Spouse denied in-state tuition

p0609cpa.jpgFAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Jasmine Pollard, a same-sex military souse, was recently denied in-state tuition “in accordance with the North Carolina State Residence Classification Manual” because she is a lesbian although there is a federal military waiver for out-of-state tuition.

An advisor at Fayetteville State University informed Pollard that she lacked the qualification necessary to receive the benefit since North Carolina has defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the Fayetteville Observer reported.

This interpretation comes as another blow the LGBT community as a result of the passage of Amendment One in 2012. However, the law is currently being challenged through three separate court cases, because it opposes federal law.

Pollard’s wife is a soldier on active duty at Fort Bragg.

Now, Jeff Womble, a spokesman for the university, says that the school did not deny the request based upon sexual orientation.

This is a first for the University of North Carolina system.

The Observer indicated that Chris Rowzee, a spokesperson with the American Military Partner Association, saw that the situation is a “patchwork everywhere” with regard to how same-sex marriage is held in other states. She added that some colleges feared “retaliation from state governments that fund them if they don’t follow the federal mandate. She wants to see all states handling situations like this equitably.

Pollard wants to teach middle school English. She even had her residency forms completed when she found out about the waiver. And, she is also an Army reservist who re-deployed in February from service in Kuwait.

Now, Womble said that the university is waiting for a response from UNC on guidance procedures due to federal and state law conflicts.

At this time, Pollard is not seeking an appeal. Right now she can either return to her home state of Virginia to attend school or wait out the residency requirements. She told the Observer that none of them was appealing.

So far, there have only been two reported incidents of similar cases across the U.S. One was at the University of Texas at San Antonio who reversed their decision for an Air Force same-sex spouse. The situation was the complete opposite at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. It was even brought to the Tennessee Board of Regents to no avail.

— Lainey Millen

Felton luncheon planned

GREENVILLE, N.C. — The Gayle Felton Love Thy Neighbor Luncheon will be held on June 13, 12 p.m., at the City Hotel and Bistro, 203 Greenville Blvd. S.W.

The event celebrates the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Gayle Felton who served as a board member and former chairperson of the Reconciling Ministries Network which she helped to build. She died on Jan. 25.

Guest speaker for the luncheon is Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe who serves as General Secretary of the Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church.

A worship service will be held with communion and music will be provided by Billy Kluttz, a former minister of music at Calvary United Methodist Church in Durham.

It is co-sponsored by Reconciling United Methodists of NC and Methodist Federation for Social Action-NC.

Cost is $16 per person. Reservations can be made by mailing a check to MFSA-NC, P.O. Box 18311, Raleigh, NC 27619-8311. Any dietary restrictions should be noted. RSVPs can be sent via email to Phillip Jefferson at phillip.h.jefferson@gmail.com or Sam Isley at sam_isley@hotmail.com.

Prior to the luncheon, the Reconciling United Methodist will host their annual conference from June 11-14 at the Greenville Center, 303 Greenville Blvd. S.W.

info: rmnetwork.org.

— Lainey Millen

In Memoriam: Tajma Hall

tajmahallROCKINGHAM, N.C. — On April 19, the drag community lost a great entertainer and emcee — and a nationally decorated one at that. Tajma Hall of Chicago, who was born in Rockingham, N.C., and later lived in several other Carolina cities, passed away from cardiac arrest following a serious and lengthy back surgery. Many folks in the pageantry community are still stunned by her early passing, (particularly, this writer would say) in areas where she worked the most: Chicago and other parts of Illinois, and certain cities in Iowa, North Carolina and Texas.

Hall started her career in Fayetteville, working at Lynn’s Lounge and Club Oz. Schooling took her to Myrtle Beach where she worked at Offshore Drilling Company. She then worked and did choreography in Charlotte while working at Scorpio. Afterward she moved to Raleigh where she stayed for many years, working at Legends and CCs and also creating the camp character Shenita Job when she appeared at Flex. Wanting more from a career and national recognition, she made her final move to Chicago where she flourished on the scene, working mainly at The Baton Showlounge and Boystown’s Hydrate where she headlined.

On her impressive resume, she held titles in a variety of pageant systems. She was Miss Legends, Miss Fayetteville America (which she relinquished because she could not compete at the state level that year), Miss NC USofA at Large, Miss Indiana USofA at Large and Miss Dreamgirl Continental PLUS, along with four national titles — Miss World At Large, Miss International Plus, Miss USofA at Large and Miss Continental PLUS. She even crossed the border to the north and won Miss Canada Continental as well.

Known for her flawless lip-sync abilities, Hall could render a stirring ballad or monologue, but was also known for her production numbers and, yes, even back in the day, for dancing the house down and even clogged to win Miss NC USofA at Large. Her bubbly personality, loving heart and story-telling abilities will be missed greatly. This writer recently commented to a promoter that she could have talked her way out of capital murder charges and he laughingly agreed.

Hall was buried in her hometown in North Carolina with her PLUS sister Amaya of Raleigh helping with arrangements. There will be memorials held in Chicago and Raleigh on May 31, with others to possibly follow.

— Della Dietrich, special to qnotes

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Share your news with us
Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to specialassignments@goqnotes.com. In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.