Coalition pushes for LGBT rights

ASHEVILLE — People of Faith for Just Relationships is leading the charge to get the city to be more proactive with regard to LGBT equality. They have released the following list as objectives they feel should be met to combat discrimination in resolution, said the Asheville Citizen Times:

• They are asking fo inclusion in the city’s employment policy for sexual orientation, gender and gender identity or expression.

• They want to enact an anti-bullying ordinance for all city institutions and grounds.

• They want the creation of a Domestic Partner Registry to recognize same-sex relationships for the purposes of providing documentation and offering a mechanism through which hospitals, businesses, and other entities will have the opportunity to recognize these relationships.

• They want endorsement and support of the rights of same-sex couples to share fully and equally in the familial rights and responsibilities of civil marriage.

The Citizen Times reported, “The organization wants ‘to stimulate Asheville and City Council to take a leadership role in a statewide effort to recognize the need for equal civil rights, employment rights, family rights and protection from bullying for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens,’ spokesman Rev. Joe Hoffman said.”

They felt that the city council failed to push forward for its LGBT citizens, saying that the law passed legalizing domestic partnerships did not go far enough. Asheville has more than 600 same-sex couples and 12 percent of its population is comprised of LGBT people, the clergy said.

The organization is comprised of more than 25 local faith leaders from a “variety of traditions.” They hope to get the resolution on the agenda in February.

A petition drive is be held online to help champion the cause. It has the full text of the resolution. Visit to add your voice and opinion.

Opinions sought

BOONE — The Board of High Country Pride is conducting a survey and needs your help.

They are reviewing its mission and planning for its upcoming celebration and the information that is shared will enable its board and volunteers to better serve the community.

Co-president Mike Howell says that they are looking for people who would be willing to be a volunteer or be a future board member.

The survey is due by Feb. 18.

To complete the Interest Survey, visit

For those who wish to share their time as a volunteer, visit

B-I-N-G-O time

HICKORY — ALFA will host Woodstock BINGO on March 12 at the Jaycee Development Center, 470 Hwy. 70 W., at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Be part of this flower power, bell-bottom wearing event while helping to raise funds for the Catawba area HIV/AIDS awareness organization.

On hand will be the Not Your Mama’s Bingo star and host, Queenie Gabor, as well as the Bingo Verifying Divas (BVDs).

Participants are encouraged to dress up to match the theme.

Tickets are $20 and include admission, game sheets and daubers. A special 50/50 game sheet is an additional $5 and is the only game played for money; all other game winners will receive prizes.

To purchase a spot at this fun-filled event, drop by ALFA’s offices at 1120 Fairgrove Church Rd., or call 828-322-1447 Ext 222; or visit Taste Full Beans, 29 2nd St. N.W.

For more information, visit or

In other news, ALFA is hitting the dusty trail on April 16 for its Hike for Hope 2011. Participants will stroll along the Catawba River Greenway, Catawba Meadows Park, 701 Sanford Dr., Morganton, N.C. Want to go? Visit to learn more. Awards for team creativity, fundraising and individual fundraising will be given away.

Want to volunteer? Then attend a volunteer orientation on Feb. 17 at the ALFA office from 6-8 p.m. Light dinner and refreshments will be served. The orientation will be facilitated by Rodney Tucker, executive director; David Zealy, director of education and outreach; and Linda Sheehan, community outreach manager. ALFA is particularly in need of individuals with a medical or social science background for its advanced volunteer opportunity, HIV testing and counseling. This program is also great for interns working on a human services degree program. However, other volunteer tasks include, but are not limited to, transporting clients to medical appointments, presenting HIV/AIDS prevention information to the public and serving on committees. Contact Sheehan at 828-322-1447, ext. 231 or email to learn more.

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.