Stay Informed


We Won the Battle. Help us Win the War.

By Jen Jones on 12/10/2013 @ 04:05 PM


It's official: Myrtle Grove Christian School -- the Wilmington private school that sought to deny admission or even continued enrollment to gay students and children from loving gay families -- has now not only amended its discriminatory policy to no longer require students and parents to sign it, but is also choosing not to accept publicly-funded dollars in 2014.

This heartening result is because of your hard work -- community members just like you joining with Equality NC to share this story, to participate in our events and actions, and to lobby our leaders against giving any discriminatory school in North Carolina even one dollar of your taxpayer money.

But thanks to the legislature's new "Opportunity Scholarship" program, there are hundreds of private schools just like Myrtle Grove that are eligible for public funding beginning in 2014. And one school taking themselves out of the running for taxpayer dollars in order to stay true to their policy of exclusion is no guarantee that others won't line up to take its place.

ACT NOW: Help us win this war against LGBT students and families. Contact your legislators today and demand that taxpayers never be asked to subsidize discriminatory schools. We've made it easy.

Tomorrow we take this fight to Charlotte, where we'll lead a roundtable discussion on safer schools with state and national partners hoping to expose recent attacks on North Carolina's LGBT students and families. At this event we'll announce all-important "next steps" including in-person actions designed to allow you to do even more to protect our state's most vulnerable LGBT citizens. Stay tuned.

Keep the momentum going today by demanding that our leaders take action:

Do even more by investing in our tireless work to build a state of equality. Chip in $10, $20, $50, or more today and know we'll turn your contribution into results.

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This Thanksgiving: Our Thanks to You.

By Jen Jones on 11/25/2013 @ 04:05 PM


As we prepare to sit down this week with family and friends for Thanksgiving. we just wanted to send a quick note to tell you how thankful we are for you.

Your investment this month in Equality NC means we have a lot more to be thankful for.

Since we announced Equality NC’s next BIG initiatives from the 2013 Equality Gala, YOU – and thousands of folks like you -- have redoubled your efforts to make them a success. In this all-important Thanksgiving month alone:

Join us in being thankful for our state of Equality -- invest in our movement:

[yes, I can chip in $25 or more today to help build on these amazing victories.]


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Honor Our Veterans By Ending Workplace Discrimination

By Jen Jones on 11/11/2013 @ 04:05 PM


On November 11th, we observe Veterans Day -- a day of particular resonance in North Carolina as a military state that is home to one of the largest populations of veterans in the country.

North Carolina is also one of 29 states where gay or transgender workers can be fired for reasons that have nothing to do with job performance. That means that even in the wake of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the sad irony is that once our brave men and women are discharged -- many from one of six military installations in the Tar Heel State -- they are yet again subject to discrimination in the workplace.

To truly honor the millions who have served and are serving in the United States military, including the countless service members and veterans in the LGBT community, this Veterans Day we must vow to protect them from senseless discrimination in the workplace -- no matter their military status.

Invest now in Equality NC's campaign to protect LGBT veterans -- and all hardworking gay and transgender North Carolinians -- from workplace discrimination.


Right now, Equality NC is on the ground in cities and counties all across the state, working with community activists and local leaders to protect LGBT workers where they live. Our local work will culminate in legislation designed to protect *all* of the state's LGBT workers and set a standard for other states in the South -- full of LGBT veterans and lifelong civilians alike -- to protect our people.

So, please take a moment and invest in Equality NC's work today - because workplace discrimination doesn't take a day off...and neither do we.

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My Son Deserves a State of Equality

By Jen Jones on 10/24/2013 @ 01:12 PM

Submitted by Durham resident Sarah Cahuantzi:


Justin, Jack and Sarah Cahuantzi.

My husband Justin and I are proud parents to Jack, long-time North Carolinians, and we'll be attending the Equality Gala for the first time this year.

Our son (he's the cute little guy with us in the picture) was born around the time Amendment One passed - rewriting North Carolina's constitution to add a ban on the freedom to marry - and it made us question whether we wanted to raise a child in a place that didn't seem to think all families are created equal.

After all, children everywhere in North Carolina deserve to grow up in a state of equality.

That's why we'll be in Greensboro on November 9th, for the 2013 Equality NC Foundation Gala.

And that's why I wanted to send you a quick note today.

