The Charlotte Rainbow Action Network for Equality (CRANE) is back.
Despite radical attempts to ignore our existence, now is the time for LGBTQI people to stand up.
On Thursday, May 17 2012 — a little over one week after our community’s historic loss on May 8 — CRANE stepped up to provide a visible presence of our community’s sadness, anger and frustration. We turned our feelings of loss into a time to act. As night turned to day, thousands of people driving into Uptown Charlotte on Independence Blvd. saw our message for equality.
We are re-energizing, re-mobilizing and re-engaging to bring voice in solidarity and action in pride to create full civil and social equality for Charlotte’s and North Carolina’s LGBTQI community.
Charlotte has long lacked a strong, well-organized and well-connected grassroots activism community that engages in direct action and protest. In the past, CRANE has helped to fill that void, but we’ve left that gap unbridged for far too long.
If May 8 and the passage of Amendment One has taught us anything, it’s that we can never keep silent, we can never sit down and we can never shut up. Amendment One is not the end of this fight. LGBTQI people can be fired, kicked out of their homes, denied public services and discriminated against in public accommodations.
Our collective muscle — the feet on the streets, the voices in the town square, the lobbying in city hall — can make a difference. As Charlotte’s local political advocacy group, MeckPAC, recently said, “We’ve lost one battle, but we’re not losing any more.”
Together with the work of other community organizations, CRANE will step up and bring loud and consistent LGBTQI voices for equality back to Charlotte’s streets and neighborhoods.
As we move forward, we welcome your ideas, suggestions and input. We want you to be involved in our planning and decision making. We want to see and feel your presence.
Stay tuned for more updates by subscribing to our announcements-only Google Group via the subscription box to the right or click here to join the Google Group. If you’re interested in becoming a part of our planning team, contact us and we’ll fill you in on the details of our future planning meetings.
Advisory 5.17.2012: Charlotte LGBTQI activists to install morning rush hour protest art, speak out against Amendment One
Activists with the Charlotte Rainbow Action Network for Equality (CRANE, www.rainbowaction.org) are re-mobilizing after the May 8, 2012, vote to approve a discriminatory constitutional amendment.
On Thursday morning before rush hour, activists will install protest art speaking out against Amendment One. The art will be visible to motorists from the inbound lanes of one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares. As the morning commute picks up at 7 a.m., the activists will be present the Hawthorne Ln. bridge over Independence Blvd. where they will stand the overpass’ sidewalk with a banner reading “EQUALITY WILL PREVAIL!”
The May 17 action is the first of several small- and large-scale direct actions and other initiatives meant to raise awareness and agitate toward positive, LGBTQI-inclusive change in Charlotte and North Carolina.
Citizens are encouraged to join CRANE at 7 a.m. at the Hawthorne Ln. bridge and bring American flags, North Carolina flags and rainbow flags.
WHAT: Protest Art & Banner
WHEN: Thursday, May 17, 2012, activists present with banner at 7 a.m.
WHERE: Hawthorne Ln. bridge over Independence Blvd., Charlotte, NC
WHO: Organizers with Charlotte Rainbow Action Network for Equality (CRANE)
ABOUT CRANE: CRANE is an informal network and coalition of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) activists and community members in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. The group’s past actions since 2008 include several protests, rallies and forums, and its signature actions on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010 in which the activists collected and delivered five complete sets of 13,500 plastic toy soldiers – each representing one service member dismissed under the anti-gay policy – to U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan and U.S. Reps. Sue Myrick, Mike McIntyre and Larry Kissell. Learn more about the group at rainbowaction.org.
I think I never really thought I’d get married till today. Not legally; not without flying off to Iowa or Massachusetts or Canada and accepting that only a few family members could be with me. Not without knowing that in the eyes of my state, my city, my country, and a goodly lot of my fellow citizens, my marriage wouldn’t be real.
I lived in D.C. till two years ago, when I came back home to Charlotte, and it’s kinda still my town. The photos of giddy soon-marrieds on the steps of the courthouse reminds me of that one Saturday I got lost downtown looking for lunch, and my friend and I ended up wandering all the way from the Mall to Chinatown, talking much faster than we walked. The Superior Court is near the Judiciary Square Metro station, which I’d only pass through on the way to Metro Station to “go Amtrak!” Those courthouse steps aren’t exactly the sort of courthouse steps you’d remember, I don’t think I even have a specific memory of them, but the photos sparked a pang of homesickness.
Like this amazingly cute couple:
D.C. isn’t home to me anymore, despite now being home to marriage equality. Home is where the heart is, and Charlotte’s where I get to be with my family, my Valentine, and of course my pink & sparkly activist friends. Some day we won’t have to line up at the Government Center to protest Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, or march there to stake our claim to marriage equality. We’ll be lined all the way up 4th Street waiting to confidently request what’s rightfully ours. We’ll be equal.
While I’m at it, I have to plug the New York Times’ Bay Area blog and its incredible, on-the-ground coverage of the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, which if you don’t know is going to blow the lid off this whole “traditional marriage” mumbo-jumbo. Honestly, I think it already did, simply by exposing that the h8ters have no rational basis whatsoever for preventing fabulous gay folks from getting married. Closing arguments haven’t been scheduled, so we don’t know when the ruling will come. Check out the Bay Area blog’s excellent summary on the possible outcomes of the case, and if you haven’t kept up on it, take some time to read their absorbing day-by-day breakdowns:
- Same-Sex Marriage Case, Day 1 (regular NYTimes article)
- Same-Sex Marriage Case, Day 2: History Lessons
- Same-Sex Marriage Case, Day 3: The Defense Pushes Back
- Same-Sex Marriage Case, Day 4: Economics
- Same-Sex Marriage Case, Day 5: Children
- Same-Sex Marriage Case, Day 6: Civil Unions
- Same-Sex Marriage Case, Day 7: Choice
- Same-Sex Marriage Case, Day 8: Power and Prejudice
- Same-Sex Marriage Case, Day 9: Research
- Same-Sex Marriage Case, Day 10: Domino Effect
- Same-Sex Marriage Case, Day 11: Churches
- Same-Sex Marriage Case, Day 12: The End (for Now)
- Same-Sex Marriage Case: The Post-Mortem
- and … Same-Sex Marriage Case: The Movie