It has been one year since Amendment One passed here in North Carolina. The marriage amendment was a hot topic around the state bringing a much-needed debate at the same time a need for more awareness for the community on LGBTQ issues. Many people have made assumptions and judgments about this group of people which has been a barrier to expanding marriage equality.
Even though the amendment passed, this has brought marriage equality into the political conversation. Marriage equality is going to come and one by one the attention of the nation has been focused on expanding marriage equality for all. Over the past year, community organizations such as Equality NC, have empowered the community with their outreach and awareness efforts on behalf of the LGBTQ community.
With our hetero-privilege, our whole society is set up to oppress the LGBTQ community. This country looks to the nuclear family model and often forgets that families do not fit a mold. My close friends, myself included have actively participated in advocating for marriage equality. The LGBTQ people I have connected with through working to advocate for marriage equality are amazing.
For people to maintain warmth, compassion, and understanding to society when many people discriminate against them, shows a lot of character. This community swells with the love of peace, understanding, unity, and respect for people; even as I said before, in the face of unsatisfactory behavior. Since I started my advocacy, I fell more of a sense of social justice than I did before. I always was a supporter of LGBTQ rights and the rights of anyone. But spending some time working with this community and the conversations that I had with the community made me feel that their issues were closer to home in a way. The urgency of justice was more aware to me.
On May 8th, Equality NC commemorated the one-year anniversary of the passage of Amendment One. They asked friends, allies, and everyone to stand with them at the North Carolina General Assembly at their “STAND AS ONE” event, and to share their stories on how the passage of this amendment has affected them.
Participants of the event joined hands and circled the assembly as they “stood as one” and speakers such as State Senator Mike Woodard and openly-gay State Representative Marcus Brandon fired up the crowd by speaking about the fight for Equality in North Carolina.
As part of their on-going efforts Equality NC has partnered with GIVE OUT DAY; an indicative to engage “hundreds of organizations and mobilize thousands of people on a single day across the country to give in support of the LGBT community”.
Interested donors can set up their own fundraising page to encourage family and friends to participate as well. And in order to spread awareness Equality NC also encourages all people from North Carolina families with LGBTQ members to share their stories on their KNOW + LOVE channel. Many times, it is these personal stories that can bring about the greatest change.
Photo credit: Chris Speer