New date announced

COLUMBIA — The South Carolina Pride 2010 festival will be held in Finlay Park on Sept. 4 as part of a week of events providing a Pride-filled way to spend Labor Day weekend. All South Carolinians, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are encouraged to attend the exciting, family-friendly SC Pride events. Enjoy food, fun, music, and vendors all day! Admission to the park and parade is free.

One new change for 2010 is the reorganization of the Mr. & Mrs. SC Pride Pageant system. A series of preliminary pageants are being held in cities throughout the state starting with a contest at Time Out in Myrtle Beach inaugurating the series on May 7. It will end with a statewide competition in Columbia in August. Applications, fees, rules and more details about the Mr. & Mrs. SC Pride Pageant can be found at scpride.org.

The South Carolina Pride Movement is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocacy, education, support, and celebration of the LGBT community in South Carolina. The South Carolina Pride Movement is located on 1108 Woodrow St.

For more information call Tamera Tedder, president, at 803-771-7713, or email prideinsc@yahoo.com or visit www.scpride.org.

New ED named

COLUMBIA — After a months-long search, the board of SC Equality announced it has hired a new executive director.

Christine Johnson, 41, will join the organization on July 1. She comes from Utah, where she served two terms as an openly lesbian member of the state House of Representatives. She represented Salt Lake City and Park City.

Johnson sponsored pro-equality legislation while in Utah, including bills to eliminate anti-LGBT employment discrimination and discrimination in housing. She also sponsored a resolution to overturn the anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy.

According to a press release, Johnson is also a former board member of Equality Utah and the Rape Recovery Center, vice-chair of Stonewall Democrats, vice chair of the Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission and founder of BRIDGE, a community-based LGBT outreach organization.

Johnson, a South Carolina native, said she is happy to return “home.”

“The opportunity to return to my home state of South Carolina was irresistible,” Johnson said in the release. “South Carolina is ripe with the possibility of advancing equal protections and educating the non-GLBT community about the value of rejecting discrimination and embracing equality. I look forward to working with the South Carolina Equality team and creating change throughout the state.”

After two years at the helm of SC Equality, former executive director C. Ray Drew stepped down in February. He’s taken a job as executive director of the ACLU of Colorado.
— Matt Comer

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' former associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director.