Republican City Councilman Philip Isley (top right) spoke out against a supposed private male sex club. Surprise, surprise: Anti-gay connections abound.

Republican City Councilman Philip Isley (top right) spoke out against a supposed private male sex club. Surprise, surprise: Anti-gay connections abound.

Concerns over non-profit management and regulation in North Carolina are being raised after a supposed “sex club” for men registered as a non-profit. The North Carolina Secretary of State has jumped into the fray.

Secretary Elaine Marshall says the state has no power to regulate non-profits, unless they receive state grants or other monies, and that non-profits like schools and churches are exempt from filing reports with the State Department.

Marshall told local news station WRAL that the group “did what is required by law — organizers filled out the paperwork and sent it in.”

“We at the Secretary of State’s Office register, we don’t regulate,” Marshall told the news station. “If somebody’s intent is to scam, the only thing this does is, maybe, give them a nice name they can select.”

The Secretary said “that eventually civil and criminal law would have caught up with the club anyway,” according to WRAL.

The group under scrutiny, the “Marketing and Networking Fellowship Group,” managed to “fly under the radar” long enough to almost open shop this October.

Continue reading this post…

4

Racist graffiti at NC State University

NC State will never live down its horrible reputation as the most backward, most hate-filled college campus in North Carolina. If they were located in South Carolina, their only competitor might be Bob Jones University.

In case you haven’t heard about it yet, four NC State students have admitted to painting violent, threatening and racist graffiti directed toward President-elect Barack Obama in the campus’ Free Expression Tunnel. Some of the spray-painted messages included “Shoot Obama” and “kill that n—-“, among others.

A rally of 500 students spoke out against the painting, which occurred late Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning. Other students quickly painted over the wall.

Criminal charges won’t be brought against the four students and campus police aren’t divulging their identities, citing privacy laws. The students might face disciplinary proceedings under university student conduct codes. The U.S. Secret Service assisted in the investigation due to the violent and threatening nature of the messages.

Update — Video here.

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Montel & Trans issues; Duke father appears

ANNOUNCEMENT: Join Matt, InterstateQ.com readers and other community members for a community discussion, forum and general time of learning on trans issues at Tate Street Coffeehouse in Greensboro, NC, 6:00pm, September 16, 2007. More info here.

Lee Chauncey, the Duke University father who caused quite a bit of a stir in the transgender community after he voiced concerns about the housing arrangements of a transgender student in the dorm of his daughter, appeared on the Montel Williams show yesterday in New York City.

Lee has commented much here at InterstateQ.com and clarified his concerns, offering what I think are some valid points of view. Not everyone agrees with him but he far from being the so-called bigot that many have painted him out to be.

I’m sure the Montel show will give us some great insights to the issue.

Lee tells us in a comment on the past Duke-trans issue post:

I just returned from New York. I was a guest on the Montel Williams show. Montel did a very good job of exploring this very issue. The show title is “TRANSGENDERED – TRAPPED IN THE WRONG BODY.” It explored some of the challenges faced by transgendered people. Montel was very sympathetic and pretty thorough.

I know some are going to criticize me for the appearance, even before the show airs. I encourage everyone who visits this site to watch the show. I went on the show with the experience of the beating I have taken on various websites and in the media. I was certain I was brought in to be the boogeyman. Many people told me that I would be subjected to attack. I thought it was an important topic and that I should appear. I put aside personal considerations and went. There was actually no hostility on the program for anyone there, including me. It was a calm discussion, devoid of the shrill name-calling, which is ubiquitous on the internet. I believe the show will provide a small advance in understanding for this very complicated issue. The air date has not been announced. I will post again when I know the air date.

I talked to Lee on the phone today. He is a nice guy and I’m glad he got the opportunity to discuss his concerns on Montel. I’ll be sure to post again when I hear of the air date.

Also, Lee and I – and possibly a few other folks – are goign to meet up for dinner sometime in October. I’m sure it will be a wonderful evening of civil and intelligent discussion and some friend and ally making.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Join Matt, InterstateQ.com readers and other community members for a community discussion, forum and general time of learning on trans issues at Tate Street Coffeehouse in Greensboro, NC, 6:00pm, September 16, 2007. More info here.

Last fall students at NC State University became embroiled in a bitter dispute and campus debate over a proposal to create a center for LGBT students.

