Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Rainbows Flying High and Mighty

First Southern State to move Marriage Equality

Following a circuit judge decision late Friday striking down the ban on marriage equality in
Arkansas, same-sex couples in the state began to wed Saturday in the city of Eureka Springs — the only known jurisdiction to have issued marriage licenses over the weekend while other court houses were closed until the following Monday. It was the decision that spread like kudzu on fire throughout Arkansas's  LGBTQ community. It seem surreal to think that "Arkansas" had again taking the lead as a southern state similar to the groundbreaking Medicaid expansion that did a "triangulation" of using federal dollars to pay for private insurance and now marriage equality too. Naw it couldn't be, but as we learned it was true for now.

The first same-sex couple to marry in Arkansas was Jennifer Rambo, 26, and her partner Kristin Seaton, 27 and a former volleyball player at the University of Arkansas. The two, who’ve been together for four years, also have the distinction of being the same-sex couple ever to wed in the South. As all of this unfolded, the hot white glare of the spotlight hit Arkansas like a ton of bricks as news media outfits globally set sights on The Natural State to get the story, interviews, photo's and all things marriage equality.

It seemed like everybody had something to chime in or comment including, David Dinielli, head of the LGBT rights project for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said regardless of whether or not a stay is issued, marriage equality is advancing throughout the country. “Stay or no stay, marriage equality is sweeping across the South,” Dinielli said. “We all know the end game here. Those who resist — whether in Arkansas, Alabama, or North Carolina — are seen more and more as quaint, antiquated — 21st Century versions of Alabama’s Governor Wallace, who so famously stood in the schoolhouse door.” So glad he referenced Wallace instead of Arkansas Gov. Faubus who did some grandstanding himself before then President Ike sent the troop because they were having none of his foolishness at Central High.

Also in this mash up was the awaited roll up of the Human Rights Campaign's big ticket Project One America initiative that got swept up in all the marriage ballyhoo. Despite all the rushing to "going to the chapel" mayhem, HRC did manage to have a power reception to outline it's assessed comprehension of what needs, challenges and barriers exist within the LGBTQ infrastructure. President Chad Griffin, spoke with candor and frankness about his owned lived experiences and his thoughts about how to deal with issues and concern's of the state.

Rep. Joyce Elliot also gave spirited remarks and reminded attendees that the ultimate weapon is the ballot box. Even though marriage equality fever was running high during the event, many came to hear more about the project with interest as to how it would directly affect the community locally and at large. Currently HRC has completed an assessment, dispatched personnel to do local meet up's and will be looking to secure a State Coordinator as well as other support staff. As the moving and shaking comes about, you will hear about the latest right here! Don't you even think of not following us via RSS feed, subscribing or bookmarking. Do it today so that you will stay in the information loop and more!!!

Renegades on the Loose

COP 24/7 has just been amazed at these folks and their amazing ability to find some way, any way they can to support. Since their inception a bit back, Renegades for a Cause has stepped up as a fund raising machine that has raised dollars for numerous entities and individuals who have expressed a need. This time out the group returns to assist The Living Affected Corporation in an effort to continue to allow the agency to continue it's mission to provide prevention messaging while advocating for holistic sexual health within marginalized communities. Currently the agency is also producing a gay centric publication entitled, "The READ," which will be published monthly as apart of its social entrepreneur aspect. The night will feature a pageant heralding, Miss or Mr. Renegade Pride of Little Rock. An all-star cast of locals will offer their entertainment services in support of the agency. Check out the flyer that also has been circulated at local venues and hot spots. Stay tuned to COP 24/7 for updates!

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