Equality NC was not only the leader in the fight against Amendment One, but also the first organization to reach out to us - and so many allies like us - to get engaged and involved in the movement for equality formed from and fueled by the energy of their anti-Amendment One efforts. We're now dedicated Equality NC volunteers, helping - in our small way - to build a state of equality.

In short, our friends at Equality NC made activists out of our family of allies. And, now that Jack is a little older, we can't wait to attend this year's Equality Gala as a family (yes, Equality NC Foundation is even providing childcare for the event!), so that we can help support all North Carolina families who need to be protected here at home.

Won't you join Justin, Jack and me at the 2013 Equality NC Foundation Gala?


It's never been more clear that it's up to our family now to make sure that every North Carolina family is treated fairly…for our LGBT friends and neighbors, for our state…and for Jack.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for registering. And for all you do for Equality.

Sarah Cahuantzi
Durham, NC

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Support Your Favorite ACC Team (and Equality)!

By Jen Jones on 10/21/2013 @ 05:05 PM

Is there anything better than supporting your favorite team *and* your favorite cause...all at the same time? Well, Equality NC just made it easy!

In the heart of college football season - and with the tip-off of our state's beloved basketball season just a few short days away - it's time to stock up on our limited edition #StateofEquality shirts in your favorite Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) colors, including Duke Blue (Order "Navy Blue"); Carolina Blue (Order "Carolina Blue"); Wake Forest Gunmetal (Order "Charcoal"); and Wolfpack Red (Order "Varsity Red").


Order now and sport your favorite ACC-flavored tee at the next big game, knowing that your purchase will help fight for Equality in North Carolina - the home of the ACC! And here's the kicker:

Based on t-shirt sales between now and November 1, Equality NC will donate a portion of shirt proceeds to the "winning" ACC school's very own LGBT Center! That means every purchase of your favorite school color puts your campus one step closer to a win!

So, whether you're a fair-minded ACC fan, an active alum who advocates for all, or a student who wants to build a state of Equality, show your support for North Carolina's LGBT community, and get the #StateofEquality tee everyone is talking about--in your favorite ACC color!

And don't forget to tag a photo of yourself in your Equality NC tee - on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Instagram -using the hashtag #stateofequality!

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This *is* Outrageous.

By Jen Jones on 10/15/2013 @ 05:05 PM

Talk about outrageous.

In response to news about our upcoming 2013 Equality NC Foundation Gala, the so-called "N.C. Values Coalition" - one of the extreme groups that promoted passage of Amendment One, North Carolina's constitutional rewrite banning the freedom to marry - sent out a nasty email calling our Gala program "outrageous." See a portion below:


(Excerpt from Recent N.C. Values Coalition Email)

In the name of maligning Equality NC, our annual event and people like you who support equality, they're now calling on folks to make an "emergency donation" to their anti-LGBT organization.

Won't you help us fight back against these enemies of Equality?

Chip in $5 or more right now to show your support for Equality.

In the same e-mail, N.C. Values Coalition went on to accuse us of being "the very group that is working on the ground in North Carolina to overturn the Amendment."

And to that we say: yes we are!

Join the thousands of people all across the nation who are investing in the work of Equality NC.

P.S. Want to send an even bigger message to opponents of Equality? Make your $5 donation monthly and support our year-round work to build a movement for marriage in North Carolina.


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Register for the 2013 Equality Gala for Your Chance to Win a "Sustainable Giveaway Package" From Proximity Hotel.

By Jen Jones on 10/02/2013 @ 01:12 PM


The world-renowned Proximity Hotel - the official hotel of the 2013 Equality Gala - just offered something pretty amazing:

REGISTER FOR THE 2013 EQUALITY GALA *by midnight, Sunday, October 6* for your chance to win the “Sustainable Getaway Package” at Proximity Hotel on November 9 – complete with a bottle of wine and house-made chocolate truffles in your Loft King guest room.

The prize pack also includes early check-in, late check-out and transportation to the Gala and back to the Gala after party (a $351 value!)

Supporting Equality NC Foundation while enjoying wine and truffles in your FREE room? Priceless.

Don't forget to register by SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6, AT MIDNIGHT to take advantage!


Special thanks to Greensboro's own Proximity Hotel for this amazing offer.


