Friday, June 19, 2009

Equality in the News: June 12 - June 19, 2009

It's been a tumultuous week for Equality! Nationally, President Obama has come under fire for the questionable brief regarding a federal lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act. Interestingly, he signed a memorandum this week extending some partner benefits for federal employees. A good start, but we need more.

On the local level, we've seen a lot of action with the School Violence Prevention Act and the Healthy Youth Act. Though it passed committee this week, the SVPA has come under fire from a legislator who is actively persuading other legislators to vote 'no' based on misinformation. As we've seen with the legislature - anything can and will happen, and it's up to us to keep the pressure on our representatives to vote for this important bill. E-mails are great, but personal phone calls are even better if you can - and you can look up who your legislator is and how to contact them here. Here's your weekly news roundup:
  • To find out more about the School Violence Prevention Act's roller coaster ride this week, check out Q-Notes story on the events.
  • The Fayetteville Observer has the story on how the bullying bill passed it's committee hearing, preparing it for the first of two votes by the House of Representatives on Monday, June 22.
  • A big reason why we've seen votes in jeopardy this week are because of Rep. Paul Stam's irresponsible and untrue statements at the committee hearing about sexual orientation in the DSM-IV. BlueNC has a must-read about the blatant lies and how damaging they've been to the support for this bill - which, let us remind you, is supported by a strong majority of North Carolinians across party lines.
  • Charlotte's Creative Loafing blog covers the even morereprehensible comments made by Rep. Paul Stam about same-sex parenting at the committee hearing. Seems like he's modeling his leadership style after the late, not-so-great Jesse Helms.
  • OutImpact in Wilmington calls its readers to action for the School Violence Prevention Act and includes great talking points for talking to your legislators or friends about the bill.
  • Raleigh's News & Observer wrote about the SVPA's progress and included an anecdote of a mother who removed her child with autism from school because educators blamed him for bullying he received. This bill is meant to protect all students!
  • The Fayetteville Observer has the goods on the Healthy Youth Act action for this week. It will be voted on! Keep your calls and e-mails of support coming, folks!
  • Speaking of allies, the Daily Tar Heel has the story about how some of our supporters organized Boomtown Live, a concert event held to benefit Equality NC. Thank you!
As we're seeing on a national level (and state level), keeping the pressure on our elected officials with impassioned voices of reason is the way to equality. It can get frustrating at times, but we urge you to keep the incredible work towards progress alive by having your voices heard until there's no need. Imagine it - a state of equality, a country where we're all treated equally. It's within our reach - just keep at it!

We look forward to giving you some great news (cross your fingers!) about the School Violence Prevention Act after its vote next week - keep the phone calls and e-mails coming! And enjoy your weekend!

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