Pro-gay rally planned to protest N.C. amendment

Protest rally will follow May 17 anti-gay event

by Matt Comer  Editor  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: May 10, 2011 in News

RALEIGH, N.C. — Community activists are planning to protest attempts to write discrimination into the North Carolina Constitution.

Angel Chandler, an Asheville, N.C.-based leader of the state chapter of Get Equal, a national LGBT activist group, and Boone, N.C.-resident Jonathan Green are organizing via Facebook to bring people to Raleigh on June 2.

“Stand with us and let our North Carolina lawmakers know that we refuse to be even further alienated from and discriminated by our government,” Chandler and Green write on the Facebook event page. “We are all equal, and it is time our government started treating us as such.”

Two versions of the proposed amendment have been filed in the state legislature. The more extreme Senate version, sponsored by Gaston County Republican James Forrester, could impact both public and private relationships including marriage, civil unions and domestic partner benefits offered by private companies. The House version is less extreme, with a limited scope affecting only relationship recognition by the state and local governments.

The amendment has been held at bay for the past seven years. Last November, Republicans swept into a majority in both chambers of the legislature. Traditionally, Republicans have been more supportive of the amendment that Democrats. In response to the continued threat, statewide LGBT advocacy group Equality North Carolina has ramped up advocacy and organizing efforts across the state.

The pro-gay rally planned for June will follow a “Protect Marriage” rally planned for May 17 by the anti-gay group Return America.