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Use Your Noodle. #BoycottBarilla

By Jen Jones on 09/27/2013 @ 10:12 PM


This week, Guido Barilla, chairman of the world's leading pasta manufacturer, prompted calls for a consumer boycott after telling Italian radio his company would never use a gay family in its advertising. As Barilla put it, "I would never do (a commercial) with a homosexual family...Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role."

As a gay Italian American, I'm ready to dish out a lesson in family values.

Let's use our noodles to fight back - join the Equality NC family on Facebook and Twitter as we show Guido that LGBT families enjoy eating as equals, by tagging your family's pasta-loving pics with the hashtag #boycottbarilla.

And while you're at it, help fight discrimination here at home:

Donate $10.55 today (the cost of a six-pack of Barilla) - to Equality NC's work to protect North Carolina's LGBT families from discrimination.

Don't let this opportunity to send a strong message to Barilla "pasta you by!" (sorry.)


Chris Sgro
Executive Director
Equality NC

P.S. Want to make an even bigger impact? Make your $10.55 donation a recurring, monthly investment and help sustain our important pro-equality work throughout the year.

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TOP TEN Reasons to Come to the 2013 Equality Gala

By Jen Jones on 09/26/2013 @ 01:12 PM

Registration is NOW OPEN for Equality NC Foundation's 2013 Gala, "A Celebration of Home."


REGISTER NOW and mark your calendars for this year's Equality NC Foundation Gala, Saturday evening, November 9, 2013, in beautiful downtown Greensboro, where we've saved you a front row seat for our ode to the state we call home: North Carolina.

TOP TEN REASONS to Register for the 2013 Equality Gala. (right. here. right. now.)

#1 - The New "Old North State" Theme. We're calling it "A Celebration of Home" for a reason: every single nook and cranny of this year's exciting evening Gala is bathed in the best of North Carolina's variety vacationland--from the sights and sounds of a beachfront overlook to the tastes of mouth-watering mountain delights--all from the heart of the Triad, downtown Greensboro's Empire Room. We're taking our state back and this is where it all begins!

#2 - Oh, the Reception. Your registration today not only guarantees a place at the table for the state's premier Equality Gala program, but also a show-stopping pre-Gala party, including a mix-n-mingle in the Empire Room's downstairs lounge where you'll be welcomed with great tastes of the Tar Heel State, a delightful menu of locally-owned and grown complimentary drink options, and the sweet Southern sounds of songstress Jessica Mashburn.

#3 - Scrumptious Southern Eats. From the first reception tray to the last of our dinner's sweet desserts, every bite of your November 9th nosh will be pure North Carolina. Get to the Gala early to sample the taste sensations of a true Carolina culinary experience, including Pan Fried Eggplant topped with Blue Crab and Hollandaise, Smoked Bluefish Mousse piped onto Endive topped with Tobacco Onions, Sweet Potato Biscuits with Chow Chow, Chicken Bites with Cheerwine Glaze...and did we mention those are just the opening appetizers?

#4 - Amazing Old North State Ambiance. Your friends and family will want to join you for this one-of-a-kind, visceral love-letter to North Carolina, as we transform Greensboro's elegant Empire Room into a true Tar Heel experience, beginning with a ground-floor, old-time ode to the flavors and feel of the coast. As you make an entrance to the Gala main floor for showtime, enjoy an evening walk through the North Carolina foothills on your way "up the mountain" (via the Empire Room staircase ), with the refreshing Western NC-inspired banquet waiting for you at the top.

#5 - Awesome Awards. This year, Equality NC will honor some of the state's best and brightest Equality advocates, with the touching addition of the Jamie Kirk Hahn Ally Award--a beautiful inaugural tribute to a friend of Equality taken too soon, and awarded to a high-profile LGBT ally for the ages.

#6 - The Southern Exposure. The 2013 Equality NC Foundation Gala is not only your chance to socialize and network at the state's premier party for the LGBT and allied community, but also your best opportunity at the close of 2013 to see and be seen with some of the biggest names and faces in our collective movement. It's the perfect "southern exposure" for your business, your organization, your mission, and your messages...all for Equality.

#7 - Proximity (Provided by the Proximity Hotel). The official hotel of the 2013 Equality NC Foundation Gala is also Greensboro's world-renowned, Proximity Hotel where modern moxie meets old world hospitality. Take advantage of their heavily-reduced rates - exclusively for our Gala guests - which include early check-in/late check-out, all-important transportation to and from Saturday evening's big event, and easy access to the official afterparty. Sit back, relax and enjoy the Proximity - RESERVE YOUR ROOM NOW.

