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Marriage Activists Launch ‘We Do’ Campaign After Amendment One Passes in N.C.

By Karen Ocamb
News Editor

On a morning like this, it's hard to remember that history is on the side of LGBT equality. Despite a recent Gallop poll indicating that 50 percent of Americans support marriage equality, versus 48 percent who oppose it (actually down from 53 percent in 2011), individual states controlled by Christian conservative Republicans continue to vehemently buck the trend. In North Carolina, turnout for the primary was higher than expected (34 percent), resulting in an overwhelming victory for anti-gay forces with the 61 to 39 percent passage of Amendment One. North Carolina now becomes the 30th state to have discrimination written into its state constitution.

There was a bright spot: openly gay state Rep. Marcus Brandon, North Carolina’s only openly gay legislator, overwhelmingly (66.15 to 33.85 percent, or 4,909 to 2,512 votes) won re-election against a primary challenge from the Democrat he defeated in 2010.

Meanwhile, in Colorado, however, Republicans in that state legislature ran out the clock on passing legislation granting civil unions.

But unlike the rage over Prop. 8 in California, folks in North Carolina have taken to the streets in a new "We Do" campaign to request marriage licenses. From Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality: ” We can’t change the results of this vote, but we can determine what comes next. Tomorrow when kids across the state wake up, I want them to know that this story isn’t over.”

From Pam Spaulding at Pam’s House Blend:

Starting the morning of May 9, we will run the next stage of the WE DO Campaign in eight communities across North Carolina, from small towns with populations of less than 500 to cities of more than one million. Across the state, over 40 LGBT couples will request marriage licenses, knowing they will be turned down and yet taking this action in order to resist unjust laws and call for full federal equality. They will be joined by hundreds of family members, friends, clergy and elected officials, who will stand with them in support. In select towns, trained volunteers will conduct peaceful sit-ins after the denials of marriage licenses occur, as a form of civil disobedience. At every turn, we will express love and empathy towards those who oppose LGBT rights and those whose job it is to enforce unjust laws.

But there’s another, more urgent reason why we’re starting these actions on May 9. We want to send a clear, simple message to LGBT youth across our state, especially those who, for months now, have been hearing increasingly vitriolic messages condemning them. We want them to know that there are people all across our state—and all across our country—who are ready to stand up for their full equality. We want them to know that this story is far from over.

If you live in North Carolina, here are three things you can do:
1) Send a message of support to participating couples;
2) Help us amplify the story of the "We Do" Campaign by forwarding this email and posting "We Do" updates on Facebook and Twitter.

If you live outside of North Carolina, here are two things you can do:
1) Send a message of support to participating couples
2) Help us amplify the story of the "We Do" Campaign by forwarding this email and posting "We Do" updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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