“We at PFLAG National are frustrated and furious that once again the legal rights of thousands of tax-paying citizens—this time in the beautiful state of North Carolina—will be put to a vote of the people. That the legislature’s vote on this ballot measure was fast-tracked, at the emotional expense of loving couples around the state and the financial expense of all North Carolinians, is even worse. The fact is this: Discrimination in marriage equality is already the law of the land in North Carolina. To attempt to constitutionalize it in North Carolina is to make it even more of an official act that will sanction and perpetuate the denial of basic human rights and dignity to fellow humans. Who will this constitutional amendment protect? Certainly not the thousands of families who live and work in the state who will have further rights stripped away from them, leaving them unprotected in matters of healthcare, estate planning, tax benefits and more. Certainly not businesses headquartered in the state, like our partners at Bank of America, Replacements, Ltd., Mitchell Gold – Bob Williams, and the other corporations that came out in strong opposition to this proposed amendment because they understand that discrimination in any form is bad for business. And certainly not the State of North Carolina itself which, in the current economy and the wake of the destruction by Hurricane Irene, needs revenue pouring in, not resources draining as these same corporations, which have a long-standing commitment to equality and oppose discrimination in all forms, are perhaps compelled to leave the state.”
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Viewed by many as a civil rights issue similar to the restrictions imposed on interracial marriage years ago, same-sex marriage and all that it implies effects people further than Iowa and Massachusetts, where it has been legalized.
The Rocky Mount chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays – PFLAG – is a local advocacy group doing what it can to ensure that gay people are afforded the same rights as every other citizen in America.
Said PFLAG President Lela Chesson, “We’re concerned about not just support but also about educating our community and advocating for the civil rights of people who are gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender.”
Rose Walston, PFLAG secretary, said that open dialogue about the issue of same-sex marriage is an important step in moving towards a brighter future for gay couples in Eastern North Carolina. “I don’t understand why anyone would be opposed to the union of two people."
To continue reading this story in the Daily Southerner, click here.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
One of the aspects of PFLAG’s work that makes me most proud is our long-term commitment to the inclusion of our transgender family and friends in all of the work that we do, from support, to education, to advocacy. In fact, PFLAG was the first national organization to pass a resolution that codified this commitment, ensuring that everything that we support be fully inclusive.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
According to the HRC press release about the event, "Mr. Parker is being recognized for his work with and on behalf of the transgender community, not just in North Carolina, but nationwide and for his work with PFLAG both locally and nationally. Not only has he worked to be an ally and an advocate, he has mentored, counseled, and parented countless transgender men, women, and children serving to help them and their families understand and cope with their transition.”
Friday, November 6, 2009
But it wasn't the typical revelation to others that she is gay.
It was a mother. A mother who did not know her son was gay until he overdosed on drugs six years ago.
"It's hard for me to stand up here," she said. "It has taken me six and a half years to get to this place. I live with the pain every day of my son. It's got to stop and this is where I'm starting."
Walston, originally from Wilson, lost her son in 2003. He was 36.
Mitchell Gold, author of "Crisis: 40 stories revealing the personal, social and religious pain and trauma of growing up gay in America," asked Walston to share her story during his visit to Nashville. The Rocky Mount branch of PFLAG invited Gold to speak. Close to 130 people attended the event.
The New Jersey native, who moved to Hickory 22 years ago, learned many teens struggled in small-town America with their sexual identity. As a young man, he was gripped with fear thinking that his parents and brother would reject him. He was also afraid at school, wasn't sure if he would ever have a successful career and didn't know if society would accept him.
"I don't remember a happy day when I was in school or in my college days," Gold said. "I remember so many nights going to bed thinking about killing myself because I didn't want to live this kind of life that has no future in this society."
Gold finally told his father and was relieved his father only wanted him happy. Through therapy he learned how to accept his identity and love himself.
He discussed his interaction with many politicians who oppose gay marriage or other human rights for people who are not heterosexual.
"I've had an understanding of how religious beliefs can be used to hurt or harm other people but I also have an understanding of how religious beliefs can be used to welcome and love and care about people," he said.
Gold is the founder of Faith in America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending religion-based prejudice. He is best known as a leader and trendsetter in the furniture industry.
For the full article in The Wilson Times, click here.
Friday, August 7, 2009
According to this recent article in the Salisbury Post:
Salisbury/Rowan Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) has awarded three $1,000 scholarships for the 2009-2010 academic year.
The Anne Stanback-Charlotte Kinlock Scholarship, named in honor of Salisbury native Anne Stanback and her wife; the Founder's Equality Scholarship, named in honor of chapter founder Michael Clawson; and the Linda Ketner Community Service Scholarship, named for Salisbury native Ketner, are awarded to seniors who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender or who identify as a straight ally.
