Advocacy day slated

RALEIGH, N.C. — Equality North Carolina (ENC) has announced that its Day of Advocacy will be held on May 17 at the North Carolina History Museum, 5 E. Edenton St.

Issues surrounding legislative attempts that attack LGBT rights are at the top of the list of items that will be addressed.

Registered participants will undergo training on critical issues and best tactics for crucial conversations with legislative representatives and senators who write laws that impact LGBT citizens every day.

For those with financial needs, the Connie Spry Fund can provide assistance in covering transportation and lodging requirements.

More information and registration are available online.


ACLU seeks board members

RALEIGH, N.C. — The American Civil Liberties Union-North Carolina (ACLU-NC) is currently seeking board members from its membership.

The non-profit is governed by an all-volunteer board representing individuals from across the state. Members in good standing can be petitioned by 25 or more members or can be nominated to serve.

For those who are not currently a member of the organization, but would like to serve, an online application is available at to become a “card-carrying” member.

In other news, ACLU-NC has announced the remainder of its annual award recipients (see for initial notice).

The Paul Green Award goes to Darryl Hunt. Hunt spent 19 years in prison and was almost sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. The injustice was righted and he was exonerated in 2004, 10 years after DNA results proved his innocence. Hunt has subsequently gone on to champion and advocate for criminal justice reform. He founded the Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice in 2005. On March 13, Hunt was found dead in his auto in Winston-Salem, N.C. The organization will honor Hunts’s legacy and present his award posthumously.

The ACLU-NC Award honors the plaintiffs in Stuart et. al. v Camnitz, a group of abortion providers volunteered to serve as plaintiffs in the suit. In 2015, several intrusive assaults on reproductive freedom were defeated due to the efforts of the volunteers and others. The suit was based upon a law that dictated that abortion providers show those who were seeking their services to show expectant mothers ultrasounds with commentary of the images before the procedure, regardless of the circumstances. The suit went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where the court declined to hear the case, thus blocking the law from going into effect.

Bob Hall, a longtime champion of voting rights and expanded voter participation in North Carolina is the recipient of the Frank Porter Graham Award. His advocacy led to a key role in bringing same-day registration to the state, as well as working against voter suppression laws.

Awardees will be presented with their honors at the 2016 Liberty Awards Dinner on April 2, 5 p.m., at the William and Ida Friday Center, 100 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill, N.C. Tickets are available online.


‘RuPaul’ season battle on tour

CHARLOTTE/DURHAM, N.C./COLUMBIA, S.C. — “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Battle of the Seasons: 2016 Extravaganza Tour will hit the Carolinas this spring during its 60-date, world-wide travels.

Now in its third year, the rolling competition will be hosted by series judge Michelle Visage. It includes a cast of past winners, finalists and fan favorites for each of “RuPaul’s” seasons such as Adore Delano, Alaska Thunderfuck, BenDeLaCreme, Courtney Act, Ginger Minj, Ivy Winters, Jinkx Monsoon, Katya, Manila Luzon, Miss Fame, Pandora Boxx, Phi Phi O’hara, Sharon Needles, Violet Chachki and Willam to name a few. (Lineup varies by city and is subject to change.) In addition, select cities will feature an opening DJ set by Pearl.

Venues for the Carolinas stops are: May 17, 9 p.m., The Music Farm, 1022 Senate St., Columbia, S.C., two VIP package pre-show meet and greet options at 6:30 p.m., tickets $37.50-$299; May 18, 9 p.m., Amos’ Southend, 1423 S Tryon St., Charlotte, N.C., two VIP package pre-show meet and greet options at 6:30 p.m., tickets $37.50-$299; and May 22, 8 p.m., Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian St., Durham, N.C., two VIP package pre-show meet and greet options at 5:30 p.m., tickets $37.50-$299.


HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. — The Family Equality Council will hold its “Family Weekend in the South” from June 17-19 at Kanuga Conference Center, 130 Kanuga Chapel Dr.

During the annual outdoor experience, LGBT parents, their children, extended families and prospective families and friends in the South enjoy fresh air and a myriad of activities. There will be programming for all ages.

The council uses this weekend to build community among represented families so that they can learn about “issues facing our families today,” organizers said.

Kickoff will include a bonfire, followed by a day chocked full of programming and a dance party and a farewell lunch.

Currently, the event has been sold out, but a waiting list is available online for those who wish to be considered in the event of cancellations at

Ads and sponsorships are being sought and requests must be received by May 18. Forms are available online at

Ad costs range from $100-$300. Electronic artwork files should be in .PDF, .JPG or .TIF formats at a resolution of 600 dpi in grayscale, except for cover in CMYK. No bleeds accepted. Send files to

Sponsorships are available from $500 to $5,000.


HUD queries bi community

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is asking bisexual individuals if they have been able to take advantage of the Equal Access Rule that was passed in 2011.

For those who have not, it is an indicator that the agency needs to provide more community education.

The Equal Access Rule prohibits discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived marital status, gender identity and sexual orientation in HUD programs. HUD programs include mortgages insured by the Fair Housing Administration, as well as HUD-funded housing [like Section 8] and HUD-funded homeless and domestic and intimate partner violence shelters.

More information is available at local HUD offices or HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity by calling 800-669-9777 or 800-927-9375 (TTY) and online.


Have news or other information? Send your press releases and updates for inclusion in our News Notes:

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.

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.