Friday, February 12, 2010

Equality in the News February 5-12

Thanks again to Danielle, our communications intern, for this week's news round-up!


Asheville City Council Moves Toward Fairness in Benefits

Ashville is moving forward on granting same-sex partner benefits to city employees. Earlier this week, Asheville City Council voted 4-2 to support a motion by Council member Gordon Smith supporting benefits for city employees in same-sex domestic relationships.

Of course, such a measure cannot go without opposition. Some members of the religious community renounced the measure. Reverend Keith Ogden said that, “The acceptance of gays and lesbians is akin to selling your soul to the devil.” When members of the religious community renounce such measures, it puzzles me.

It would seem that measures that would extend health insurance and sick leave to ANYONE, would be supported by all religious groups. Why would he want to deny benefits that could help the sick for any reason? Passion often clouds the bigger issue and we seem to forget that regardless of our differences, all people have basic needs that should not be denied because of someone else's personal feelings.

If Rev. Ogden would think about the bigger implications of his wishes, maybe he would see that selling your soul to the devil and giving families benefits is not the same thing.

Chapel Hill Wants You to Give Them the Business!

The economic downturn has had implications for all sorts of markets. Chapel Hill has seen a significant decrease in visiting apart from University of North Carolina basketball games and graduations. To combat this, the city of Chapel Hill is going to begin advertising in niche markets, such as the LGBT community. Despite the perception that North Carolina is not gay friendly, officials in Chapel Hill are working to combat that.


RI Speaker Makes History Twice

Rhode Island has sworn in their first openly gay House Speaker, as well as the first African-American House Speaker in the state. Fox has been the House majority leader since 2003 and was former Speaker William J. Murphy's top deputy and chosen successor. In an interview, Fox said that he was in a long-term relationship but was not legally married. He said that he would like to married in his home state, Rhode Island.

The gubernatorial race currently has three candidates who have promised to sign a marriage bill that would extend equal rights to same-sex couples.

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