Sunday, November 16, 2008

Protest photos!

Various protest photos from across the Carolinas (more to be added through Sunday and Monday).

Asheville, NC
Charlotte, NC
Columbia, SC
Greensboro, NC
Greenville, NC
Raleigh, NC (#1)
Raleigh, NC (#2)

Thousands rally across Carolinas

Participant estimates from around the Carolinas:

"Estimates ranged from as little as 40 participants in Boone, N.C., to as many as 1,400 in Raleigh’s Halifax Mall. About 200 attended the rally in Charlotte and 300-400 attended in Greensboro. Columbia’s rally attracted about 150. According to Bambi Weavil of, 130 people attended a rally in Wilmington, N.C. According to Out in Asheville’s Lin Orndorf, 300 attended a rally in Asheville’s Pritchard Park."

Correction: Boone had 60. Greenville, N.C., had 30.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Local Activist Stephanie Hart Speaks at Wilmington Against Prop 8 Rally

Local activist and straight ally, Stephanie Hart, who spoke first in Wilmington, NC’s rally on November 15, 2008’s speech:

“I was not sure what I was going to say. And then late last night I was watching Henry Rollins speak in South Africa, and he also spoke with Desmond Tutu, and they brought up things that inspired me for today.

I quote his holiness, the Dalai Lama, “Ultimately, humanity is one and this small planet is our only home. If we are to protect this home of ours,each of us needs to experience a vivid sense of universal altruism. It is only this feeling that can remove the self-centered motives that cause people to deceive and misuse one another. If you have a sincere and open heart,you naturally feel self-worth and confidence, and there is no need to be fearful of others.”

To read more…

Photos: Wilmington, NC Protests Prop 8 In A National Day of Unity

Photos of the Wilmington, NC Against Prop 8 rally - if used on website please credit

Article: Wilmington, NC Protests Prop 8 In A National Day of Unity

November 15, 2008 - 1:30p EST - 3:00p

Out Impact Gay Online Magazine Wilmington, NC Prop 8 Protest

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Wilmington, NC Protests Prop 8 In A National Day of Unity

WILMINGTON - One-hundred thirty people, both from the gay community and straight allies gathered together in a peaceful protest on a beautiful warm Saturday afternoon in Wilmington, NC at the Federal Building in solidarity with the national protesting of Prop 8 passing in California at 1:30p EST on November 15th. Local organizers Kati Heffield and Mary Eller helped spread the word via social networking sites like Facebook that Wilmington would be represented as part of the estimated 300 cities taking part in the national protest.

To Read The Rest...

Columbia protest attended by 150

COLUMBIA — Working quickly on short notice, local activists organized a protest to join the nationwide demonstration for gay marriage rights Nov. 15, attracting about 150 people to the sidewalk in front of the Capitol.

Signs reading “No H8″ and “Fight H8″ referred to the passage of Proposition 8 in California, which ended legally recognized same-sex marriages in that state.

“Nobody expected Proposition 8 to pass,” said Beth Sherouse, volunteer coordinator for SC Equality and board member of Sean’s Last Wish. “We look to California as a liberal, progressive state,” added Santi Thompson, vice president of the SC Pride Movement.

The 2008 election results were even more jarring to the activists than South Carolina’s own ban of same-sex marriage in 2006. “We elected the first black president and took people’s rights away at the same time,” said Laura Schneider, president of the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Alliance at the University of South Carolina.

Read the rest...

Asheville Protest Well Attended... and very vocal.

Proposition 8 Protest in Asheville

A large crowd of LGBTQ folks and straight allies gathered in Asheville's Pritchard Park to protest Prop 8.A large crowd of LGBTQ folks and straight allies gathered in Asheville's Pritchard Park to protest Proposition 8.

Asheville, NC - This afternoon in Asheville, as in numerous other cities in North and South Carolina and across the country, demonstrators gathered to protest against the passage of Proposition 8 in California.

Proposition 8 was a ballot initiative in California to amend the state’s constitution to repeal the right of same-sex couples to marry. It was passed on November 4 with 52% of the vote. Now some 18,000 gay and lesbian couples that were legally married there since mid-June of this year are in a legal limbo.

Anger and frustration over the passage of the divisive measure have prompted protest rallies to occur throughout California since Election Day. Today’s protests in support of same-sex marriage rights were coordinated to take place at the same time of day, 1:30pm Eastern Time, in every state.

Sarah Buchner of UNC-A's chapter of SDS organized the Asheville protest.

Sarah Buchner of UNC-A

Asheville’s protest in Pritchard Park in the middle of the downtown district was organized by the University of North Carolina at Asheville’s (UNC-A) chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). SDS’s chapter secretary, Sarah Buchner was pleased with the turnout of approximately 300 gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, and queer people and their straight allies.
Buchner was one of several impromptu speakers, all of whom spoke about the importance of equality for all, respect for loving relationships, personal freedoms, and separation of church and state. All the while, two men in religious sandwich boards with bibles in hand circled the perimeter of the crowd.

Reverend Joe Hoffman of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville spoke as well.

A battle of words and ideas.  Only two counter protestors were present at the rally in Asheville.

A battle of words and ideas. Only two counter protestors were present at the rally in Asheville.

Hoffman is one of the founding members of People of Faith for Just Relationships and is one of the area’s clergy who has ceased to perform weddings until every couple can be married. He spoke about the need for justice for all couples.

Another speaker at the event was a woman who has been with her partner for 27 years. She said, “She is my partner because in North Carolina, she can’t be my wife.” She made the point that the lack of legal equity has not prevented them from being together.

Simply put, it's all about equality.

Simply put, it's all about equality.

I spoke to a couple in the crowd who were married in San Francisco on October 15. They are now one of the 18,000 couples whose legal status is unclear. They were there to demonstrate for their marriage as well as the marriages of all the other couples married in California over the four and half month period when gay and lesbian couples had the right to do just that.

A Black man in his late 50s who was observing the protest asked what it was for. OIA’s Associate Publisher, Porscha Yount, explained to him that it was in response to same-sex couples in California losing their right to marry in a vote by the state’s citizens.

“That’s like what they did to the Blacks in the 50s and 60s. It’s just the same in my opinion and just as wrong,” he said as he shook his head in disbelief.

Many parents - gay parents and straight parents - were in the crowd, as well. One mom had her three young daughters dressed in tee shirts that read “My mommies rule.” Other parents were there with babies strapped on their backs or lounging in strollers to protest the removal of rights from lesbian and gay couples in California. There were also several signs in support of gay and lesbian children and their rights.

Asheville protest participants were peaceful and resolute in their message of equal rights.

Asheville protest participants were peaceful and resolute in their message of equal rights.