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

To see the rest...

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.

News from Boone

Itty bitty report from Boone, N.C., reader Kathy Staley:

"fyi: boone participated in the national day of protest..... approx. 40 people walked through ASU campus on a f-ball game day."

First updates start rolling in...

The initial news from Columbia, S.C. from Q-Notes' Contributing Writer Gareth Fenley:

"150 people attended, upbeat crowd, holding posters along Gervais Street in front of the confederate monument at the Capitol, I got a bunch of good quotes. No counter protesters. more later."

Photo at right, Columbia Prop. 8 Protest, photo courtesy Daniel Jones (Facebook)


Statement from MarriageEqualityUSA (disclosure: I am a member of MEUSA's Advisory Board).

Marriage Equality USA Contacts:
Molly McKay, Media Director –, 510-332-0872
Pamela Brown, Policy Director –, 510-384-3655

The winds of change are blowing hard and there is electricity in the air.

Today is a national tipping point....all the work we have been doing has helped to get us up to this point and the flashpoint is the loss of Proposition 8. History will look back on this day as the day that the national LGBTI community rose up and said, we are not going back....we will insist on being treated equally under the law, we will insist that our families are treated with fully dignity and constitutional protections under the law....we will not sit back and allow us to be bullied by the popular mob, we will not let others define us as any inferior class of people, we will gather together in all our natural diversity, with our righteous straight allies who get that this isn't only about LGBTI families but on the kind of country we want to be. We will not allow the wall between the separation of church and state to come crumbling down and allow a flood of religious intolerance to change our constitution, we will rise up and rise up and rise up and march forward down the only
path that we have before us...this is the journey to justice, zip up those boots and start marching!

Love and courage to all of us today!!

Molly McKay, Marriage Equality USA Media Director


Last minute Boone, NC event

I'm sitting in the lobby of Duke's Bryan Student Center in Durham. So far, everything's great at the EqualityNC Conference.

Last night sometime, a Boone Prop. 8 event was planned details below:

Boone, NC
Watauga County Public Library: 140 Queen Street
We convene at 1 pm; we begin our march toward King Street and Rivers Street at 1:30 pm.
Jill Ehnenn,; Elizabeth West,


Also, a big THANK YOU to Porscha and Lin and Out in Asheville, as well as Bambi at for coming together to do this joint blog. I'm hoping the coverage here this evening and through tomorrow morning will help to bring everything together. Thanks y'all. ~Matt Comer

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wilmington, NC Prop 8 Protest Tomorrow Information


November 14, 2008

Contact: Kati Heffield - (910) 368-8380
Mary Eller - (512) 968-3446

Local gay, lesbian, straight citizens to protest passage of anti-gay constitutional amendments in Arizona, Florida, California

WILMINGTON — A group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and straight citizens will take to the streets of Wilmington to protest the passage of Proposition 8, California’s anti-gay marriage amendment, as well as other anti-gay ballot initiatives in Arkansas, Arizona and Florida.

Every day since Election Day, thousands have protested up and down streets in cities across California, including in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento. A national, grassroots coalition of LGBT activists have followed in their footsteps.

On Nov. 15, 1:30 p.m. EST/10:30 a.m. PST, in large cities and state capitals across the country, Pro-Equality supporters will raise public awareness of the need for LGBT equality in marriage and in other civil rights.

WHAT: Prop. 8 Protest

WHO: LGBT and straight citizens of Wilmington and surrounding areas.

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008;1:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: 2 Princess St. Federal Building (Water St. Between Princess and Market)

For more information contact:
Kati Heffield - (910) 368-8380
Mary Eller - (512) 968-3446

National Protest Site:

Putting my queer shoulder to the wheel...

So, today, I wrote a blog post about my own mixed feelings about tomorrow's protests... I thought I'd add it since MHC posted someone else's opposition to the protests.

Putting my queer shoulder to the wheel…

By Porscha | November 14, 2008

So, I tried for a few days to ignore the stuff coming through my inbox and across the news desk. I tried. I’m a full-time graduate student - I commute to school two days a week in Johnson City and I spend the entire day there both days. I teach a class of college sophomores and juniors. I have a wife. Two dogs. Three cats. And I work full time as Associate Publisher of OIA. My life is really gay - really queer, actually. In fact, only on the days when I’m at school do I really have conversations with people who are not part of the LGBTQ community. Read the rest...

Protest criticisms

An LGBT leader in Wilmington isn't too pleased with the Prop. 8 protests coinciding with this weekend's EqualityNC Conference and Gala in Durham. Read what he has to say at Matt's InsideSource staff blog.

Columbia joins in on Carolina Prop. 8 protests

by Matt Comer

COLUMBIA — Members of progressive and LGBT organizations and students at the University of South Carolina have stepped up at the last minute to organize an informal protest against Proposition 8.

