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Former Senate Candidate Jim Neal and Two Others Arrested for Gay Rights Protest at NC Legislature

Getequalnc

Following a "Rally for Equality" of about 200 people outside the North Carolina legislature this afternoon, three protesters were arrested after bursting into the House chamber and chanting while it was in session, the News Observer reports:

Ncrally Arrested on charges of disorderly conduct were James Weatherly Neal, Angel Chandler and Mary Beth Counce. Neal, a Chapel Hill businessman, ran for senate as an openly gay candidate in 2008.

General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver said they were being booked into the Wake County jail in dowtown Raleigh late this afternoon. Further information about their ages and where they live was not immediately available.

Witnesses said three to five people were involved, some shouting “Liberty and justice for all!” House Speaker Thom Tillis repeatedly banged his gavel, but kept the session running after the momentary disruption.

The protesters were with the activist group GetEQUAL.

The North Carolina General Assembly is considering two bills that would amend the state's Constitution to ban same-sex marriage and prevent businesses and municipalities from offering domestic partnerships, while nullifying benefits that already exist.

Ian Palmquist of Equality NC, a gay-rights group, issued a statement to the paper: "While we share the protesters' passion for equal rights, we cannot condone today's disruption of the House session."

Watch video of the rally and protest, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Former Senate Candidate Jim Neal and Two Others Arrested for Gay Rights Protest at NC Legislature" »


News: Durham N.C. City Council Unanimous on Marriage Resolution; Jim Neal Reports

Last night, the Durham city council joined North Carolina neighbors Chapel Hill and Carboro passing a supportive gay marriage resolution. Though non-binding, former US senate candidate Jim Neal, calls it hugely symbolic in its unanimity from an unexpected and diverse community.

Towleroad graveyard shift is a a bit short-staffed, and contrary to rumor, Andy does sleep. So via the latest citizen journalism tool, Google Voice, Jim Neal reports via text message...

(Among the notable locals mentioned are Towleroad friends and allies at Blogads and Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend. Spaulding's family started the largest black-owned insurance company in the country and she's  got full coverage, text, and photos of the hometown win.")

Picture 39

TRANSCRIPT:
jim neal : Durham, NC city council passes unanimous resolution in favor gay marriage  8:16 PM
Me: Awesome. Right on. Gimme a little more and ill post righy now. 8:17 PM pm
jim neal: City Council convened tonight in packed meeting and voted unanimously topass non-binding resolution supporting gay marriage. Durham is thelargest Afric  8:31 PM
jim neal: an American metro area in NC; second largest statewide voter turnout inDurham County hugely contributed to Obama victory in NC. Vote embraced by African  8:31 pm
jim neal:American mayor Bill Bell. Though symbolic only, hugely so in opposition to conventional wisdom in "gay circles" that pits gays vs. AA religiouscommunit  8:31 pm
jim neal: yover same-sex marriage. If you compare Bay area and Research Triangle area of NC: Durham is Oakland; Chapel Hill is SFO and Carrboro isBerkeley. Now,  8:33 pm
jim neal: all three have passed similar resolutions.Personally, debunks to extent notion that "gay guy can't win" in NC....I'm surprised but not shocked by this  8:36 pm
jim neal: . Durham is vibrant community sending message around world that "you're welcome here."  8:36 PM  Me: nice. i'll put something up. already twittered you.  8:40 PM
Me: I think I might just publish a series of texts fm you. Feel free to call if u like.  8:49 PM
jim neal: Goingdown for the count. I'd ask readership in rest of nation: does yourtown have a resolution: LA, NYC, Miami, Austin, Chicago, Seattle,Redmond, Taco  9:09 pm
jim neal: ma,Palo Alto, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, Mill Valley, Oakland,Sacramento, Philadelphia, Manchester? If not, why? Can you be catalyststo follow Dur  9:09 pm
jim neal: ham, NC? (We don't have state constl amendment banning gay marriage either.)Conventional wisdom be damned.  9:09 PM
jim neal: more trivia...Durham is home of Pam Spaulding & Pam's HBlend. Her familystarted country's largest black-owned life insurance company NorthCarolina Mutu  9:14 PM
jim neal: alLife. Durham once known as "the black Wall Street." Carrboro home toindy label Merge Records, Blogads, Adam & Eve and co. hosting PerezHilton site.  9:14 PM
Me:  You done yet? I'm publishing as is up to the trivia  9:16 PM
jim neal: variousresponses: Gay staffer on the Hill: "wow! thanks for passing this on:-) congrats to all who are working on this. we live in amazing/inspiri  9:25 PM
jim neal: ng times"One of my straight AA peeps from Queens: "That's very cool! Now all you need is the state to recognize gay marriages. "Major Dem straight bu  9:25 pm
jim neal: ndler from CA: "Yippee!"Congressman from NY: "now look what you've started Neal. Send to Schumer? Way to go NC- raise the bar."Front-page HuffPo blog  9:25 pm
jim neal: ger: "WTF- where in carolina is durham"NYT reporter: "can we talk in the am?"  9:25 pm
jim neal: Just sent last......hodge podge of responses  9:26 pm
jim neal: NYC straight heiress, philanthropist and socialite:"Yea!" 9:30 PM