In numerous posts I profiled the anti-gay statements, some of them quite extreme in their verbally and physically violent nature, from a Facebook.com group named “Students against NCSU LGBT Center.”

Now, almost a year later, the debate rolls on.

In the August 29, 2007 issue of The Technician at least two columns appeared opposing the creation of the LGBT Center, as a news article confirmed that the center would, indeed, become a reality.

The first column was from the former Student Senate President Forrest Hinton (pictured right), and he certainly hasn’t departed from hiding behind the faux issue of money.

In a past post I discussed Mr. Hinton and his little antics on the campus:

Hinton says that the “silent majority” at NC State is saying “No” to the LGBT Center. He also says that for some, the issue isn’t about whether homosexuality is right or wrong. That is true, but it is also true that the opposition to this proposed center by a great many (most likely a majority of his “silent majority”) is informed by these student’s life in a society which has continually proven to be hostile and unequal for LGBT people.

These students are trying to convince everyone that their opposition is just about money. They are trying to say that student fees shouldn’t be used if everyone won’t benefit from the Center. They go on and on about not wanting increases in students fees.

They can hide behind money all they want, but the fact that this issue has sparked such a public and widespread outrage on campus and that so many students are out there using their anti-gay, hateful and certainly not Christ-like religious ideologies to oppose the Center proves their true feelings. The fact that the majority of the discussion on the “Students Against NCSU LGBT Center” Facebook group includes horrible, almost unspeakable and sometimes violent anti-gay bigotry, hate and prejudice is proof enough to show what the true feelings are for these students and what is backing up their supposed devotion to “protecting” student fees.

In the second column, the leader of the radical right Christian group on campus, “Life Changers,” says that homosexuality is morally wrong and that is why the LGBT Student Center shouldn’t be created:

Every student has their own opinion on the idea of constructing an LBGT center here on campus, including the students of Life Changers and other Christian organizations on campus. I do not speak for all members of Life Changers or all Christians on campus when I say that based on Christian principles, it is morally wrong to construct a center for bisexuals, gays, lesbians and transsexuals on campus.

As a Christian, I have certain beliefs, where homosexuality is concerned, that cause me to resist anything that condones it. The Bible tells us not to even touch the unclean thing (2 Corinthians 6:17), let alone support the glorification of it. The unclean thing in this sense is the spirit of homosexuality. In my opinion, homosexuality is a spirit. God does detest the spirit of homosexuality, but not the man with the spirit. I want to make that clear. God loves us all equally, but there are facets of our lifestyles that he simply does not like. One of those is homosexuality.

The construction of an LBGT center blatantly contradicts the desires of the God I serve. I can not stand in agreement for something that glorifies the very thing God objects. I do believe that gays and lesbians are entitled to the same student experience as everyone else, but I do not support the center, itself. The Bible says that we have and should have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:15, Philippians 2:5). To me this means that not only should we think like Christ, but that we should live like Christ. Would Jesus approve of an LBGT center? I seriously doubt it.

To think… these are our future leaders for this great State of North Carolina and this nation?

I seriously hope I never have to work with them. How do you work with someone who thinks you are nothing more than a second-class pervert?

In December 2006, the NC State Student Government held a student forum on the issue. The forum was packed and there was definitely lot of back and forth. One student even stood up and began reading from the Bible. Click here to see that post and hear the complete audio from the meeting.

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Join Matt, InterstateQ.com readers and other community members for a community discussion, forum and general time of learning on trans issues at Tate Street Coffeehouse in Greensboro, NC, 6:00pm, September 16, 2007. More info here.

According to ABC 11 (Raleigh-Durham, NC), Duke University has moved a male-to-female, pre-operation transgender student out of a dormitory for women after “outraged” parents contacted school officials:

Some students at Duke University and their parents say they were shocked by a decision to let a male student who plans to become a woman live in female dorm.

The University changed its plans, but not before one outraged parent in Fayetteville talked exclusively with Eyewitness News reporter Gilbert Baez.

Lee Chauncey lives in Fayetteville, but his daughter is a senior at Duke University in Durham. He was shocked last week after moving her into Craven Hall B to find out what he calls disturbing news.