The local chapter of PFLAG was founded in 2006 and established the scholarship foundation and awarded its first two scholarships in 2008. The organization was the first in North Carolina to award scholarships exclusively to GLBT students and/or their straight allies.
"Uniquely, Salisbury/Rowan PFLAG's scholarships may be awarded to any high school senior continuing his or her education, including students of trade schools, community colleges or traditional four-year colleges and universities," said Todd Adrian, chapter president.
"We are very pleased to award these scholarships to these courageous and deserving students," said Margaret Basinger, chairperson of the scholarship advisory committee. "Provided the Autumn Soiree, our major scholarship fundraiser, is as successful as past years, our hope is to add a fourth scholarship for academic year 2010-2011," Basinger said.
Congratulations to PFLAG Salisbury!
If you are a member of a chapter and have some good news to share, please email Erin Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act - which passed the House with bi-partisan support last week - is also known as The Matthew Shepard Act, and Shepard's mother, Judy, has been a passionate advocate for its passage.
"It is unfortunate that any elected representative would be so ill informed on the specifics of this crime," she said. "I think her comments point out an inability to see the world through anything other than her own experiences which significantly limits her ability to be effective as a representative."
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
That fundamental lesson, about the power of an effective "community organizer" to usher in change on a national level, may also be a key component of an effective campaign to "turn the corner" on our national debate about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By understanding that change won't necessarily come from the corridors of power in D.C., but may begin with a shift in the thinking of both blue and red state America, we may be able to build the foundations today that will spell victory for our families tomorrow, when we once again face ballot box battles like Proposition 8 in California or a vote on federal hate crimes legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Indeed, making in-roads in places like North Carolina (where lawmakers are moving forward on an anti-marriage amendment), Illinois (where advocates have been putting in long hours and a lot of energy to establish recognition for same-sex couples) and Indiana (where the legislature has blocked an anti-marriage bill, but where allies fear their one-vote victory could someday disappear) can pay significant dividends for families across the country. And even in California, where some smaller communities almost unanimously supported Proposition 8, there is much community organizing left to be done.
And, as columnist Stephanie Salter points out in this morning's Star Tribune in Terre Haute, Indiana, there is a much-needed grassroots movement that is picking up steam in the weeks and months following the passage of Proposition 8 and other anti-equality initiatives in other states. More and more people in America's heartland, she reports, are beginning to reach out to their neighbors, co-workers, community leaders and clergy by establishing a local chapter of PFLAG.
Friday, January 16, 2009
The movie begins at 9:00PM and will be shown on a large projection screen.
Seating is limited to around 100 people. Admission is free and snacks will be provided.
For more information e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, November 21, 2008
And that’s how I met Neena Mabe.
Not only did Neena play a powerful and memorable role in the Straight for Equality training speaking as a PFLAG mom, but she brought her daughter, Kate [pictured,right], along for the workshop. The two had become progressively more involved in the work to move equality forward in their community through projects with both PFLAG and GLSEN.
I was lucky enough to get to spend some time talking to Kate, who is a sharp, funny, and powerful young woman who is the perfect example of how fierce determination, partnered with support at home, really does lead to big change. She’s become an activist in her school, member of the GLSEN Jump-Start Team, and a member of her local PFLAG chapter. She’s generated so much attention to the issues that students face in school that she was just featured in a great profile in the Winston-Salem Journal.
So mother and daughter are making change in North Carolina, with Neena active in her PFLAG chapter (and recently a co-presenter with fellow PFLAGer Andrea Angelo at the Equality North Carolina State Conference talking about Straight for Equality) and Kate making schools safer, one person at a time. They make me proud to be part of PFLAG and genuinely hopeful that no matter what resistance we face, no matter where we are, we do have the ability to change the world.
- Jean-Marie Navetta
Friday, September 26, 2008
In his coming-out interview, Clay shares with us how he came out to his mother - a moment many PFLAG parents can remember, too.
He recalled a tearful discussion with his mother in a car after dropping off his brother, who was being sent to Iraq, at a military base. "It was dark. I was sitting there, thinking to myself. I don't know why I started thinking about it ... I just started bawling. She made me pull over the car and it just came out," he said. "She started crying. She was obviously somewhat stunned. But she was very supportive and very comforting."
In an article about Clay, his coming out and his newborn son, a reporter from Clay's home state of North Carolina talks with Ted Meyer of PFLAG Triangle about his own son's coming out. Be sure to read it in The News & Observer.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Nominations are accepted in five categories, including the new Community Organization Award. The five categories are: Business; Education (formerly School); Faith Community; Individual; and the new category, Community Organization.
This year's awards have been expanded so that a larger variety of remarkable individuals and organizations in Winston-Salem can be recognized and celebrated. With the addition of the Community Organization Award, PFLAG recognizes there are many civic and special interest organizations which are inclusive and advocate for the civil rights of GLBT people but did not fit into one of the other categories. Additionally, the re-named Education Award has been expanded to recognize those who work for change within the system. Individuals (students, educators, counselors and administrators) as well as educational groups or schools can be nominated for making schools a safer place with inspired learning for GLBT students.
