D-I-S-C-R-I-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N: HonestNC is sponsoring a spelling bee Wednesday, Feb. 29, at 8 p.m. at The Pinhook, 117 E. Main St. in Durham, to raise money for Ides of Love, which is trying to defeat Amendment 1. Admission is $5 for players, $3 for the general public.
F-a-i-t-h and Amendment 1: The first in a series of free events about DOMA is Sunday, March 4, at 3 p.m. at United Church of Christ, 3011 Academy Road in Durham. Featured speakers include the Rev. Jimmy Creech and Brent Childers, executive director of Faith in America.
The series continues Tuesday, March 6, 6:30–8:30 p.m., with attorney Sharon Thompson sharing legal perspectives on the amendment.
P-h-o-n-e banking: Volunteers at Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist, 106 Purefoy Road, will spend each Tuesday through the May primary election making phone calls to raise awareness on how DOMA discriminates.
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., released a statement last week that said the amendment has "far-reaching negative consequences for our families, our children and our communities." Most of the release focused on how defining marriage as between a man and a woman and banning civil unions would hurt North Carolina's ability to recruit businesses. "Jobs are my number one priority, and we cannot afford to take our eye off the ball and give businesses a reason to grow and expand elsewhere," Hagan stated.
Bob Geary reported on the Indy's Citizen blog last week that the Coalition to Protect NC Families, a group formed to defeat the amendment, now has 117 partners and 14,000 volunteers. The campaign received a donation from Self-Help pledging to match individual contributions dollar for dollar up to $25,000.
Maryland could legalize same-sex marriage after its senate passed a bill last week. The measure now goes to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is expected to sign it March 1. The bill still must pass a voter referendum this fall.
Same-sex marriage is legal in Washington, D.C., New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire. Washington State has also passed a law allowing same-sex marriage, but it has not gone into effect. In California, a federal appeals court found that the state constitution's restriction on same-sex marriage was invalid, but the ruling is under appeal.
After the malfunction of the Vortex ride at the NC State Fair that hospitalized five people, confusion emerged when the Associated Press reported that the Wake County Sheriff's Office seized public records from the North Carolina Department of Labor.