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Y'all.   

SCOTUS has voted that it is illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ people.  This is STUNNING news.  NC state law goes out the window.  i am almost speechless.  Never thought I would see this in my life

Yay!!!  So happy and gay here too! ❤️

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No doubt Foxx's win is an encouraging sign for Charlotte's gay community. The path is still uphill, we will never be a priority and will have to push hard to make Foxx and the others live up to their words, but the terrain has just gotten a little less daunting.

On the national level Maine is a heartbreaker. Although I did not think we were going to win, it's still stings. People say the majority of the country is not "ready" for gay marriage. I don't understand that. We are not asking for straight people to divorce and marry people of the same sex. It's our marriages and not theirs.

Looks like we will prevail in maintaining WA's everything but the "M" word law. Which is good intermediate progress but inherently separate and unequal.

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I was worried that Cannon, who did not have MeckPAC's endorsement, would become Mayor-Pro-Tem. But Burgess retained that spot with crossover votes. And Peacock, the only R endorsed by MeckPAC, was the only R to win an at-large seat. And in a close race for Mayor, the gay vote made a difference for Foxx.

What this all means is that the gay vote was key to the top vote-winner in each party for at-large seats, as well as our new mayor. As such, the new majority (plus Peacock), would be foolish to not enact more progressive policies in the near future.

For starters, the Council should add sexual orientation to the City's non-discrimination policies. That's something virtually all major employers have in the private sector, as well as Mecklenburg County employees.

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My biggest fear from the Maine vote on gay marriage and California's Prop 8 is that the GOP will see gay marriage as a great issue to use in the midterm elections. Great way to bring out the angries and the ultra conservatives. They can't win on lots of other issues, but they've seen that these issues will bring out lots of these type of voters to the polls. Gear up for a big fight next year.

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My biggest fear from the Maine vote on gay marriage and California's Prop 8 is that the GOP will see gay marriage as a great issue to use in the midterm elections. Great way to bring out the angries and the ultra conservatives. They can't win on lots of other issues, but they've seen that these issues will bring out lots of these type of voters to the polls. Gear up for a big fight next year.

There is a great article that mirrors many of my own thoughts on yesterday's results in The Atlantic.

What happened in Maine is important for how we plan to establish our own rights here in Charlotte. It's a good read and I suggest all who are interested give it a look.

A Thought On Gay Marriage In Maine

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From what I hear Foxx is committed to getting a non-discrimination city employee ordinance passed soon after the new council is sworn in. I also heard that he may propose this policy in lame duck under McCrory. The thinking being that if he vetos then it will be on his record for his run for governor again. And once the new majority is sworn in the law would be passed. The latter sounds a little contrived to me but it's all just talk right now anyway. Believe it when I see it.

DP benefits will have to be "studied" first. To be fair that's a rote response one gets from all sides on this issue. County Commission is currently completing a cost study endorsed by Roberts who is more progressive on our issues than Foxx.

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I found it interesting that Salt Lake City Council unanimously passed GLBT non-discrimination in housing and employment last night. They join Nashville,Fort Worth,Tallahasee and others in passing a variety of inclusive ordinances recently. I really don't find Charlotte that much more conservative than the aforementioned cities. I guess everyone's water tastes different.

At any rate, I think these examples will help build our case when we get the ball rolling on city employee non-discriminatory hiring as a first step.

Edited by Forrest
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I found it interesting that Salt Lake City Council unanimously passed GLBT non-discrimination in housing and employment last night. They join Nashville,Fort Worth,Tallahasee and others in passing a variety of inclusive ordinances recently. I really don't find Charlotte that much more conservative than the aforementioned cities. I guess everyone's water tastes different.

At any rate, I think these examples will help build our case when we get the ball rolling on city employee non-discriminatory hiring as a first step.

So true. Even Salt Lake County and Park City are moving to pass LGBT laws now. The question is what is the game plan to push LGBT legislation and policies forward in Charlotte-Mecklenburg? Are the grassroots engaged, ready to go, and pushing hard? Are pro-gay clergy involved in the struggle, as well as other progressive movements? How about political and activist blogs based in and outside of Charlotte? Pam's House Blend is a prominent NC-based blog that can really light a spark to a movement.

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Foxx won over Lassiter, and Burgess received more votes than Cannon, each in part due to MeckPAC endorsements. It's time then that they make due on their word that earned our vote.

As such, I think Burgess should introduce the non-discrimination change, along with Kinsey and Peacock, two others benefitting from MeckPAC, as co-sponsors. Foxx obviously won't veto it, like his predecessor, but he should lobby his fellow African-American Democrats. Even Cooksey, given his Libertarian streak, should at least vote for non-discrimination, though maybe not domestric partner benefits.

Edited by southslider
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There are dedicated gay activists in this town. MECKPAC does a lot of great work. And there is a history of advocacy. By and large though these are small groups or individuals. There is not a widespread dedication to public pressure. Most of the political and activist meetings geared toward gay issues in this town have been very sparsely attended. The low attendance seems to result from apathy,ignorance, and being closeted. I have only been here five years but it seems to be that our type of activism has often mirrored how other business is done in this town. Lowkey and not very agressive, go along to get along.

Just seems to me that the Angels in America fiasco left a lot of scars and it's just been easier to ignore inequalities and just pretend everything is fine.

