CSE works across the South to achieve full legal and lived equality for LGBT people and families.
Same-sex couples can marry across the South and the entire nation. We have made incredible progress and are proud to have been part of the successful marriage lawsuits in North Carolina and Mississippi. Despite this progress, one thing is certain: our work continues, and we need you on board.
The next chapter of equality work in the South will happen on the front lines of small towns and rural areas – places where the law has changed, but hearts and minds are slower to; places where it still feels safer to live in the shadows than openly. The next stage of our collective work is real, and it is urgent. It requires innovation and using integrated strategies that simultaneously elevate grassroots leaders and respond to the urgent needs people have.
That’s why we’ll keep growing our Hometown Organizing Project by providing direct support, training and resources to grassroots leaders on the frontlines of the small town South. That’s why we will continue to work with an amazing team of lawyers to target and strike down discriminatory laws across the South. That’s why we will expand our LGBT Rights Toolkit, which responds to immediate needs that Southerners have for resources, information and support in times of need.
During the next six months we are excited to keep broadening our work across the South:
Mississippi same-sex adoption lawsuit: Mississippi is the last state in the nation that bans same-sex couples from adopting. This law must be struck down as quickly as possible and we are honored to be working with one of the best legal teams in the country to help overturn this discriminatory law through an active federal lawsuit. On November 6, the first hearing in this case took place and we are now awaiting a ruling.
2016 LGBT* in the South conference: From March 18 - 20, 2016, we will host the third annual LGBT* in the South conference, convening more than 500 leaders from across the region to share strategies, build new skills, and support each other.
Southern Equality Fund: Through this new initiative, we have already provided financial grants to more than 12 grassroots leaders and groups doing vital work ranging from HIV prevention efforts in the Deep South to working with LGBT homeless people in Western NC.
Free legal clinics: An ongoing series of free legal clinics empowers LGBT Southerners to know and protect their rights. Our legal team just held a clinic about how LGBT families in NC can protect their rights beyond marriage.
P.S. The South only receives 8% of domestic funding for LGBT causes, despite having 30% of our nation's LGBT population. Please consider making a gift now to change this.
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