In the News and Observer, my friend Tom Greene even got his photo in the news (click here). Tom is a "PK," a preacher's kid, and the Southern preacher that was his heritage looks like it is alive and kicking with the megaphone in his hand. From the N&O:
Tom Greene, 23, of Chapel Hill, a rally organizer who led most of the chants, said Saturday's event was only the beginning.
"This is a grass-roots movement," he said. "We are initiating the next civil rights movement. Our goal is equality in North Carolina, and we're going to achieve it. The time is now."In the Daily Tar Heel, the possibility of LGBT marriage was raised! Imagine that! Click here fore more. From the Daily Tar Heel:
But other activists, galvanized by President-elect Barack Obama’s nationwide and N.C. victories, don’t want to wait to press state legislators on gay marriage.
They want to push for gay marriage within the next decade, “picking up” those issues on the way, said Durham resident Will Elliott, one of the organizers of the event.
“I think we’ve got to go for gay marriage. There’s no reason not to set our bar that high,” Elliott said. “If we say it’ll be 20 years out to get gay marriage, it will be 20 years out, or maybe we’ll never even get there.”
Participants on Saturday expressed a similar sentiment, saying that North Carolina turning blue indicates the state might be ready to accept same-sex marriage.
“I want us to go for the gold ,” said Rita Hernandez, a Raleigh resident who carried a sign saying, “I can’t believe we’re still protesting this …”.
“I worry that, as a movement, we don’t push for enough, quickly enough,” she said.
With constitutional bans in Florida and Arkansas passed Nov. 4, North Carolina is now the only state in the Southeast without a ban.
Palmquist attributed that to North Carolina’s unique amendment process, which requires that the legislature propose all amendments and then put them up to a vote by the people.
Elliott said the same kind of grassroots movement that helped elect Obama next needs to mobilize in support of gay rights legislation.
“This is the new face of what the gay and lesbian equal rights movement is going to be,” Elliott said. “Any group involved in legislative action is going to need to adapt and harness this new energy and power.”