Pullen Baptist stops marriage ceremonies

Raleigh’s Pullen Memorial baptist Church voted yesterday to stop all marriage ceremonies performed by their pastor, Rev. Nancy Petty. The pastor, who is a lesbian, had already made a personal commitment not to perform opposite-sex marriage ceremonies until all of her congregants could enjoy equal marriage rights and privileges. The position is now church policy.

From The News & Observer:

The full congregation of Raleigh’s Pullen Memorial Baptist Church voted Sunday to prohibit the church pastor from legally marrying anyone until she can legally marry same-sex couples under North Carolina law.

The congregants said in a formal statement that current North Carolina law – and the language proposed for a vote next year on an amendment to the state Constitution – discriminates against same-sex couples “by denying them the rights and privileges enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.”

“As people of faith, affirming the Christian teaching that before God all people are equal, we will no longer participate in this discrimination,” the church’s statement says.

The congregation’s vote was unanimous.

Former Pullen pastor: Equal marriage makes institution stronger

As Pullen Baptist made news in Raleigh, a former pastor of the church made waves in Winston-Salem. He wrote in a guest commentary in The Winston-Salem Journal yesterday that allowing equal marriage for same-sex couples would make the institution stronger. Read his entire commentary at journalnow.com…

Mayfield will represent, national group says

This month’s elections for Charlotte City Council resulted in an historic win for openly lesbian Democratic candidate LaWana Mayfield. When she takes office in December, Mayfield will become the city’s first openly gay or lesbian elected official. Such a presence is important to local debates on LGBT equality, says a national group which endorsed Mayfield.

From The Roanoke Times:

The Victory Fund tracks openly gay and lesbian candidates in local, state and national races, as well as endorsing and offering campaign support to some who apply to the organization.

On the local level, such wins are largely symbolic, as sexual orientation rarely matters in debates over land use, taxes and budgets. But they can be a powerful encouragement for gays and lesbians to participate in the political life of a community, [Victory Fund Vice President for Communications Denis] Dison said.

And, when issues affecting gays and lesbians do come before boards with openly gay members, there is better representation, Dison said.

In Charlotte, N.C., LaWana Mayfield beat an incumbent on Nov. 8 and became the first openly gay candidate to ever win a city council race there, Dison said.

“There’s no nondiscrimination ordinance there,” Dison said. “Now she can spearhead that.”

As the issue is debated, Dison said, Mayfield can “sit down with colleagues and say, ‘This is what it means. We’re talking about my life here.'”

Read the full article and its profile of newly-elected Blacksburg, Va., Councilman Michael Sutphin at roanoke.com…

South Carolina’s DeMint opposes protection of LGBT human rights

The New Civil Rights Movement is reporting in-depth on South Carolina’s U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint’s ppsition against enforcement of global human rights for LGBT people. The debate came as DeMint criticized the nation’s ambassador to El Salvador, who wrote an op-ed in a paper there supporting LGBT equality. Anti-LGBT groups in the Central American nation had come out strongly opposed to the ambassador’s statements. Read the full discussion at The New Civil Rights Movement…

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.