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Hundreds in Charlotte, N.C., protest Prop 8, rally for LGBT rights

Published Nov 24, 2008 3:47 PM

Some 300 people rallied outside the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in downtown Charlotte on Nov. 15, part of a national day of protest against California’s Prop 8. The narrowly passed proposition denies the right of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people to marry and receive the more than 1,000 benefits that marriage entails.

Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 15.
Photo: Carol Marley

There were a large number of energetic youth in the crowd. People driving by honked and raised their fists in support, as chants of “Out of the closet, into the streets!” filled the air.

Some of the signs read: “Yes we can.” “You can’t outlaw love.” “Ban H8.” “Marriage is a human right.” “Gay rights are human rights.” Many of the signs were homemade.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s student newspaper reported: “To open up the program, two choral groups, Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte and One Voice, serenaded the crowd. Following their selections, Reverend Catherine Houchins of the Metropolitan Community Church spoke and offered a blessing for those couples, gay and straight, who were in serious and committed relationships. After Rev. Houchins, Mandy Plante, Providence High School president of the Gay/Straight Alliance, gave a captivating speech that promoted equality.” (nineronline.com, Nov.18)

Protests were held in hundreds of cities throughout the U.S., and are expected to continue until marriage equality and equal rights for LGBT people are attained.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force states: “The 1,138 federal benefits and protections of marriage are only available to couples that are allowed to legally marry. These include Social Security survivor and spousal benefits, the ability to file a joint tax return, immigration rights, and coverage under the Family and Medical Leave Act. To date, civil unions are not ‘portable,’ meaning that when a couple moves to another state, none of the benefits, rights or responsibilities coming from civil unions move with them.” (www.thetaskforce.org)

The Charlotte protest was organized by UNC-Charlotte PRIDE. To get involved, contact Braxton Midyette at 704-687-4150 or [email protected]