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Sunday, January 30, 2011

People of Faith, Fighting for Equality in Asheville

By Michael A. Jones -

Given the frequency with which religious arguments are used to fight against LGBT equality, it's sometimes easy to forget that there are multitudes of people of faith who are not only proud to support the LGBT community, but they are front and center in our movement. Case in point, People of Faith for Just Relationships, a group leading the charge in Asheville, North Carolina to pass a resolution in support of full equality for all LGBT citizens.
The Convener of the group, Rev. Joe Hoffman, said that the resolution is meant to show that communities like Asheville can serve as catalysts for dialogue about LGBT equality on a broader level. (H/T Pam's House Blend)
"The Resolution's purpose is to stimulate Asheville and City Council to take a leadership role in a statewide effort to recognize the need for equal civil rights, employment rights, and family rights and protection from bullying for LGBT citizens," said Rev. Hoffman. "Bringing this resolution to City Council at this time when we are celebrating the nation's greatest civil rights leaders is fitting. The late Coretta Scott King, Julian Bond, Andrew Young and many giants of the civil rights movement have expressed support for gay civil and familial rights. A key organizer of the 1963 march where Dr. King gave the "I Have a Dream" speech was Bayard Rustin, a gay man. Indeed, 2011 is a moment in history when we all need to stand up and be counted on the side of justice and equality and heed Dr. King's words: 'to delay rights is to deny rights'."
You can check out the resolution here, and also sign on in support of the resolution here. The text of the resolution would urge Asheville's City Council to undertake four things:
  1. extend the City's employment non-discrimination clause to include sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity or expression;
  2. enact an anti-bullying ordinance for all City institutions and grounds;
  3. create a Domestic Partner Registry to recognize same gender relationships for rights in regard to assisted living facilities, funeral rights, health care fights, and others; and
  4. endorse and support the rights of same gender couples to share fully and equally in the familial rights, responsibilities and commitments of civil marriage.
What's not to like in sending that message? Pop on over here and lend your name, and stand with some really awesome people of faith working for equality in Asheville. Today Asheville, tomorrow the rest of North Carolina.


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