[…]

Students were told a male student, who was going to have sexual reassignment surgery in coming months would be living as a female in the dorm. Chauncey immediately called Duke leaders. “I told him that if I was coming across as concerned I wasn’t communicating properly… I was outraged,” the concerned father said.

Chauncey says he doesn’t have a problem with transgenders. He just doesn’t think it’s appropriate for an individual who right now is still a man  to live in a dorm like a woman. “And would be using the facilities for the women,” Chauncey questioned. “Shower and bathroom facilities and the individual would have a key.”

“No problem with transgenders” ? Huh. I’m sorry, but “no problem” means “no problem” and if he had “no problem” then he wouldn’t have seen the student living in the dorm as a “problem.”

I’d love to get the parents’ opinion on the situation after the student has had her operation. I can guarantee you that many of the parents will feel the same way as they do now.

Although… If Duke had gender-blind housing options, this never would have been a problem for other students, parents or the transgender student.

UPDATE, 8/31/2007 12:10am EST USA: Lee Chauncey, the parent quoted by the news source above, commented here on this post clarifying his words and explaining his position. I thank him for it. Check out what he has to say… it is good.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Join Matt, InterstateQ.com readers and other community members for a community discussion, forum and general time of learning on trans issues at Tate Street Coffeehouse in Greensboro, NC, 6:00pm, September 16, 2007. More info here.

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For two years, Sam Morris has diligently served the LGBT and straight allied student population at North Carolina State University. Through thick and thin, he has been there. As the Graduate Advisor for LGBT Programs, Morris has seen his share of controversy.

In Fall 2006, when the campus was abuzz with controversy over a proposed LGBT Student Center, Morris took the brunt of the hate. Even through it all, he stuck it out.

Morris is stepping down now, although he isn’t leaving NC State. He’ll be moving to work in another department.

“Thank you for a great two years,” Morris said, “I look forward to seeing how the LGBT Center grows over the next few years under new leadership.”

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5

Gay evangelical Christians in NC

The New York Times has a wonderful little piece today, “Gay and Evangelical, Seeking Paths of Acceptance.”

The article profiles numerous gay evangelical Christians, many of which are from North Carolina or living in North Carolina now; the profile of Raleigh native Justin Lee, founder of GayChristian.net, is the focus of the article.

Here are the snippets:

Justin Lee believes that the Virgin birth was real, that there is a heaven and a hell, that salvation comes through Christ alone and that he, the 29-year-old son of Southern Baptists, is an evangelical Christian.

Just as he is certain about the tenets of his faith, Mr. Lee also knows he is gay, that he did not choose it and cannot change it.

To many people, Mr. Lee is a walking contradiction, and most evangelicals and gay people alike consider Christians like him horribly deluded about their faith. “I’ve gotten hate mail from both sides,” said Mr. Lee, who runs gaychristian.net, a Web site with 4,700 registered users that mostly attracts gay evangelicals.

“A lot of people are freaked out because their only exposure to evangelicalism was a bad one, and a lot ask, ‘Why would you want to be part of a group that doesn’t like you very much?’ ” Mr. Lee said. “But it’s not about membership in groups. It’s about what I believe. Just because some people who believe the same things I do aren’t very loving doesn’t mean I stop believing what I do.”

For some gay evangelicals, their faith in God helped them override the biblical restrictions people preached to them. One lesbian who attends Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh said she grew up in a devout Southern Baptist family and still has what she calls the “faith of a child.” When she figured out at 13 that she was gay, she believed there must have been something wrong with the Bible for condemning her.

“I always knew my own heart: that I loved the Lord, I loved Jesus, loved the church and felt the Spirit move through me when we sang,” said the woman, who declined to be identified to protect her partner’s privacy. “I felt that if God created me, how is that wrong?”

Mr. Lee said he and his family, who live in Raleigh, have been through almost all of it. His faith was central to his life from an early age, he said. He got the nickname Godboy in high school. But because of his attraction to other boys, he wept at night and begged God to change him. He was certain God would, but when that did not happen, he said, it called everything into question.

He knew no one who was gay who could help, and he could not turn to his church. So for a year, Mr. Lee went to the library almost every day with a notebook and the bright blue leather-bound Bible his parents had given him. He set up his Web site to tell his friends what he was learning through his readings, but e-mail rolled in from strangers, because, he says, other gay evangelicals came to understand they were not alone.

