The Mitchell County Gay Straight Alliance was formed in October of 2011. Our mission is to work towards ensuring equal rights and justice for lesbian gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Mitchell County, North Carolina.
At our first public meeting, here’s what went on outside while we were tucked away in the conference room of our local public library:
Two months later, we held a public Town Hall to educate our community about Amendment One (see explanation of Amendment One below):
In September of 2011, the state legislature passed a bill to add an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution that states “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only legal domestic union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.” On May 8, 2012, the voters passed this legislation, and added this amendment to the state constitution.
We were proud to join in coalition with equality advocates from across the state in the fight against the passage of this amendment, in one of the largest grassroots campaigns in North Carolina history. We are continuing to work with other members of the coalition and are continuing our work for equal rights and justice for LGBT people here in Mitchell County.
In the summer of 2014 the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals – which has jurisdiction over NC – ruled that a similar ban in Virginia was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court announced on October 6, 2014 that it was refusing to hear an appeal from foes of the freedom to marry, and on October 10, 2014, Amendment One was ruled unconstitutional, making marriage equality the law in North Carolina.