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Anti-gay lobbyist: Asheville marriage campaign a ‘strategic mistake’

Other LGBT grassroots activists taking different organizing approach

CHARLOTTE — An anti-gay lobbyist is calling a marriage equality campaign a “strategic mistake” on the part of LGBT activists.

Community members in Asheville, N.C., ramped up their two-week-long campaign, “We Do,” on Monday as three same-sex couples requested marriage licenses from the Buncombe County Register of Deeds. More couples will follow through next week.

Fitzgerald

Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of anti-LGBT constitutional amendment proponent North Carolina Values Coalition, told The Associated Press that the Asheville campaign exemplifies why same-sex marriage remains possible even with state laws banning it.

“I think it makes our case why we need an amendment,” Fitzgerald told AP writer Tom Breen. “When people see that, they’re going to be concerned, and they’re going to take it as a sign of aggression on the part of people who advocate for same-sex marriage.”

We Do campaign organizers with the Coalition for Southern Equality say the effort is meant to highlight citizens’ “courage to stand up to laws that are immoral and unjust.”

Other activists are being a bit more cautious. Some grassroots organizers, meeting to network and brainstorm strategy in Charlotte on Monday, expressed concern over the potential for the Asheville campaign to backfire.

They are focusing on more strategic outreach and campaign strategies.

“This will be a get-out-the-vote campaign,” Scott Bishop, a volunteer Equality North Carolina and Human Rights Campaign organizer, said at the Monday evening meeting. “We need to mobilize as many people as possible and get them to the polls on [May 8].”

Community members in Charlotte are planning an awareness march and rally on Oct. 15 where they will encourage attendees to speak out in love.

“Love has a lot more power than anger,” said rally organizer Noelle DeAtley. “We can’t afford to be angry. True love — you can’t beat it with hate and fear.”

Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer is a staff writer for QNotes. He previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015.

5 Replies to “Anti-gay lobbyist: Asheville marriage campaign a ‘strategic mistake’”

  1. Sadly, the bigot Fitzgerald is right.

    If the goal is to defeat the amendment, actions like the one in Asheville do not help educate anyone.

    The general public in NC knows gays can’t get married and polls show they’re fine with that.

    What the general public in NC thinks is an overreach (as polls confirms), is denying benefits and civil unions to LGBTs. Hitting that message will defeat the amendment in the general public’s eyes. Witness the statement from GOP Congresswoman Renee Ellmers.

    I’m all for marriage equality, but we aren’t getting marriage equality in NC in the next 8 months.

    The next 8 months need to be about defeating the amendment. And it will take wise tactics to do so.

  2. I agree with Appellation. The only way to defeat this is to focus on NC residents who may oppose marriage equality but believe it’s an overreach to ban other forms of relationship recognition like CU’s and DP’s.

    A campaign for gay marriage in a state that already bans it is whimsical folly. Instead learn from Rep. Ellmers position and argue that.

  3. Tami Fitzgerald (anti-LGBT constitutional amendment proponent North Carolina Values Coalition” says couples asking for marriage licenses “exemplifies why same-sex marriage remains possible even with state laws banning it.”

    HOW? They’re asking for and being denied licenses.

    “I think it makes our case why we need an amendment,” Fitzgerald told AP.

    “When people see that, they’re going to be concerned, and they’re going to take it as a sign of aggression on the part of people who advocate for same-sex marriage.””

    These aren’t “people who advocate.” They are people asking to and wanting to get married.

    How would someone else who is getting married, concern other people? What? They aren’t invited?

  4. Roberta MacDonald October 6, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I can classify myself as a Bi-Sexual person, because I have been married twice, have two children, 5 grandchildren, and have been in a loving and committed relationship with who I identify with as my SOULMATE (even have her initials with Soulmate Forever tatooed on my back)for over 14 years now.

    It is such a shame that people such as Tammy Fitzgerald and others like her, find THEIR marriage is threatened by GAY marriage in NC.

    I have walked the walk, and talked the talk twice, and I am here to say, traditional marriage, which I did TWICE, isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

    I just want to have the same equal rights now with my loving partner for life, that I had when I was in the REAL marriages recognized by their supposed GOD and STATE.

  5. People like Tami “I even use hairspray on my vibrator” will never come across. These breeder idiots will hate till the last breath that they draw. End of story.

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