HRC prez to visit Charlotte

Human Rights Campaign Executive Director Chad Griffin addresses a crowd outside the Supreme Court.
Human Rights Campaign Executive Director Chad Griffin
addresses a crowd outside the Supreme Court.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin will visit the Queen City on July 9. While here, Griffin will meet with community and business leaders. In the evening, Griffin will host a community reception at Cathode Azure, 1820 South Blvd., Suite 106, 6-8 p.m. RSVP online at
— Matt Comer

Leader responds to Chick-fil-A tweet

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Shane Windmeyer, the executive director of the locally-based, national non-profit Campus Pride, responded in late June to a Twitter message sent by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy following the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage.

The tweet from Cathy read, “Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed of our gen. to abandon wisdom of the ages re: cornerstone of strong societies.”

The tweet was later deleted by Cathy.

National LGBT activists have called for boycotts of Chick-fil-A due to their long history of anti-LGBT funding. Windmeyer says he has worked closely with Cathy over several months in an evolving conversation on the business’ funding priorities and Cathy’s views toward the LGBT community. Still, Windmeyer said the tweet left him “deeply disappointed.”

“I expect more from my friends,” Windmeyer said in a short written statement on June 29. “His tweet was insensitive to the newfound relationship between he and I promoting ‘civility.’ It brashly dismissed the 18 years of love and commitment between my husband and I — and more importantly his tweet was dismissive to kids growing up who deserve loving families of all kinds. It is one thing to have an opinion and respectfully share that. It is another to have disregard to the impact on those around you, those who you care about, in expressing those opinions.”

Read more about Cathy’s tweet and Windmeyer’s response at

— Matt Comer

Artist fetes Court decision


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Artist Josh Starnes wasted no time putting his hands to work in celebration of the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling striking down a key portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. His small mural gracing the front of Central Station, a gay bar in Plaza Midwood, says it all: “RIP DOMA.”
Bar owner Eddy Sansone says Starnes took only an hour to create the artwork on the day of the Supreme Court’s ruling. The Court’s decision opens the door to federal recognition for same-sex couples legally married in states where they are performed. A separate ruling effectively overturned California’s Proposition 8. See our special coverage at

— Matt Comer

Charlotte to host LGBT funding summit

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. — Funders for LGBTQ Issues, a national philanthropy group, will host a summit with several LGBT and southern funders to discuss LGBT non-profit funding in the South. The meeting is slated for July 29-30 and will assess organizations’ assetts, funding gaps and opportunities to expand LGBT funding in the South. Foundation for the Carolinas will host the weekend meeting. Aloft Charlotte at the EpiCentre is the host hotel. The meeting is open only to grantmaking organizations.

Funders for LGBTQ Issues recently released a study documenting LGBT charitable funding in the South during 2011. North Carolina ranks fifth in total spending and sixth in per-capita spending.

The study looked at non-profit charitable grants awarded during 2011. Southern states saw only $4 million of the national $123 million total in grant funding that year.

North Carolina received $295,946 in grant funding, ranking behind Texas, Florida, Georgia and Kentucky. North Carolina’s per-capita grant total stood at $0.92.

South Carolina received $148,500 in total spending, ranking eighth. The state’s per-capita spending was higher, ranking above North Carolina’s and coming in at $1.10, the average across the 13 states included in the study: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

For more information on the study, visit For more information on the summit, visit

— Matt Comer

Annual mass approaches

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Catholic, LGBT-inclusive mass and celebration will be held on July 17, 7 p.m., at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 507 S. Tryon St.

This event is sponsored by the Diocesan Ministry for Gay and Lesbian Catholics (DMGLC) and is open to the public. This ministry was started by the late Fr. Gene McCreesh, the late Fr. Richard Allen and Retired Bishop Emeritus William Curlin to address the needs of its LGBT members throughout the diocese. The mass was established in 1996 as part of the Diocese of Charlotte’s spiritual outreach to the gay and lesbian community.

McCreesh was a champion for the homeless and a tremendous supporter of the LGBT community. He also was active with DMGLC and was often found at the bedside of many of Charlotte’s gay men and others who were dying from complications of HIV/AIDS. McCreesh Place in NoDa bears his name and legacy.

Allen was a compassionate priest and often was seen ministering to those who were marginalized and downtrodden. Prior to his death, he carried his ministry to the rural reaches of Alaska.

Curlin received backlash from Catholic conservatives when in 2001 when he celebrated mass for the Eighth Annual National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries. He only wanted to “show gays and lesbians that God loves them and that they will find their growth and his love in the church,” Knight Ridder news archives reported.

A reception will follow downstairs in Biss Hall. Parking is free in The Green parking garage adjacent to the church. Simply write “St. Peter” on the ticket and sign it.

This mass is part of the gay and lesbian ministry parish outreach. Among other events and organizations it supports are a spring retreat, an annual retreat in Maggie Valley, N.C., annual House of Mercy AIDS Walk, Time Out Youth, among others.

St. Peter’s was established in 1851 and has been staffed by the Jesuits since 1986.

The church promotes and fosters holistic spirituality that is inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and grounded in the Catholic moral and social justice tradition. It encourages pastoral care with lesbians and gays and their families. Additionally, they support human dignity and human rights of lesbians and gays and “affirm that all who are baptized are called to full participation in the life, worship and mission of the church.

For more information, email Marco Cippoliti at

— Lainey Millen

Stonewall anniversary remembered

A celebration was held at The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte to commemorate the Stonewall Inn riots' anniversary.
A celebration was held at The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte
to commemorate the Stonewall Inn riots’ anniversary.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two community organizations held special events at the end of June to mark the 44th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte hosted their third annual Stonewall Celebration on June 29. The event included catered BBQ and a cash bar, as well as several speakers, a performance troupe, a beat poet originally from New York City and a screening of last year’s PBS documentary, “Stonewall Uprising.”

Glenn Griffin, operations director at the center, said the event took on added significance following the Supreme Court’s rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.

“It’s amazing that [the Supreme Court’s decision] happened just a few days from the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and just to think in 44 years how much has changed,” said Glenn Griffin, operations director at the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. “Police were raiding gay bars and beating people up and now, in certain states, people can marry. We’ve come a far way and we still have a long way to go, but it’s definitely a reason to celebrate.”

The center’s day-time celebration was followed that evening by Charlotte Pride’s “A Night in the Village.” The evening bar event hosted at The Bar at 316 included raffle prizes and a Stonewall cake.

Charlotte Pride Co-Director Richard Grimstad said it was important for his group, in particular, to take a pause and remember Stonewall.

“If it weren’t for the activities at Stonewall and the riots that took place that night, we wouldn’t be where we are,” he said. “It’s the foundation of a lot of the Pride organizations and festivities that we continue to celebrate 44 years later.”

The Stonewall Riots were launched in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, in response to repeated police raids on a gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, in New York City’s Greenwich Village. The incidents, which lasted a few nights in a row, are largely credited with launching the modern-day LGBT civil rights movement.

[Ed. Note — This writer is a Charlotte Pride board member.]

— Matt Comer

Mayor confirmed to DOT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mayor Anthony Foxx was confirmed to his post as secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation on Thursday, June 27. The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to approve Foxx, who had been nominated for the post by President Barack Obama.

The mayor was expected to resign his position with the city on July 1. Foxx, who was hailed as the city’s most LGBT-friendly mayor, leaves Charlotte with a list of LGBT history firsts. There also remain several initiatives yet to be accomplished. Foxx has for several months also declined to take a public position on marrige equality or the recent Supreme Court cases on marriage.


— Matt Comer

Share your news with us
Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

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