HIGH PROFILE: Tina Madison White speaking in Washington. Photo courtesy of Tina Madison White.

Asheville LGBTQ community to celebrate progress, call for change at Blue Ridge Pride Festival on Oct. 1

Author, transgender activist and newcomer to Asheville Tina Madison White reflects on the state of the Pride movement in 2016. White is the director of operations for Blue Ridge Pride Center, which will host its eighth annual Pride Festival Saturday, Oct. 1 in Pack Square Park in Asheville.

CALL TO ACTION: Jasmine Beach-Ferrara addresses the crowd at a protest of the new state law that bans local attempts to ease discrimination against LGBT individuals. Ivy Hill holds the megaphone. Photo by Able Allen

Coalition of LGBT rights-advocate groups protest new state law

As a rain cloud darkened the sky above Asheville and the wind assaulted unfurled rainbow flags, a storm of anger from the LGBT and allied communities erupted as a crowd of about 300 protesters convened at the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville late Thursday Afternoon. The outpouring of frustration and dissatisfaction stemmed directly from the passage […]

The local Campaign for Southern Equality organization has been pushing for marriage equality in North Carolina and other states across the Southeast.

Supreme Court issues stay, preserving NC gay marriage ban

The U.S. Supreme Court responded today, Aug. 20, to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision last month to strike down a same-sex marriage ban by issuing a stay that bars the practice pending further action by the court. The move is a disappointment to equality advocates who hoped that today’s deadline would pass without […]

WNC religious leaders seek the right to wed same-sex couples in their congregati­ons

This morning a federal challenge to Amendment One was filed in the Western District of North Carolina on behalf of the United Church of Christ (UCC) as a national denomination, clergy from across faith traditions and same-sex couples, according to a press release. The case challenges the constitutionality of marriage laws in North Carolina – including Amendment One – that ban marriage between same-sex couples and make it illegal for clergy to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples within their congregations.

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Reisinger first register of deeds in South to accept same-sex marriage licenses

Today Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger became the first in the South to accept same-sex marriage licenses, as 10 couples requested them as part of an effort organized by the Campaign for Southern Equality. However, Reisinger stopped short of issuing the documents, saying that while he believes the state ban on same-sex marriage is in conflict with the U.S. Constitution, he will first formally request that North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper allow the marriages to proceed.

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Images from Friday’s WE DO protest

Friday, same-sex couples went into the Buncombe County Register of Deeds office to request marriage licenses — knowing they would be denied — as part of the WE DO campaign. Eight people were arrested in the ensuing sit-in. The protests originated in Asheville last year and have since spread to other cities throughout the Southeast, garnering national and international media attention. Images of WE DO’s return to its home city. Photos by Max Cooper.