Proposals sought for workshops

RALEIGH, N.C. — Equality North Carolina Foundation will be hosting its 2015 AdvaNCe Equality Conference on March 1, 2015, and is seeking workshop proposals.

The day-long institute, to be held in Orange County, supports pro-equality activism.

To that end, organizers have shared themes that will meet their goals while addressing topics of importance, including transgender visibility, rights and justice; empowering youth activism; winning the freedom to work; cultivating lived equality; and leading a new era of pro-equality civic, electoral and business engagement.

Proposals are due by Feb. 1, 2015, by the end of day. Notifications will follow on Feb. 15, 2015.

The workshop application is available online.

info: 919-829-0343,

Center welcomes in the holidays

RALEIGH , N.C.— The LGBT Center of Raleigh, 234 S. Harrington St., will host a holiday open house on Dec. 25 at 12 p.m.

Attendees are encouraged to bring holiday treats and special food items.

Food items that do not need refrigeration can be dropped off starting Dec. 22 with a note taped to it that says, “do not open until Dec. 25” on it.


Fest seeks funds

RALEIGH, N.C. — Crape Myrtle Festival has created an innovative method to raising funds for its organization.

During the holiday season and beyond, shoppers can visit AmazonSmile and with each eligible AmazonSmile purchase, 0.5 percent of the price of each item will be contributed to CMF at no cost to the consumer.

Earmarking funds for CMF is simple.

Visit the site and designate the group to receive the proceeds. More information and signup is available online.


Org meeting announced

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Reconciling United Methodists will hold its quarterly meeting on Jan. 11, 7 p.m., at Amity United Methodist Church, 825 N. Estes Dr.

Some agenda items include coordinating plans for the upcoming annual conference in June and a review of “Loving My LGBT Neighbor: Being Friends in Grace and Truth,” a book by Glenn T. Stanton.

Auxiliary meetings are now being held in Wilmington, N.C., for those who are unable to attend the quarterly sessions. The board is seeking to form others in Fayetteville and Greenville.

The Methodist Federation for Social Action and Reconciling United Methodists North Carolina will host a joint worship service and luncheon at the conference on June 12 at the Front Street Brewery.

More information on the conference and associated activities will be available in the spring.


Wedding pros see marked increases

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Triangle Business Journal reported that there has been a increase in wedding professionals’ businesses since marriage equality came to North Carolina in October.

Planners have been busy coordinating nuptial ceremonies, but had also arranged unity ceremonies prior to the legislative change.

LGBT wedding expos are seeing increased interest across the nation and Carolina-based Rainbow Wedding Network is among them. The business began as a wedding registry, but grew since its inception in 1998 to include expos. Begun by Marianne Puechl and Cindy Sproul, it is among businesses who serve the LGBT community without prejudice nor the previous awkwardness prevalent in straight-owned businesses who were unfamiliar with couples’ targeted needs.

Two expos are slated for the Tar Heel State during the upcoming months. One will be held in Raleigh on Jan 18, 2015, at Solas, 419 Glenwood Ave., and another in Charlotte on Feb. 15, 2015, at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel, 555 S. McDowell St.

Photographers, officiants, florists, caterers and more are also among the growing list of businesses offering their services to the community. Purple Unions (gay and lesbian wedding directory) is one of them. Also, Equality North Carolina has a page devoted to Day One that outlines marriage equality resources.


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

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.