“I told them I don’t have the answers,” Mr. Lee said, “but we can pray together and see where God takes us.”

But even when they accept themselves, gay evangelicals often have difficulty finding a community. They are too Christian for many gay people, with the evangelical rock they listen to and their talk of loving God. Mr. Lee plans to remain sexually abstinent until he is in a long-term, religiously blessed relationship, which would make him a curiosity in straight and gay circles alike.

Clyde Zuber, 49, and Martin Fowler, 55, remember sitting on the curb outside Lakeview Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, Tex., almost 20 years ago, Sunday after Sunday, reading the Bible together, after the pastor told them they were not welcome inside. The men met at a Dallas church and have been together 23 years. In Durham, N.C., they attend an Episcopal church and hold a Bible study for gay evangelicals every Friday night at their home.

“Our faith is the basis of our lives,” said Mr. Fowler, a soft-spoken professor of philosophy. “It means that Jesus is the Lord of our household, that we resolve differences peacefully and through love.”

Their lives seem a testament to all that is changing and all that holds fast among evangelicals. Their parents came to their commitment ceremony 20 years ago, their decision ultimately an act of loyalty to their sons, Mr. Zuber said.

But Mr. Zuber’s sister and brother-in-law in Virginia remain convinced that the couple is sinning. “They’re worried we’re going to hell,” Mr. Zuber said. “They say, ‘We love you, but we’re concerned.’ ”

Read the full article.

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0

Pam creates a new ‘Blend’

Pam Spaulding, a good blogging buddy of mine here in North Carolina, has launched her “Blend 2.0”

Pam’s blog, Pam’s House Blend, has become a very popular and nationally well-respected LGBT and progressive blog. In 2005, she won the Weblog Award for Best LGBT Blog. She has been nominated again this year for the same award. I’ve also been nominated, and I’ll be encouraging my readers to vote for me, of course, but I’ll also wish Pam the best of luck in coming back as the “defending challenger” lol.

Make sure that you update all your links to her blog to http://www.pamshouseblend.com.

The older version will still be up at http://www.pamspaulding.com/weblog/ for access to her older articles.

6

Vernon Robinson is a man of moral values

If that isn’t the biggest line of B.S. I’ve ever heard I don’t know what is.

To me, honesty seems to be one of those “moral values” the far-right Republicans like Vernon Robinson always want to blabber about. I find it extremely hilarious that Mr. Moral Values of North Carolina is now forgetting completely about honesty and truth.

Robinson’s latest ad claims that Congressman Brad Miller voted to “pay for sex” but not to provide money for military body armor. FactCheck.org sets the record straight (no pun intended, lol):

Robinson’s ad asks, “What kind of Congressman would try to deny our soldiers the body armor they need to save their lives?” and then goes on to say Miller “did not vote for the appropriations to pay for improved body armor”

It’s true that Miller missed the October 2003 vote on an $87-billion supplemental appropriations measure for Iraq and Afghanistan that included $300 million for body armor. The ad fails to mention that Miller was on his way to Iraq at the time to visit the troops personally. More to the point, however, is that it is simply false to claim that Miller tried to “deny” body armor to anybody. As we said before, by the time of this vote the Pentagon was buying every piece of modern body armor that suppliers could produce using existing funds.

All I want to know is why Vernon Robinson is straight-up lying to the people he seems to want to represent in Congress. This just doesn’t seem like a good way of going about getting people on your side. Everyone already thinks politicians are nothing but a pack of liars and cheats and Robinson is just proving that point to folks.

As much as he might go around saying how important “moral values” are to him, the fact is that Vernon Robinson could care less about any type of values whatsoever, especially honesty. I’d dare to say that Robinson doesn’t know jack about “values.” All he is interested in is the spotlight. All he is interested in is himself. Does he care about you or me or any other North Carolinian? Absolutely Not.

Vernon Robinson is evil incarnate… for real. Don’t let him fool you with his jibe about “moral values;” he’s already proven he is a liar… Liars aren’t “moral” and liars don’t deserve any votes or support from the people.

If North Carolinians really are fed up with dishonesty and corruption in government, then they had better pay close attention to Vernon Robinson and make sure he gets this message this time around: We don’t want you, We don’t need you, Go back to where ever it is you came from and take your lying, dishonesty and sex-obsessed mind back with you.

