News Round-Up: LGBT & Allies Faith Community Rally in Charlotte
“We are many religions gathered to declare a universal truth: we are all one human family. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face discrimination, harassment and violence all over the world and right here in North Carolina. We are here to declare a vision of a beloved community where all are respected and valued.”
-Rev. Jay Leach, Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte
Thousands of us marched from the Charlotte, NC Convention Center yesterday to nearby Marshall Park, for a Standing on the Side of Love Faith Community Rally Against Homophobia & Transphobia. We partnered with local UU congregations and ministers, interfaith clergy in Charlotte, Equality North Carolina, HRC, Faith in America, and Time Out Youth, all of whom infused the rally with a local focus and audience.
Our primary goal? To oppose the anti-LGBT marriage amendment that will likely get a vote here by the legislature in September.
Want to watch the full rally footage? Click here: http://www.uua.org/justice/issues/bgltequality/ga/184808.shtml
Here is a run-down of the coverage.
This news station framed the debate well, soliciting the feelings of teenagers who called the amendment “bullying on a larger level.” Loan Tran, with Time Out Youth, offered a personal, eloquent speech:
The Charlotte Observer has a wonderful slideshow:
…and an accompanying article entitled “Liberal denomination stands up for its causes”:
There are more than a few gay and lesbian UU ministers. The Rev. Robin Tanner, pastor of Piedmont Unitarian Universalist in Charlotte, is a lesbian. On Friday, she was among the speakers at the rally at Marshall Park, where participants – wearing T-shirts that spelled out “LOVE” – also registered their opposition to a proposed N.C. constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
News 14 Carolina interviewed local parent Sue Noll, who spoke eloquently about wanting all four of her children — to of whom are gay — to be treated fairly:
Q Notes, a local LGBT-focused publication, covered the full breadth of speakers, including Rev. Mark Kiyimba of the UU Church of Kampala, Uganda; Rev. Tonia Rawls, Bishop of the Unity Fellowship Church; and Ian Palmquist, Executive Director of Equality North Carolina:
At the forefront of the rally were concerns over a proposed state constitutional amendment banning marriage for same-sex couples. Ian Palmquist, the outgoing executive director of the statewide advocacy group Equality North Carolina, spoke at the rally.
“We are facing real challenges right now in North Carolina,” Palmquist said. “Right-wing lawmakers have introduced an amendment not only to deny marriage equality to same-sex couples but also to potentially ban civil unions, domestic partnerships and even domestic partnerships that employers offer.”
Palmquist added, “This amendment is bad for business, bad for North Carolina and bad for the faith community and we will not allow it to become a part of our state’s constitution.”
Bishop Tonyia M. Rawls, minister of the Unity Fellowship Church of Charlotte, was one of the faith leaders who spoke in opposition of NC’s proposed anti-LGBT amendment:
Equality North Carolina’s Ian Palmquist spoke about the harms of NC’s proposed anti-LGBT amendment and the work to stop it. You can learn more about Equality North Carolina by visiting equalitync.org.
Thanks to all who braved the heat and rain to make a difference. Together, we showed North Carolina that people of faith believe in inclusion and acceptance of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.