#8 - Greater Greensboro. Our Triad friends already know that there's nothing finer than a fabulous night out in Greensboro, and our friends at Proximity Hotel have made it easy to stay in the Gate City for the entire weekend. Whether you come early for shopping at Replacements Ltd. or stay late for a trip to the International Civil Rights Museum, make the Equality NC Foundation Gala the centerpiece of a terrific two days in the Triad.

#9 - An Amazing Afterparty. Your Gala ticket also gives you exclusive access to the night's official post-Gala afterparty as we return to Proximity Hotel's "pop up" club in Print Works Bistro Bar, where you can dance the night away (or at least until 1 a.m.) to the tantalizing tunes of DJ Jessica Mashburn.

#10 - You're Investing in North Carolina. Our state has taken some hits of late. But we've also shown that we're not backing down. This is your chance to invest not only in the collective movement to retake our state, but also directly support Equality NC Foundation's important statewide work to organize around pro-equality issue education, spur civic engagement, and change the national narrative about our great state in 2014 and beyond.

What are you waiting for?


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It's Time to Celebrate Our Home.

By Jen Jones on 09/19/2013 @ 01:12 PM

The smell of Long Leaf Pine, the taste of Cheerwine, the sounds of "In My Mind...".


REGISTER NOW and SHARE this image on Facebook.

Registration is NOW OPEN for Equality NC Foundation's 2013 Gala, "A Celebration of Home."

REGISTER NOW and mark your calendars for this year's Equality NC Foundation Gala, Saturday evening, November 9, 2013, in beautiful downtown Greensboro, where we've saved you a front row seat for our ode to the state we call home: North Carolina.

Whether you live near the saltwater-soaked scenery of the Lost Colony or have the beautiful Biltmore Estate in your own mountain-lined backyard (or anywhere and everywhere in between!) don't miss this one-of-a-kind Carolina experience, as Equality NC Foundation welcomes advocates like you from all across the Old North State and beyond as we come together for one special night to celebrate what we've accomplished together and prepare to take back the state we love...for Equality!

Just like the grassroots movement for LGBT Equality we're leading in North Carolina, at this year's Equality NC Foundation Gala we're shaking things up by returning to our roots: bringing you the sights, sensations, and sounds of the North Carolina you fell in love with, while featuring the state's most prolific places, people and personalities in an exciting evening program sure to inspire your continued investment in building a state of Equality here at home.

And we've got your tickets right here.

If you can only attend one homegrown event this year, choose the 2013 Equality NC Foundation Gala - your one and only state-level, star-studded "Celebration of Home."

Don't miss this great opportunity to sponsor, support (and be showcased at) North Carolina's signature event for our fast-growing Equality community. If you're a pro-Equality business, organization or individual, email today to become a 2013 Equality Gala Sponsor or Table Host and join our prominent list below!

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We've Got Your September Covered.

By Jen Jones on 09/06/2013 @ 01:12 PM


Your support at dozens of great Equality NC events this summer - from statewide PRIDEs to community chats to LGBT film festivals - has made this the biggest summer season ever for our LGBT and allied communities.

We'd like to also encourage you to keep that same great event energy going in September - by participating in an array of great pro-equality events throughout the month. Check out how Equality NC has your weekends covered with amazing festivals, community gatherings and concerts:

Highlights include:

La Fiesta Del Pueblo

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Saturday, September 14, 2013


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Celebrating 20 Years of being an Open and Affirming Congregation in the UCC

Saturday-Sunday, September 21-22, 2013

Equality GSO

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Catawba Valley PRIDE

Friday-Sunday, September 27-29, 2013

The best part? At every event - in every corner of our state - your friends from Equality NC will be on-hand to connect our statewide LGBT and allied communities, give you a first opportunity to get the all-new Equality NC shirt, and help you get involved with our collective "next best steps" in building a state of Equality.

So, no matter where you live in the Old North State, head to one (or all) of these great events this month for some new experiences with Equality NC - always in the center of the action!

There are still volunteer slots open for all of the events above - guaranteeing a front row seat for the hottest events in September. Just e-mail Ben Church at

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Say "Nyet" to Anti-LGBT Russia.

