There’s no question that we are entering a new chapter in the movement for LGBTQ equality – one where the far-right political movement feels more emboldened than ever to roll back fundamental American rights and freedoms.
The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, invited challenges to landmark LGBTQ precedents, and emboldened lawmakers at every level of government to ramp up a new wave of anti-LGBTQ attacks. At the same time, we’re seeing an unprecedented level of public support for LGBTQ equality in the South – and many individuals and institutions across sectors are ready to express support.
That’s why the Campaign for Southern Equality is inviting you to join us in Meeting the Moment in the LGBTQ South, a new effort to respond to new attacks of LGBTQ rights, continue to advance LGBTQ rights, help people protect their rights and access care, and ensure that LGBTQ Southerners feel connected, loved, and supported.
It’s time to mobilize supporters to take local, state, and federal actions through rapid response organizing, lobbying, public education, election engagement, and litigation to identify and defend attacks on rights and secure new protections. Here are ways you can plug in:
Codify It, Congress
LGBTQ+ Southerners require federal action from the United States Congress – we cannot risk this extreme Supreme Court revisiting important victories to further marginalize our community. We’re calling on the U.S. Congress to take action – now – by codifying landmark Supreme Court victories. This includes:
- Lawrence v. Texas (prohibiting state intervention in consensual intimate relationships)
- Obergefell v. Hodges and Windsor v. United States (the freedom to marry for same-sex couples) and Loving v. Virginia (the freedom to marry for interracial couples) – see below for a specific action to take
- Bostock v. Clayton County (determining that anti-LGBTQ+ employment discrimination violates federal law)
- Roe v. Wade (the constitutional right to abortion)
- Griswold v. Connecticut (the right to contraception)
Taking Action on the Respect for Marriage Act
The U.S. Senate is now considering the Respect for Marriage Act, which would fully repeal the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act,” require the federal government to respect marriages between same-sex couples and interracial couples for all federal purposes, and require states to respect marriages performed in other states. The bill is one element of codifying 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, which outlawed bans on interracial couples from marrying; 2013’s Windsor v. United States, which struck down DOMA; and 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges, which guaranteed the freedom to marry to same-sex couples.
Pride Vote ’22
Mobilizing LGBTQ turnout in the 2022 races matters more than ever. One in five LGBTQ people are not registered to vote – but our numbers can help sway elections and ensure that opponents of LGBTQ equality cannot continue to discriminate against our community. Your vote is your voice – let’s use it.
Volunteer With Us
We’re reinvigorating the Campaign for Southern Equality Volunteer Program. Opportunities will include participating in donor engagement events, serving as peacekeepers/marshalls for in-person actions or events, registering voters, empowering people to contact their lawmakers through phone banks and lobby days, and more.
LGBTQ Southerners and allied communities are feeling the strain after so many attacks, underlining the need to care for and support each other.
“Meeting the Moment” Wellness Workshops
In the Fall of 2022, the Campaign for Southern Equality is proud to launch “Meeting the Moment Wellness Workshops,” a series of conversations geared toward shared community and collective resilience. These Healing & Resilience Community Workshops will be hosted by Campaign for Southern Equality’s Director of Healing & Resilience Holiday Simmons, joined by special guests.
Special Back-to-School Grant Round for Youth-Serving Organizations in the South
In September we launched, Back-to-School Support for LGBTQ+ Youth in the South, a special grant round sponsored by the Campaign for Southern Equality and The Ally Coalition (TAC).
Back-to-School Support for LGBTQ Youth
In August, we launched a Back-to-School campaign supporting trans youth with care packages, messages of love and solidarity, and a robust new “Know Your Rights” guide for LGBTQ students. Join us in sending a message of support to young people here.
Take Steps to Prepare
LGBTQ Southerners and allies are also newly concerned about their rights and preparing for future attacks on LGBTQ equality. The Campaign for Southern Equality will provide direct services and digital resources to support LGBTQ Southerners in knowing their rights, protecting their rights, and accessing critical services.
Pop-Up Clinics, Resources and Workshops
In the coming months the Campaign for Southern Equality will host pop-up clinics and other workshops to ensure that LGBTQ Southerners know their rights and are working to protect them. Here are some upcoming dates where you can find us:
- Sylva Pride – September 10
- Blue Ridge Pride – September 24
‘Know Your Rights’ Guide for LGBTQ+ Students and Schools
In September we published Supportive Schools for LGBTQ+ Students: A Guide to Policies and Best Practices, which provides recommendations for schools that are seeking to create safe and supportive educational environments for all of their students, including students who identify as LGBTQ+. This guide is written for anyone who shapes or is affected by policy and practices at K-12 public, private, and charter schools in the United States, with a particular focus on schools in the Southeast. Administrators and school board members are encouraged to use it as a guide to crafting or revising school and district policies. Students, family members, teachers, and other school staff are encouraged to use it as a ‘know your rights’ resource and as a tool for advocacy with a school or district.
LGBTQ Family Law Workshop in Asheville
On Tuesday, July 26 we hosted a community law workshop, led by attorneys Dizy Walton and Meghann Burke, about LGBTQ family rights and how to protect families in a post-Dobbs era. This workshop presented legal analysis of LGBTQ family rights in the South, along with concrete steps to take to protect your family, and time for discussion and Q&A.
Trans Youth Law Workshop in South Carolina
On Wednesday, August 3 the SC United for Justice & Equality coalition, which the Campaign for Southern Equality is proud to be a part of, hosted another community law workshop. Led by attorney Colleen Condon and National Center Lesbian Rights’ Asaf Orr, we spoke about LGBTQ family rights with particular attention on transgender youth, who are facing a new law prohibiting participation in school sports.
The Trans in the South Guide
Trans in the South: A Directory of Trans-Affirming Health & Legal Service Providers, is a directory of more than 400 Southern health service providers who are trans-affirming. You’ll find lists of trans-friendly mental health providers, primary care physicians, HIV care specialists, attorneys, endocrinologists, and more across 13 Southern states.