You think he’d get the message by now… How many campaigns has he run and lost? Man… he’s starting to look like Ada Fischer, the always-running, always-losing non-candidate. Like Fisher, Robinson needs to awake to the truth: No, you will not win next year. No one wants you. Go away!

Robinson claims Miller is “out of touch” and that he will soon “be out of Congress.” The only person “out of touch” is Robinson. Hello! Dumbass! Who is the one isn’t even in office and can’t get elected?! Seems like Robinson is the one who is “out of touch” and “out of office.”

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2

NC Pride Festival Schedule Sept. 29 – Oct. 1

Schedule of Events for the NC Pride Festival:

Sources www.ncpride.org & Q-Notes

Friday, September 29

  • The Big Top Kick-Off Party – Magnus Events and Centaur present DJ Rob Harris in an event of gigantic proportions. An official release part for DJ Rob Harris’s new CD “Soakin Wet.” Three additional DJs spin in the three-ring Big Top 10 p.m.–3 a.m. Fowlers, 112 South Duke St., Durham
  • Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus Time and location to be announced
  • Pride in Women Acoustic Showcase Featuring Wilmington’s Arnette Warner and upcoming female artists. Time and location to be announced
  • Lights, Camera, Action — Part I Featuring DJ Sedrick, G-Spot at George’s Garage, Ninth St., Durham 9-10 p.m. Open Mike performances 10 p.m. onward — “Black Out Party” and Pride Drag Show — Everyone wear black
  • St. John’s MCC Gospel Drag Show Capital Corral, Hargett St., Raleigh Time to be announced
  • Durham Pride Crawl Featuring the Pride-tini Fest at Grasshopper Restaurant 2002 Hillsborough Rd., Durham
  • Super Video Showtune Night At Flex, 2 S. West St., Raleigh Featuring singer/songwriter Barry Brandon, previewing his “Mustical Theatre” album for the NC Pride weekend
  • Pride Drag Show Featuring Huston’s Lawanda Jackson At Legends Nightclub, Hargett St., Raleigh

Saturday, September 30

  • NC PrideFest — Parade, Speakers, Entertainment, Vendor Fair, 12 noon – 5 p.m. Duke University, East Campus, Campus Dr., Durham
    • Opening Anthem: 12 noon
    • 22nd Annual NC LGBT Pride Parade: 1-2 p.m.
    • PrideFest Keynote Speakers
      • Sherri Zann Rosenthal, Assistant City Attorney, City of Durham
      • Bruce Wyatt, Former Sergeant, U.S. Air Force
        • U.S. military serviceman with 20 years of service speaks on his discharge from the service under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy
  • PrideFest Entertainment
    • The Common Women’s Chorus, an annual favorite
    • MOSADI, the underground Black Queer Band

NightFest Events — Durham and Raleigh

  • Lights, Camera, Action – Part II Rainbow Unity Party, Featuring DJ Sedrick and DJ Ladie Fingaz, G-Spot at George’s Garage, Ninth St., Durham, 9 p.m. onward, “Black Out Party” and Pride drag show
  • Embrace Parties
    • DJ Brian at The Capital Corral
    • DJ Chris Cox at Legends
    • Adult Film Star Duke Rivers at Flex

Sunday, October 1

  • PrideFest Brunch: 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Brownstone Hotel, 1707 Hillsborough St., Raleigh
  • Pride Service: 10 a.m.–12 noon, Annual Pride Pig Pickin’, St. John’s MCC Church, 805 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh
  • “Vacationland” A film by Todd Verow, 5 p.m., Rialto Theater, 1620 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh
  • AfterPride Hangouts
    • Café Diade Coffeehouse, 1215 A East Franklin St., Chapel Hill
    • Mad Hatters Bakery, 1802 W. Main St., Durham
    • Third Place Coffee, 1811 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC

TRIAD AREA GROUPS MARCHING IN THE PARADE (list will be updated as I find more groups which are marching!):

  • UNCG PRIDE!
  • PFLAG Winston-Salem
  • Guilford College Pride
  • [Maybe] Salem College Open Up
  • [Maybe] NC School of the Arts Pride
  • If you are a part of a Triad area group and your group will be marching in the parade, make a comment on the post and I will add your group to this list!