Posted on 08/22/2013 @ 10:51 AM


We know you've seen the recent images of brutal attacks on Russia's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations. We all have.

But we also hope you were heartened last week when President Obama publicly stated he has "no patience" for Russia's anti-gay laws; or this week when U.S. runner Nick Symmonds capped his second-place finish in Moscow with a dedication to all of his gay friends back home; or when - just last night - actor Wentworth Miller revealed he was gay in a letter declining an invitation to a Russian film festival.

These are among so many signs and stories of pro-LGBT protests inside and outside of Russia.

So, we heard you when you said you wanted North Carolina - our home state - to do its part to support our Russian LGBT brothers and sisters. And now we've made it easy to make what we hope is a big impact.

Inspired by the recent work of our friends at the Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee (MeckPAC) which prompted Charlotte leaders to speak out against the policies of its Russian sister-city, today we're asking all North Carolina cities with ties to Russia to say "nyet" to anti-LGBT violence and discrimination.

Sign our "North Carolina says 'Nyet' to Russia" petitions today and demand local leaders in major Tar Heel cities such as Asheville, Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh sever ties with their respective Russian sister cities - cities that are currently sanctioning violence against another LGBT population that needs a helping hand:

As constituents, you can send a strong message to your local leaders that while we support our LGBT friends in in Russian sister cities like Vladikavkaz, Saratov, Kostroma and Kolomna, we can not allow these same city officials to sit idly by as their citizens are viciously attacked simply for who they are or who they love.

Sign on. Say "Nyet" to anti-LGBT discrimination. And say "Yes" to Equality for all.

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SAVE THE DATE: Equality NC Foundation Gala

By Jen Jones on 08/06/2013 @ 01:12 PM

Tags: SAVE THE DATE, Equality NC Foundation, Gala

We wanted you to be the first to know... the date is set for our biggest event of the year.


The 2013 Equality NC Foundation Gala -- North Carolina's premier gathering of the state's leading LGBT and allied communities -- will be held on Saturday, November 9, 2013, in historic Greensboro, North Carolina.

SAVE THE DATE: November 9, 2013

In only a few short weeks our registration will open for what we believe will be a record-breaking night of celebration and ceremony surrounding one of the biggest years for Equality ever - and in solidarity for the state we call home with our theme "We Are North Carolina."

On November 9th, we reload our fight...for Equality in the Tar Heel State.

So, count this as your first, official reminder, and mark this date down on your calendar, in your phone, on your computer, and anywhere else you keep track of the latest and greatest (not to mention 'hottest') happenings in our Equality community.

And don't forget to encourage your friends and family to join you for a great evening with fellow supporters of the LGBT movement here in our state (or simply share our "Save the Date" meme conveniently posted to our Facebook page.)

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We Were There.

By Jen Jones on 07/26/2013 @ 01:12 PM

We were there.

The Equality NC team just left the North Carolina General Assembly at the close of the state legislature’s “long session” — as we did so many days during a lengthy legislative cycle full of controversial bills that garnered unprecedented national attention and spurred never-before-seen activism from our supporters.

During the past six months, Equality NC worked hard for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in the halls of the legislature and succeeded in:

  • sustaining North Carolina’s historic anti-bullying law, the School Violence Prevention Act.
  • holding on to vital sex education under the Healthy Youth Act.
  • beating back barriers to health services for minors.
  • protecting gender neutral housing on North Carolina campuses.

Help us keep fighting the good fight for Equality at the North Carolina legislature. Invest now — $25, $50, $100, or more — and make it possible for Equality NC to continue our work as the state’s premier organization advocating for LGBT rights and justice at the General Assembly.

[Yes, I can chip in $25 or more to help fight for Equality in the North Carolina legislature.]

There's so much more work to do here in North Carolina. From restoring the $8 million dollars stripped from the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), to protecting North Carolina’s gay and transgender workers from being fired, to building a movement for marriage equality here at home, your donation today will help fund our continuing efforts to bring equality to all North Carolinians.

Join us today, invest in building a state of Equality, and ensure we’ll always be there for North Carolina’s LGBT and allied community.


There's never been a better time to support Equality NC - your source for LGBT advocacy in North Carolina. Donate $10, $25, $50, or more, and invest in the fight for Equality today.