Part of the nation-wide series of protests organized by, the Columbia event is hosted by SC Pride, the SC Progressive Network and USC’s BLGSA, among others. It’ll be held at 1:30 p.m. at the South Carolina State House and last for about an hour.

Organizer Beth Sherouse, 26, said she found out Thursday that Charleston had organized event and Columbia had yet to do so. She spoke to a few folks around her area and managed to rouse up some last minute support.

“A lot of people were wanting to do something but not able to go to Charleston,” she told Q-Notes. “It’s going to be a pretty low-key event. It’ll be a silent vigil with people standing outside the state house with signs.”

Read the rest...

Columbia, S.C. protest planned

More details to come...

Organizer: SC Pride, B_SHEROUSE@YAHOO.COM, 478-335-8927
Location: S.C. State House, 1100 Gervais St., Columbia, SC MAP

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Asheville Protests Passage of Proposition 8

Asheville Protests the Passage of Proposition 8

ASHEVILLE, NC – Sarah Buchner, chapter secretary of the UNC Asheville chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), has heeded the call to organize Asheville’s LGBTQ community to protest the passage of Proposition 8 in conjunction with

Buchner is a student at UNC Asheville and a member of SDS which does a lot of democracy-supporting work. Many people remember the 1970s version of the SDS which stood for Black civil rights and against the Vietnam War, but Buchner told me that the UNC Asheville version of SDS is very different from the 1970s version of the group. “It’s not just about the war or opposing the war,” she said. “It has a much more conscious investment in all forms of oppression, not just an anti-war movement.”

A press release dated November 12, 2008 from UNC Asheville’s SDS about the event said the following: “Students for a Democratic Society at the University of North Carolina at Asheville has organized a rally to take place downtown. We fight to create a world free of sexism, free of racism, free of heterosexism, and free of war. We are against all forms of oppression and we actively struggle both within ourselves and within our communities against these types of chauvinism and support all others who fight alongside of us. We have organized a rally to take place downtown. Please email if your group would like to help organize and support this event.”

Read the rest of this story...

InsideSource: Truly inspiring

The action we've been seeing in the past few days is amazing. Organizing newbies are stepping up to the plate and mobilizing their friends, family, peers and communities for protests against California's anti-gay Proposition 8, as well as other anti-gay ballot initiatives in Arkansas, Arizona and Florida.

For the LGBT community, massive, nationwide and grassroots organizing like this hasn't happened since the tragic death of Matthew Shepard in 1998. For many queer youth, this is the first time they've seen action at this sort of massive scale. Many of them are getting crash courses in organizing.

Read the rest...

HRC urges peaceful protests

The Human Rights Campaign is urging participants in the nationwide Prop. 8 protests organized by to keep it peaceful.

"To my community and allies, I say this: our anger is just; our goal is alive" HRC President Joe Solmonese said in a prepared statement. "We must remain worthy of the cause we fight for. Our cause is love; and only through love can we win the freedom to marry. In the streets and over coffee, our message must be consistent. We love our soul mates and our families; we love and respect our neighbors; we expect love and respect in return.

"To reverse the outcomes of November 4, we must embrace our passion and anger, and redirect them to tasks that have as yet gone undone."

The full release is available at:

10,000+ protest in NYC

Nov. 13 a.m. stories of interest

Communities band together for Carolinas Prop. protests
Updated Nov. 11 story, Q-Notes
A march in Charleston, a "One Tree Hill" star in Raleigh. From Asheville to Wilmington, LGBT communities are organizing for Saturday's show of frustration, anger, sadness and Pride combined. Read more.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nov. 12 stories of interest

Six Prop. 8 protests planned in N.C., 1 in S.C. - Q-Notes

Prop. 8 protests go national - Out in Asheville


Attention protest organizers:
Be sure to send photos, videos, important information, quotes and other info to Lin Orndorf at and to Matt Comer at, ASAP following Saturday's events.

Prop. 8 Join the Impact protests in the Carolinas

Asheville, NC 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Organizer: UNC-Asheville Students for a Democratic Society,
Location: Pritchard Park (triangle made by Patton Ave., Haywood St. and College St.) MAP

Charleston, SC 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Liberty Park. 360 Concord St. Charleston, SC MAP

Charlotte, NC 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Organizer: Braxton Midgett
Location: Charlotte Government Center, 600 E. 4th St., Charlotte, NC MAP

Greensboro, NC 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Organizer: Mike Gilbert
Location: Melvin Municpal Building, 300 W. Washington St., Greensboro, NC MAP

Greenville, NC 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Nykole & Angie,
252-814-0161, 252-414-0731
Location: Greenville City Hall, 200 West Fifth St. MAP

Raleigh, NC 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Organizer: Will Elliott,
Location: Halifax Mall (N.C. Legislative Building), 46 E. Lane St., Raleigh, NC MAP

Wilmington, NC 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Organizer: Mary Eller,
Location: City Hall/Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. (corner of 3rd and Chestnut). MAP