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Grassroots Get "Fertilized" on in North Carolina by Their Own

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Message James Nimmo

Activists willing to get arrested are criticized for ---

getting arrested!!

(OKLAHOMA CITY)  It's late spring in North Carolina and the grassroots activists are growing but apparently growing too fast for the A-list gay leaders who think they own the activist lawn.  Those vigorous roots just got a spray of weed killer.

Qnotes, a North Carolina GLBT news source for the Tar Heel state (, is reporting that a demonstration on the floor of the State House of Representatives on June 2 resulted in the arrest of three activists.  

To get arrested for civil disobedience takes some large cojones regardless of your gender and wouldn't you think that deserves to get some commendation from the people who stand to gain from the passage of legislation that would recognize our inherent citizenship as taxpayers regardless of sexual orientation and gender presentation?

Apparently that's too much growth for some openly gay leaders in North Carolina, the site of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.  Is their timorousness an attempt to apologize to the Democratic National Committee, hoping to curry favor with a national political party that has done little to act on our past loyalty and takes our votes and contributed dollars for granted?   Is there a fear that the grassroots gay/lesbian activists will stage a demonstration discomfiting to the insulated, isolated powers who want a picture-perfect lawn with no crabgrass, no dandelions, so it's best to spray a pre-emergent now rather than later? 

I don't live in North Carolina, but I have to ask just how much longer gay/lesbian people in any state are going to wait to defend their inherent citizenship from the encroachment, from the naked appropriation being forced on them by the religious right-wing, by the homo-haters, by the flat-earthers, even people ostensibly our friends, who deny the humanity of people who have done no harm to anyone, who are only demanding equal opportunity to the benefits for which they're paying taxes.

Those brave and forceful activists who marched on the floor of the North Carolina House of Representatives were criticized for demanding recognition of that birthright of citizenship. ( )

According to QNotes, Rep. Marcus Brandon (D-Guilford), the state's only openly gay lawmaker, criticized the demonstration on the House floor, "The rally is a great venue to do it," he said. "We had a press conference here [during the May 17 rally] and it was a much better way to talk about it, it was a much more powerful way to deal with it. Now that I know that was a gay group, I'm more disappointed."

Even Ian Palmquist, executive director of the statewide Equality North Carolina, was reduced to apprehension in describing the June 3 event,  "While we share the protesters' passion for equal rights, we cannot condone today's disruption of the House session," Palmquist wrote on Twitter account.

Jeez, with alleged gay leaders who will run interference for the homo haters, who needs enemies!  Have they been attending meetings with the Human Rights Campaign?  HRC has already endorsed Barack Obama for another term as president, not even waiting for the formality of being asked for the endorsement. ( )

Such an early endorsement signals the White House that no negotiation is needed to keep the flowers of the HRC in their neatly weeded garden.  There will be no onions in that petunia patch.

Jim Neal, one of those participating in the public demonstration and who was arrested, released a letter stating his concern that attempts by lawmakers to write discrimination into the state's constitution are a threat and intimidation toward GLBT citizens of North Carolina.

"I am no longer willing to passively bear witness to the ghettoization GLBT people, the poor, the middle class and the weak," he wrote. "No body and no individual has the rightful dominion to diminish the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in our United States of America."

I've advocated for a long time that concerted, consistent, peaceful civil disobedience is the last strategy we have to secure the equality we are guaranteed by citizenship.  There is no point in continuing to let our enemies paint us as limp-wristed, ineffectual, sex-crazed, and scatterbrained.

We are individually responsible for our lives and not dependent on those who have gay agendas with footnotes.
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James Nimmo is active in progressive issues and believes no one should be denied their equality because of the accidents of birth and circumstances.
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