Pam Spaulding's blog

BREAKING: Cowardly Senate leadership tries to hide marriage amendment debate slated for Monday

Here's some jaw-dropping cowardice at work in the North Carolina Senate. At the 11th hour -- of course in the dead media zone of Friday afternoon -- Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (@SenatorBerger,, 919-733-5708) and staff are not only are trying to hide the fact that they will bring a marriage amendment bill up for debate on Monday, but they are trying to do it in a stealth fashion that is completely disgusting. Berger and his fellow elected Bigots to Kill NC Business don't want the public to know about or participate in the debate. Laura Leslie @ WRAL:

According to the public notices released today, the Senate Judiciary 1 committee will be meeting Monday on H61, “Speaker/Pro Tem Term Limits” - a proposal to limit the numbers of years House and Senate members can serve as leaders of their chambers.

But a new version of the bill leaked to WRAL Friday night shows the bill the committee will take up Monday has absolutely nothing to do with term limits. The new H61 is an amended version of the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

You can try to look it up at the legislature’s website, but you won’t find it there.

New poll: majority of North Carolinians oppose marriage amendment; major newspapers also nix it

Good news - and I hope the elected proponents of bigotry are taking note as the short session nears in North Carolina's General Assembly. Via Equality NC:

Fifty-six percent (56%) of North Carolina voters oppose or strongly oppose an amendment to the state constitution that would ban same-sex marriage, a five-point jump in the last two years, according to a February 2011 Elon University Poll, a non-partisan polling service.

The poll also showed a strong majority (57%) of North Carolinians support marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples, revealing a dramatic 9% increase in public support for marriage equality in only two years. This result mirrors two separate polls conducted by Public Policy Polling in March and July that also reveal majority support of legal recognitions for same-sex couples.

First hand account: GetEQUAL NC activists, former U.S. Sen. candidate Jim Neal arrested at NC General Assembly

What a day! A nice rally on Halifax Mall in downtown Raleigh against the bills that would enshrine bigotry into the NC Constitution in front of the North Carolina General Assembly turned into kick-ass direct action. First, I'll give you the straight-up press release from GetEqual, and then give you my account - with plenty of video and photos.

UPDATE: Greensboro News & Record drops NC marriage license requirement for its wedding contest

Sometimes challenging convention in support of equality does pay off. The Greensboro News & Record, is now going to allow same-sex couples to fully participate in its wedding contest, dropping its requirement for a NC marriage license. John Robinson, the editor of the paper, contacted me just a few moments ago with the news.

Is the Greensboro N&R hiding behind state DOMA to exclude gays from its wedding contest?

This is one of those local stories that has to get out there because it shows the cultural shift of inclusion of LGBTs into daily life is hit and miss not just from state to state, but from city to city.

Take these various local couples and wedding contests or notices in the paper of couples marrying. Including LGBTs is a breakthrough because these are your neighbors, fellow readers of the regional newspaper. Visibility matters and the editors of those newspapers have to make some tough decisions in a difficult economic climate about whether to "rock the boat" for the sake of fairness.

The Greensboro News & Record is "throwing a wedding for one lucky couple in the Piedmont Triad," announced on the N&R's Editor John Robinson's blog page...

Elaine Marshall campaign affirms commitment to progressive vision as it retools for the general

I got wind of a change over at the Elaine Marshall campaign the other day, and it definitely raised my eyebrows. The fully pro-equality U.S. Senate candidate running to unseat Richard Burr has elected to go with a seasoned campaign manager for the general, Tim Phillips. Take a look at his one of his past clients.

NC-Sen: Cunningham opposed hate crimes, LGBT non-discrimination legislation in 2000 questionnaire

Sigh. This report is sitting right out in the public domain, and in light of some really nasty (and now relevant) comments by a member of Cal Cunningham's team at the Blend yesterday in the Jim Neal endorsement thread, people need to see the truth.

The Cunningham campaign does a little staff "retooling"

The News & Observer's Under the Dome reports that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham (left) has reshuffled his campaign staff as the runoff against Elaine Marshall (right) looms on June 22.

Gone is Rick Fromberg, the campaign manager, who left shortly after the primary...Also gone is Angela Guyadeen, Cunningham's communications director..."We retooled a little," said campaign spokesman Jared Leopold. "We are looking at a little different kind of campaign for the runoff, lower turnout, less of an air war, more grassroots. We've done some restructuring."

Breaking: Cal Cunningham agrees to Blend live-blog...on April 25; PHB endorsement tomorrow, 8AM

Despite the well, unfortunate communications situation with the Cal Cunningham campaign last week, I've continued to be in touch with others in the campaign to get him to participate in a liveblog.

Naturally, because of the time lost earlier due to the lack of response from the campaign the liveblog will occur after my endorsement tomorrow. It will be on Sunday, April 25 at 7PM. The reason for this extraordinary measure is that if Cal were to prevail in the primary, it's essential that he be on the record and openly engage Blend readers about his positions on LGBT issues, and willing to explain the difficulties that made his campaign stumble in addressing the matter earlier. That's what LGBT North Carolinians -- and those around the country -- need to know.

I do believe that good politicians can learn from mistakes -- it was clearly a tough message for his campaign to swallow that many in our community are no longer willing to be engaged in the closet.


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