North Carolina Hub
Pop singer and gay American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is considering a run for Congress in North Carolina, according to sources who spoke to the Washington Blade:
One Democratic source said Aiken made phone calls to gauge support, talked to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and has met with figures in Raleigh, N.C., about a potential bid. Although it’s unclear when Aiken might formally announce a decision, the source said Aiken is “actively considering” it and “sounding and acting like a candidate.”
To help explore a run, the source said Aiken has been working with Betsy Conti, a Raleigh-based political strategist who’s worked for former North Carolina Gov. Bev Purdue and Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore in addition to serving as Maryland’s deputy labor secretary in the Glendening administration. It’s unclear whether Aiken has formally hired her or anyone else to help with his bid.
Another Democratic source said Aiken was in D.C. last month meeting with pollsters at Hart Research Association to examine polling data with one of the partners at the firm.
The seat Aiken would be planning a run for is held by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.). Aiken would need to file to participate in the primary by Feb. 28, according to the Blade.
Fort Bragg in North Carolina saw its first gay marriage ceremony on Saturday as Maj. Daniel Toven and Johnathan Taylor celebrated in the historic Main Post Chapel, the News Observer reports:
Toven, 44, is commander and conductor of the Army Ground Forces Band at Fort Bragg. Taylor, 24, is a registered nurse in a Fayetteville-area hospital and a pre-med student at Fayetteville Technical Community College and Methodist University.
The couple will continue to live in Fayetteville. Toven is the son of Gordon and Mona Lou Toven of Reynoldsville, Pa. Taylor’s parents are Michelle and Ben Miles of Rockingham.
Toven wore his Army service uniform, with a dark blue coat and royal blue pants, and carried his ceremonial saber. Taylor wore a morning suit: a black cutaway jacket over dark gray pants.
Watch the couple's joyful and hilarious attempt to exit the chapel in front of family and friends, AFTER THE JUMP...
A fun new video from The Atlantic has been created to accompany a series of maps made by Joshua Katz, a student at North Carolina State University.
The maps, which highlight regions of the U.S. based on pronunciation and word choice, were originally conceived in conjunction with a 2003 Harvard study on the subject of regional dialects. The video takes the infographics one step further as interviewers call up people from various regions and have them answer questions as the maps light up. Unsurprisingly, and somewhat humorously, the Midwestern, Southern, and Northeastern regions of the country have the most varied answers.
What are your favorite regional differences?
Watch the fun and enlightening video, AFTER THE JUMP...
NC School Institutes 'Biblical Morality Policy', Bars Admission to Kids Whose Family Life Involves Gays: VIDEO
A group of parents and kids protested the Myrtle Grove Christian School in Wilmington, North Carolina on Sunday to protest the school's new "Biblical Morality policy", WECT reports:
According to a letter sent home to families, the policy gives the school the right to refuse admission of an applicant whose home life includes "homosexual or bisexual activity."
A group of about half a dozen community members held signs that said things like 'honk if you support love.' Protestors say they wanted to voice their opinion about the policy which they claim sends a message of hate.
Watch WECT's report, AFTER THE JUMP...
A Facebook page has been set up to boycott the school. Says the page: "A step backward from 21st Century Learning to archaic judgment and hate, this school should not be awarded TAXPAYER dollars for vouchers."
An integral part of Myrtle Grove Christian School’s mission is to foster spiritual development and a biblical worldview in the lives of its students. This includes leading students to develop a biblical understanding of morality and to pursue a life that is governed by the biblical moral code. The school works in partnership with families to achieve these desired outcomes, which necessitates that both the school and home come under the authority of God for the benefit of the student.
For this reason, the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student if the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home or the activities of the student are counter to or are in opposition to the biblical lifestyle the school teaches. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, participating in, supporting, or affirming sexual immorality, homosexual activity, or bisexual activity; promoting such practices; or being unable to support the moral principles of the school.
Last month we posted about the ground-breaking decision by Buncombe County, North Carolina Register of Wills Drew Reisinger to accept marriage applications from same-sex couples after his state's attorney general, Roy Cooper, came out in support of marriage equality.
A new video from the Campaign for Southern Equality highlights one couple that subsequently turned up to ask Reisinger for a marriage license, Brenda Clark and Carol McRory. Clark and McRory had sought a marriage license 4 previous times as part of the WE DO Campaign that urges same-sex Southern couples to seek marriage licenses from their local courthouses to help bring equality to the south. Said Clark of the couple's decision to actively fight for same-sex marriage, "You get to the point where you think, 'This is who I am.' And for what it's worth for the last number of years that we've got left, let's live this one honestly." Added McRory, "We take this action on behalf of all LGBT youth who cannot stand up and say 'I'm gay.'"
Clark and McRory had been rejected each time they applied. But as it turns out the fifth time was the charm. Reisinger told the couple,
"What we're going to do is we're going to give this to our attorney general and ask for his permission to grant y'all a marriage license. The United States constitution demands equal rights for all people and so that's what we're going to ask the attorney general to look over for us. And I am very proud of y'all for coming in here and thank y'all for your courage and thank you for consistently asking me for marriage licenses. Hopefully it won't be long til I can turn this back around to you."
Watch the emotional video about Brenda and Carol's battle AFTER THE JUMP...