Kay Hagan Beats Jim Neal in North Carolina Senate Primary

North Carolina State Senator Kay Hagan comfortably beat openly gay candidate Jim Neal in North Carolina's Senate primary yesterday:

Hagan"'You know what I want to do?' Hagan said smiling in front of a crowd of supporters in Greensboro. 'I want to give Miss Liddy Dole a pair of ruby red slippers and let her click her heels three times and go home to Kansas with Bob.' Hagan had 62 percent of the vote with 25 percent of precincts reporting. Chapel Hill entrepreneur Jim Neal was running second with 19 percent."

The Times-News online reports that following Hagan's victory, Neal stepped up to offer support:

Jimneal"Kay Hagan celebrated her victory in Tuesday's U.S. Senate primary with an invitation. The state senator from Greensboro, who moves from an easy primary win to what promises to be a grueling general election matchup against incumbent GOP Sen. Elizabeth Dole, implored supporters of former rival Jim Neal to join her ranks. 'I want to invite them to come on board, and I certainly need their support,' Hagan said. Neal immediately obliged, vowing to do whatever he can to help a candidate he had harshly criticized for months win in November. 'Elizabeth Dole's in for the race of her life,' said Neal, who finished a distant second. 'This could be in the year in which Sen. Dole can be beaten, and Kay has my full support as the nominee to do that.' Hagan has said she needs about $10 million to unseat Dole - about seven times more than she has raised thus far. The $1.5 million she raised for the primary was plenty to push her past four opponents - she grabbed 60 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results."

Pam Spaulding has Neal's post-primary speech.

Previously
Gay NC Senate Candidate Neal and Rival Hagan Tangle in Debate [tr]
Poll Shows Gay Candidate Jim Neal Strong in NC Senate Race [tr]


News: DC Madam, HRC, Naomi Campbell, Sally Kern, Singapore

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road.jpg Read John McCain's 2003 speech he delivered on the Senate floor on the occasion of "Mission Accomplished": "Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom demonstrated to the world what we saw just 12 years ago. We went to war as the most combat-ready force in the world. The value of that readiness is clear. We won a massive victory in a few weeks, and we did so with very limited loss of American and allied lives. We were able to end aggression with minimum overall loss of life, and we were even able to greatly reduce the civilian casualties of Afghani and Iraqi citizens."

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Picture_2513road.jpg Focus on the Family's new logo interpreted.

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Rlroad.jpg Reichen recants rant: "Sorry everyone for being childish. We all experience pain, but venting on MySpace isn't right. I'm sorry and I regret it. I was emotional and I don't feel any of the things I've said. And whoever I've dated that it could have been directed toward is and was never the way I may have described. I was venting on life and frustration and I apologize for offending anyone or for making myself look childish."

road.jpg Carrie Underwood gets liquored up in Vegas for new video...

road.jpg Jason Lewis doesn't understand the haters: "In the world we're living in, gay people are still horribly discriminated against. Why does anybody need to be so affected by someone else's happiness? Some of these people show up 20 years in a row at the county clerk's office [to get married] knowing they're going to be turned down. That's dedication and love...These are decent people."

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Gay NC Senate Candidate Neal and Rival Hagan Tangle in Debate

North Carolina Senate Candidates N.C. State Sen. Kay Hagan, openly gay Chapel Hill businessman Jim Neal, podiatrist Howard Staley and attorney Marcus Williams held a debate on Tuesday. Above, a clip of Neal and Hagan responding to questions on gay rights.

JimnealQ Notes has excellent coverage of the event (via Pam's House Blend). They note:

"In the past, the Hagan campaign has refused to answer questions regarding the senator’s gay rights positions when asked by Q-Notes staff. Hagan has also not spoken directly to LGBT media, standing in stark opposition to Neal’s consistent and open discussion with a wide array of LGBT-focused outlets. Hagan also refused to answer direct questions regarding equality issues from Durham, N.C., blogger Pam Spaulding during an April 1 BlueNC.com live blog. Hagan has also stated she believes marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples, but that the issue should be left up to the states. Staley and Williams, two of three lesser known candidates in the race, employed the use of anti-gay rhetoric in their responses, despite the former’s seemingly positive position on DADT."

There was at least one moment of shock in the debate, as Hagan claimed she is the nominee.

Responded Neal: "You aren't running against Elizabeth Dole. You're not the nominee yet. We're running in a primary. We have primaries, not coronations, in North Carolina."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay NC Senate Candidate Neal and Rival Hagan Tangle in Debate" »


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road.jpg Australian forum hears calls for gay-friendlier nursing homes.

Bassroad.jpg Male autograph seekers mob Lance Bass outside Villa nightclub.

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