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Ellen W. "Lennie" Gerber and Pearl Berlin:
"Now It's Our Turn"

By Jen Jones on 07/10/2013 @ 01:12 PM

A message from long-time Equality NC supporters Ellen W. "Lennie" Gerber and Pearl Berlin:


Ellen W. "Lennie" Gerber and Pearl Berlin

We are North Carolinians who have been together 47 years.

We have had a front row seat as our country evolves on marriage equality and recognizes the timeless truth that love is love.

And, like you, we were thrilled about the Supreme Court rulings two weeks ago striking down DOMA and restoring marriage to California.

Now it’s our turn.

After exchanging vows at our wedding ceremony in North Carolina on June 2nd, we’ve made another vow this week: to recommit to Equality— marriage, employment, housing, you name it—here in North Carolina.

As long-time Equality NC supporters, we know that each day LGBT North Carolinians grow closer to the same rights, protections, and benefits of those living in the now 13 states with the freedom to marry. But we need your help to bring North Carolina up to speed on the importance of Equality for all, including recognitions and protections for hundreds of thousands of LGBT citizens living and working in the Tar Heel State today.

Help us bring Equality home sooner rather than later. Can you join us in chipping in right now?

Yes, I can contribute to Equality in North Carolina today.


And to our fellow North Carolina LGBT citizens we say:

Be visible. Be open. Keep fighting. And support Equality NC today.

Thanks for all you do.

Ellen W. "Lennie" Gerber and Pearl Berlin Greensboro, NC

P.S. Want to support the fight for Equality in North Carolina year-round? Make a recurring monthly donation of $10, $25, or $50 now.

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impatiently waiting...

By Jen Jones on 06/24/2013 @ 01:12 PM


If you're anything like the Equality NC staff, you were impatiently watching and waiting this morning for the Supreme Court to decide the fate of Prop 8 and DOMA. Computers fired up, fingers anxiously drumming tables - we huddled together to follow the action. And then....nothing.

But, it won't be long now.

Even though the Court didn't hand down rulings on either marriage equality case today, they'll return Tuesday at 10 AM (and likely again later in the week), and once again we will be anxiously awaiting the decisions that will determine whether California will regain the freedom to marry *and* whether the federal government will begin recognizing marriage equality in places that currently grant it.

Regardless of which day this week is "decision day,"make plans to join Equality NC in Raleigh, that evening, for our Decision Day in North Carolina event, as statewide Equality supporters come together to talk "next steps" in North Carolina and recommit to fighting for Equality.

Can’t make it to Raleigh? For more events near you, click here.

In the meantime, visit our Marriage Watch portal devoted to possible Supreme Court outcomes and how they could impact our state. And don't forget to follow our live Twitter coverage of the #SCOTUS decisions.

There's never been a better time to support Equality NC - your source for LGBT advocacy in North Carolina. Donate $10, $25, $50, or more, and invest in the fight for Equality today.


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FREE Screenings of "The Heat" for NC's LGBT Community

By Jen Jones on 06/11/2013 @ 05:05 PM


See THE HEAT for free tomorrow! Go to and use code EQNCD650 if you’re in Charlotte and EQNCY0WX for Raleigh.

We’ve got your chance at passes for an exclusive advance screening of THE HEAT, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, Wednesday, June 12, in Charlotte and Cary.

Head to right now and use code EQNCD650 if you’re in Charlotte or EQNCY0WX for Cary. Be sure to get there early to get your seat.

Be the first to download complimentary event passes courtesy of Equality NC for advance screenings at these two great Tar Heel venues:

Regal Crossroads, Cary, NC
Wednesday, June 12th, 7:30 PM

Studio Movie Grill Epicentre, Charlotte, NC
Wednesday, June 12th, 7:30 PM

Passes are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit now.

And don't forget to follow THE HEAT online at:

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INFOGRAPHIC: Marriage at the Supreme Court

By Jen Jones on 06/06/2013 @ 11:05 PM

Tags: DOMA, Prop 8, Supreme Court, Marriage, Marriage Equality


Click to enlarge.

For the first time in history, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing two gay rights cases in one term. One case challenges California's Prop 8, which revoked same-sex couples' freedom to marry in that state. The other challenges the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bars the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples.

Our friends at Lambda Legal provide a handy graphic from their legal experts explaining how the Court may decide each case.

