
1) Vote against Amendment One and bring your friends with you (early voting runs through May 5; Primary Day is May 8);
2) Send a message of support to participating couples;
3) Help us amplify the story of the WE DO Campaign by forwarding this email and posting WE DO updates on Facebook and Twitter.
If you live outside of North Carolina, here are two things you can do:
1) Send a message of support to participating couples
2) Help us amplify the story of the WE DO Campaign by forwarding this email and posting WE DO updates on Facebook and Twitter.
Here are the dates and locations of these actions:
May 9th in Wilson – 9:00 a.m
May 9th in Durham – 3:00 p.m.
May 10th in Winston-Salem – 3:00 p.m.
May 11th in Mitchell County (Bakersville) – 9:00 a.m.
May 11th in Madison County (Marshall) – 12:00 p.m.
May 11th in Asheville – 3:00 p.m.
May 14th in Asheboro – 9:30 a.m.
May 15th in Charlotte – 3:00 p.m.