Friday, June 5, 2009

Equality in the News: May 23 - June 5, 2009

Since we last updated you on the equality-related happenings around our state, the United States gained another state that recognizes same-sex marriage: New Hampshire! In addition to this, the Nevada legislature, in an exciting move, went rogue and overrode the governor's veto of a domestic partnership bill for state employees. We congratulate these outstanding strides by NH and NV's state legislatures for protecting the rights of their constituents.

June has officially been proclaimed as LGBT Pride Month by President Obama. Many of you may know that Obama's action/inaction on LGBT issues has been a growing dialogue within our community and beyond - whether or not you feel he's doing enough or has fallen short on promises, it's still exciting to have a President who has a good track record of acknowledging our issues.

Without further ado, here's what's happening in your neck of the woods:

  • Q-Notes mentions our upcoming PAC Reception at the RBC Plaza in Raleigh on June 9. You can always check out our website to RSVP, or stop by Q-Notes for the general information.
  • News 14, NC's 24-hour news outlet covers the debate on the School Violence Prevention Act as it went through committee last week. Unfortunately, most of that debate focused on wording, and not about the children who are directly affected by intense bullying on a daily basis.
  • Raleigh's News & Observer briefly mentions the Healthy Youth Act & SVPA in an article that mostly focuses on the education budget crisis we're currently experiencing. They fail to mention that both of these bills would cost very, very little (if anything) if enacted. (Unlike the Marriage Discrimination Amendment ballot initiative, which would cost our state upwards of $2 million.)
  • The good news is that the SVPA has proceeded through the first of two committees, and is heading to the House for a vote very soon. The Greenville Reflector has the story.
  • If you've been keeping up with the Healthy Youth Act (we know it's difficult!), you may know it's been battled tirelessly. News 14 has that story. If you haven't already, we urge you to take action to help us get this bill passed the way it was intended.
  • Heard any good rumors about that former Raleigh mayor? The News & Observer has, specifically the one about how he's gay, and how he considers that to be "vicious" enough to file a libel suit against a Wilmington DJ for spreading it. Our very own Ian Palmquist is on the scene to counter this sad form of homophobia.
  • Props to our friends in Asheville for starting a wonderful awareness-raising campaign on HIV/AIDS. The Asheville Citizen-Times has the story on the campaign, called "I Need You to Know." It was started by the Western NC Aids Project.
  • Coming up next weekend is both Boone's and Wilmington's PRIDE Festivals. Equality was on the scene last weekend at Triad Pride. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped us out and to all of those who stopped by to learn more about our work.
  • We launched a video this week to raise awareness about the School Violence Prevention Act before it heads to the House for the final vote. The video is below, and we encourage you to share it on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, your web page, or with the folks in your address book. The video features real quotes from true stories of bullying gathered from around the state. Help us make this viral campaign a success and take action, if you haven't already. The link for sharing is:

Thanks for checking in with us this week! We'll see you next time.

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