Proposition 8: The California Marriage Case
6 Most Likely Outcomes (and 5 Ways to Win)

  1. California Only (Narrow Favorable Ruling)
    Same-sex couples would be able to marry in California.
  2. No Standing (Prop 8 Proponents had no right to ask the court to hear the appeal)
    Trial court victory stands. Same-sex couples would be able to marry in California.
  3. No Ruling: Dismissed as Improvidently Granted (DIG)
    Dismissal of the case without comment. This would bring the freedom to marry to couples in California; the victory from the court of appeals would remain in place.
  4. California Plus+
    States providing all rights & responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples through broad civil union or domestic partnership laws have no justification for excluding same-sex couples from marriage. This would bring marriage for same-sex couples to California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Nevada, and Oregon.
  5. Marriage Equality Nationwide (Broad Ruling)
    This outcome would lead all states to allow same-sex couples to marry.
  6. Negative Ruling (Prop 8 Upheld)
    This would not affect the validity of marriages same-sex couples entered in California when those marriages were briefly legal there, or the marriage laws of other states. Lambda Legal and other groups would continue our efforts to secure full equality for same-sex couples and their families.

DOMA at the Supreme Court

Section 3 of DOMA
Under section 3 of DOMA, same-sex couples are denied rights, responsibilities and protections under more than 1,000 federal laws. Some of the effects are:

  • No health insurance for spouses of federal employees
  • No family medical leave for spouses to care for one another during illness
  • No military spousal support and benefits
  • No ability for spouses to file federal taxes jointly as married, costing them thousands
  • Separation of binational couples
  • Singling out LGBT people and relationships as unequal
  • Inviting discrimination from others
  • Telling children of gay/lesbian parents their families are second class

3 Most Likely Outcomes

  1. Win
    Court strikes down section 3 of DOMA (affirms the Second Circuit decision that section 3 of DOMA violates the constitution’s guarantee of equality)
  • Federal government will have to treat marriages of same-sex couples the same way it treats the marriages of different-sex couples for all federal statutes and programs.
  • Would NOT resolve: (1) Whether states must allow same-sex couples to marry. (2) Whether states must respect marriages same-sex couples legally entered into in other states.
  • Married same-sex couples who live in states that do not recognize their marriage may experience a period of uncertainty as to which federal benefits they can receive.
  1. No Standing
    (To be in Supreme Court)
  • The Court may find that the Department of Justice does not have the right to seek Court review and that the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Committee of the House of Representatives (BLAG) does not have standing to defend DOMA.
  • The Appeals Court decision would be vacated by the Court and it would be the district court decision finding DOMA Section 3 unconstitutional that would stand. Further efforts might be necessary to defeat DOMA nationwide.
  1. Lose
    SCOTUS Upholds DOMA (Reverses the Second Circuit decision)
  • Same-sex couples will continue to be denied rights, responsibilities & protections under more than 1,000 federal laws.
  • Pushing forward for Respect for Marriage Act in Congress.

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LGBT and at Least 45 Years Old? Take This Survey.

By Jen Jones on 06/05/2013 @ 11:05 PM

The Center for Aging Research and Educational Services (CARES) at The University of North Carolina’s School of Social Work is conducting a survey to assess the needs of Triangle Area members of the maturing LGBT community.

CARES provides training for human services professionals on person-centered practices, and they plan to use what they learn to strengthen content about serving LGBT seniors. By raising the awareness and skills of service providers, CARES hopes to contribute to policy change in North Carolina.

Take the survey yourself, and help us spread the word using the social media sharing links above.

Access the CARES survey at:

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(INFOGRAPHIC) Williams Institute: Metro Areas with Highest Percentages of Same-Sex Couples Raising Children Are in States with Constitutional Bans on Marriage

By Jen Jones on 05/21/2013 @ 05:05 PM

Tags: williams institute, metro areas, infographic


LOS ANGELES—The metro areas with the highest percentages of same-sex couples raising children are in states that have a constitutional ban on marriage, according to a new infographic created by the Williams Institute.

“Research consistently shows that same-sex couples raise children all across the country,” said Williams Institute public policy research fellow, Angeliki Kastanis. “This analysis underscores the fact that recognition of LGBT families is a consequential policy question in every state.”

Mississippi has the highest percentage of same-sex couples raising children at 26 percent.


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