Applications are available online here and the submission deadline is September 15, 2008. Nominations can be submitted online, via email to email@example.com or by mail to PFLAG Winston-Salem, PO Box 15477, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
The facilitator for the series will be Dr. Michelle Lewis, Associate Professor of Psychology at Winston-Salem State University.Dr. Lewis earned her doctorate from Howard University in Washington, DC and previously facilitated support groups at the Whitman-Walker Clinic, also in Washington, DC. She is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and is a published author.
“Generally speaking, research and outreach to LGBT persons of color is still limited," Dr. Lewis said. "I hope that PFLAG's establishment of this African American support group in Winston Salem will be the first of several more services to meet the needs of this population. It's my hope that the group will be a safe, comforting, and healing space for people to share what's been on their minds and hearts for quite some time."
Saturday, July 19, 2008
[The bill's] sponsors say the intent is simply to protect children from bullying. A local coordinator with the group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays agrees, pointing out that the bill is supported by groups like the NAACP and the Girl Scouts. In an email, Mike Clawson says legislators need to remove their blinders of discrimination, and that all children are in danger of being bullied.Watch the video below!
A print version of the story can also be read here.
Update: You can discuss the NC bill, and PFLAG's reaction, over at Pam's House Blend.
Friday, July 18, 2008
"The bill," the paper notes, "would have required teachers, students and volunteers to report bullying and have local school boards establish anti-bullying policies."
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
"Visibility challenges assumptions; show willingness to explain to potential allies how your legal-somewhere-else marriage is denied where you live."
"The fact is we will prove by example that our relationships will not cause an end to anyone else's marriage or destroy society, and it will move all of us closer to full civil equality."
Monday, June 30, 2008
Upon greeting each other at the metro station she excitedly told me that she bought me a present, and questioned whether I wanted it that instant or at lunch. Despite my overwhelming curiosity over an unexpected gift and the desire to acquire said object, I said we ought to wait until we sat down over food.
Having arrived at the restaurant, and settling into our seats I couldn’t handle the suspense any longer, I told her I was ready for my present.
Over the table she handed me “Queer Quotes: On Coming Out and Culture, Love and Lust, Politics and Pride, and Much More." I was especially thankful, for both the thought of getting me a gift "just because" as well as the fantastically chosen gift.
Not having any time to read through the book between bites of food and chatting about our plans for the rest of the week, I put it away to be read later. Upon arriving back at PFLAG National, I took it out, flipped it open, and began looking through the pages.
hile it was the third quote listed, it was the first that struck my eye: “Anyone who thinks that love needs to be cured has not experienced enough of it in their own lives,” –Joan Garry, the Executive Director of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
This quote especially stood out to me because of Exodus International's plan to have their “International Freedom Conference” (their title for a large “ex-gay” ministry conference promoting so-called “reparative therapy”) in Asheville, NC this July.
Fortunately, there have already been some events scheduled to counter the false and harmful messages of "ex-gay" ministries (in 1998, the American Pyschiatric Association stated it was opposed to reparative therapy, stating "psychiatric literature strongly demonstrates that treatment attempts to change sexual orientation are ineffective. However, the potential risks are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive [suicidal] behavior..."). The schedule of events for July 15-20 are as follows :
- Tuesday, July 15, 7:00-8:30 PM, Kick off Event
"Can You Pray Away the Gay?"
Firestorm Café & Books (48 Commerce St., Asheville)
Speakers: Wayne Besen, Director, TruthWinsOut.org and author of "Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-gay Myth," and Ian Palmquist, Executive Director, Equality NC
- Wednesday, July 16, 7:00 PM
Film: "For the Bible Tells Me So"
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley (500 Montreat Rd. Black Mountain , NC 28711)
Co-hosted by Common Light Meeting Place, Discussion follows, led by Laine Calloway,Gay & Lesbian Ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of WNC
- Thursday, July 17, 6:45 PM
Film: "For the Bible Tells Me So"
Henderson County Library (301 Washington St., Hendersonville, NC 28739)
Hosted by PFLAG Flat Rock/Hendersonville & Love Welcomes All Committee
Discussion afterward led by Rev. Jerry Miller (a PFLAG regional director)
- Friday, July 18, 7:00 PM
Film: "Fish Can't Fly"
Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville
Charlotte St. at Edwin Place, Asheville, NC 28801
Discussion follows. Wayne Besen will discuss appearing in the film
- Saturday, July 19, 11 AM - 2 PM Real-Families Picnic!!
Recreation Park - 69 Gashes Creek Rd. Asheville, NC 28805 (off Swannanoa River Rd. next to WNC Nature Center)