Our last local advance was CMS School Board passing a gay inclusive anti-bullying policy. We had a strong turnout. If our supporters on County Commission and City Council keep their promises on acting on our goals than we will need to make our voices heard in bigger numbers. Because we will get opposition from all the usual suspects.

Edited by Forrest
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The former Liasons house is returning to life as the "bar at 316". No longer pink though, I miss that but the new beige looks nice and the TLC was much needed. I hear the interior will have a great facelift as well. Hopefully the rainbow flag will be put back. We need more of those around town in visible areas.

Edited by Forrest
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I moved here from Charleston and this does not surprise me. While the surrounding area is more conservative Charleston and especially the peninsula has always been more liberal. Linda Ketner who ran against Rep Henry Brown for Congress was out during her campaign and won Charleston County. A lot of it stems from being a global tourist destination and having a strong arts community. There is a constant mixture of folks in and out of town all the time. And The College of Charleston my alma mater is situated right in the middle of downtown. Mayor Joe Riley has been in office since the 70s, and has always been personally supportive. A City employee non-discrimination policy has been in place for several years. Good for them for trying to advance to the next level. I am not up on political balance of Charleston City Council but their local gay rights group has been very strategic and successful so I doubt they would push this if they did not think the votes were there.

More evidence to wave at our new Council when they are sworn in.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last week Charleston City Council passed a gay and trans inclusive housing non-discrimination ordinance. The vote was unanimous although three members were conveniently absent. I am proud of my former home.

Foxx has told Q-Notes that he is committed to pushing through an employment non-discrimination sexual orientation ordinance for city employees early in his tenure. For years we have been told that we don't have the votes because of McCrory's veto. Well they don't have that excuse anymore. The City Atty and City Mgr have voiced opposition to this change based on lack of clarity from the NC constitution. Let's hope the Council has the sense to dismiss that stupidity. MECKPAC and Q-Notes reviews show that the votes are there based on campaign promises. It's worthwhile to lobby our opponents and give them a chance to change their minds, but if they don't seem open to change then move on. Get it done with the majority we do have. We are far behind the other major metros in the Carolinas on a wide range of LGBT issues. But getting the least controversial issue done first and then building support for DP's and citywide housing and employment protections makes the most sense.

Edited by Forrest
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A small story in the O this week touched on DP's. A professor who studied state law does not see any barrier to the extension of Domestic Partnerships. This finding bolsters the case for moving forward on the County Commission level. Apparently, the proposal is still under study by the staff to clear up process and system change questions. The paper got a reliably hateful quote from the head of the local homophobe brigade. Bill James thinks "homosexual relationships" are illegal in NC and prohibits extension of benefits. Regardless of the fact that Durham, Orange, and Guilford counties already do so.

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Discussion of DP benefits by the County Commission is on the agenda for the Dec 15th meeting. There could be a vote the same night. Bill James is trying to rally churches against the proposal. I think we have enough votes to pass it but our side needs to come out to show support. Will get more details in the next day or so.

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Jennifer Roberts, Dan Murray, Vilma Leake,George Dunlap, Dumont Clarke are all solidly in our favor. I think Harold Cogdell is also with us. So we should have votes to spare. Republicans Neil Cooksey,Karen Bentley and no shocker here...Bill James are all solid No votes. Of course this being politics anything could happen but these are my expectations.

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This AM the O site had a frontpage article on a local couple struggling to save their home from foreclosure. An experience many are going through and these guys just happened to be gay. Images included them comforting each other and posing with their kids. These examples do a great service in "normalizing" us by showing how undifferent we really are.

Just as much as gay people that turn their cars into one man gay pride parade floats.

Whoever they are.... whistling.giflaugh.gif

We need all kinds of activism to continue to move forward.

These guys moved from CA and seem quite happy in their suburban neighborhood. And we do span every neighborhood in Charlotte. Sometimes I get my head in the sand and forget that gay people live happily in other areas besides Dilworth,Plaza Midwood,NoDa,and Southend/Uptown.

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DP Benefits are definitely on the agenda for tomorrow's County Commission meeting. They usually start at 6pm in the main meeting room of the gvt ctr. I don't know for sure whether a vote is going to be taken. On many subjects there are discussions and then a vote is tabled until the following session.

Edited by Forrest
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Great to report good news for a change on this thread smile.gif As I and most observers expected the County Commission passed DP benefits on a party line vote tonight. I watched the live stream from home as I am sick.png Mecklenburg county is the now the largest government agency in the state to offer these benefits. A great night for local gay rights.

Now that county government has employment nondiscrimination and DP benefits encoded into their policies let's push our newly configured City Council majority to match actions with their words and get on the ball.

I have to hand it to Jennifer Roberts, she made committments to us during her first campaign to be elected to county commission and she delivered. A rare trait these days regardless of party.

Finally, I just love the unintentional symbiosis between DC City Council's passage of same sex marriage and our county commission's decision happening on the same day good.gif

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I am happy that the County Commision voted in favor of the Domestic Partner Benefits...but I really think they have left themselves open to lawsuits by restricting the benefits to gay couples only. I think the argument could be made that this decision goes against Mecklenburgs stated policy not to discriminate against a person based on sexuality. But a str8 couple who is not married would not qualify for these benefits...but a gay couple in the same situation would. That seems to me to be blatent discrimination.

I think they should have made the Domestic Partner benefits open to people of all sexualities. That is the way that most companies do it.

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