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Buddy Collins

According to an announcement released earlier today, Gov. McCrory has appointed A.L. “Buddy” Collins of Forsyth County to a two-year term on the state Task Force on Safer Schools. According to the release:  “The task force will provide guidance to the Center for Safer Schools and consider future policy and legislative action that is needed to improve school safety in North Carolina.”

The selection of Collins (pictured at left in an image taken from the website of the advocacy group Equality NC) comes as a bit of a surprise given the controversy that swirled around his original nomination to the Board of Education. That nomination, of course, was opposed vehemently by human rights advocates — particularly folks in the LGBT community — because of Collins’ repeated past clashes with advocates over proposed rules to protect LGBT children from bullying while serving on the Forsyth County Board of Education.

That controversy led Equality NC to detail a list of half-dozen objectionable acts by Collins and to call for Gov. McCrory to reconsider Collins’ nomination — an act he apparently never took.

Today’s appointment is rendered all the more interesting (and even ironic) by the fact that the Governor’s new “comprehensive plan” to make schools safer specifically mentions bullying at least 30 times.  

 

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From the good folks at the ACLU of North Carolina:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 26, 2013 

ACLU Wins Landmark Victory for Marriage Equality; Supreme Court Rules DOMA Unconstitutional
ACLU-NC Says Ruling “Makes Us More Determined Than Ever to Secure Equal Rights for LGBT North Carolinians”

RALEIGH – Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional. This ruling will allow legally married same-sex couples to receive more than 1,000 federal benefits.

Edith Windsor, the plaintiff in United States v. Windsor, was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and New York Civil Liberties Union, among others.

 The ACLU of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) released the following statement: Read More

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Kay HaganRaleigh’s News & Observer reports that she has endorsed masrriage equality.

The article quotes Hagan as saying:

“I know there are strong feelings on both sides, and I have a great deal of respect for their opinions. But after much thought and prayer on my part this is where I am today. I know all our families do not look alike. We all want the same thing for our families. We want happiness, we want health, prosperity, a bright future for our children and grandchildren. After conversations I’ve had with family members, with people I go to church with and with North Carolinians from all walks of life, I’ve come to my own personal conclusion that we should not tell people who they can love, or who they can marry. It’s time to move forward with this issue.”

Good work. About time.

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That’s about the only way to describe yesterday’s decision (authored by a conservative judge named Dennis Jacobs) from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit striking down the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act.”

As Ian Millhiser of the Center for American Progress wrote:

This is a really big deal. Jacobs is not simply saying that DOMA imposes unique and unconstitutional burdens on gay couples, he is saying that any attempt by government to discriminate against gay people must have an “exceedingly persuasive” justification. Read More

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Not that this comes as a surprise, but there is concrete evidence in a new report that the repeal of the old and silly U.S. military policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” has had no negative impact on military readiness.

Here’s a summary of some of the main findings in the study courtesy of Think Progress:

  • Repealing DADT has had no overall negative impact on military readiness, including cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment, or morale. Read More