Org shares victory

GREENVILLE, S.C. — SC Equality and Lambda Legal have announced that a U.S. District Court ruled on Feb. 15 that the state violated the Constitution by denying accurate birth certificates for children of married same-sex couples.

The ruling is a victory for Lambda Legal and SC Equality clients Casy and Jacqueline Carson, a married lesbian couple, and their twins, who were issued birth certificates listing only Jacquie, and treating Casy like a legal stranger to her own children, the organizations shared.

Reps. Todd Rutherford, James Smith and Gilda Cobb-Hunter co-sponsored the Uniform Antidiscrimination Act.

In other news, SC Equality applauded State House of Representatives members Todd Rutherford (Richland), Gilda Cobb-Hunter (Orangeburg) and James Smith (Richland) who co-sponsored and filed the Uniform Antidiscrimination Act in South Carolina on Feb. 15.

If passed, the bill would make it illegal to discriminate against individuals based on gender identity or sexual orientation for the following reasons: employment law; real estate and rental law; home health agencies law; and public accommodation law involving the enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations of any place of public accommodation.

One more piece of news for South Carolina is that its legislative body has its first openly gay lawmaker, Jason Elliot, a Republican representing the 22nd District who defeated four-term incumbent and Bob Jones University graduate Wendy Nanny, Pink News reported.

Elliot is 46 and a former attorney. He is a pro-life advocate and is in favor of protecting religious freedom.


Upstate Pride holds pageant

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Upstate Pride SC’s annual drag pageant, “Cirque de la Reine,” will be held on Feb. 24, at Club South 29, 9112 Warren H. Abernathy Hwy.

Male and female impersonators will perform for a crown, a sash and a cash prize. The winning king and queen will represent Upstate Pride SC at various events throughout 2017.

“The pageant is such a fun event, both for us to organize and for the public to attend,” said Isaac Mintz, interim president of Upstate Pride SC. “What the contestants offer is a gender illusion. It’s as much of an art form as it is entertainment, with costumes, dancing, lip syncing and a lot more.”

Contestants will be judged in three categories, Talent, Evening Wear and On-stage Question, intended to challenge the contestants and to gauge their ability to represent the LGBTQ community. Each individual is encouraged to bring royal glitz and glamour to the stage.

During the Talent portion, audience members will be able to vote for their favorite contestant by donating cash in lieu of tipping the performer. The contestant with the most donations will be awarded the title of People’s Choice. All monies raised will go to Upstate Pride SC.

New to this year’s pageant is the awarding of the Hot & Fresh to one contender, a king or queen, who is new to the art of drag, has never participated in a drag pageant or has never won a drag pageant.

Those who wish to compete must be 18, pay a $60 registration fee at the door. Registration is from 9-9:30 p.m., with order draw at 9:45 p.m.

Patti O’Furniture will serve as the emcee for the evening.

Admission is $3 for club members and $5 for guests.


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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

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.