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[Note: the following post comes to us from Caitlin Breedlove, co-director of Southerners on New Ground].

By Caitlin Breedlove, SONG Co-Director

As an LGBTQ person, I think what is happening at the North Carolina legislature affects our community deeply. I want LGBTQ people to be involved in fighting back against this repressive legislation because I think it is the right thing to do, but also because it deeply affects us. In the past few months, we have seen terrible changes in North Carolina– the cutting of Medicaid for half a million North Carolinians who are poor and working poor. Attacks against voting rights, our schools, healthcare rights for poor people, and the demonizing of immigrants. These are LGBTQ issues. They impact LGBTQ people deeply. Here is how*:

Poverty: Children raised in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual families are twice as likely to grow up in poverty as kids raised in heterosexual households. Rural and African-American LGB people are even more likely to live in poverty, and lesbians are consistently more likely to be living in poverty than heterosexual women

Immigration: It seems simple, but thousands of immigrants are also LGBTQ people.

Medicaid: For the first time, low-income LGBT Americans have access to Medicaid. Failing to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, deprives hundreds of thousands of low-income North Carolinians, including low-income LGBT North Carolinians, from access to health care.

Voting Rights: Read More

Yield: Love conquers everything; let us too, yield to love

This is the final piece in a series of videos by Mimi Schiffman on North Carolina’s Amendment One:

“You know, everybody says it’s just a word, but there’s more to it. There’s a feeling of belonging,” said Jeff Enochs of Charlotte, N.C. “I wanted my state to recognize that we are going to spend the rest of our lives together.”

Watch Jeff and his partner Brian Helms travel to Washington, D.C., the closest place they can legally marry.

The wedding is set to take place just weeks in advance of North Carolina’s primary, in which voters will decide whether to amend the constitution to read: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”

Production: Mimi Schiffman
Music: Phil Cook & His Feat
Additional Camera: Ben Berry

Mimi Schiffman is a photographer, videographer and multimedia producer pursuing a master’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This work is a part of a documentary project she is producing on marriage equality for her thesis. The work is being released in the lead-up to the 2012 North Carolina primaries on May 8, 2012, where voters are asked to decide on a constitutional amendment which could render many established same-gender couples and their families legal strangers in the eyes of the law.

Mimi’s work is being posted on Huffington Post.

Yield: Love conquers everything; let us too, yield to love

This is the third piece in a series of videos by Mimi Schiffman on North Carolina’s Amendment One:

In a small school a little north and a little west of downtown Durham, N.C., a group of eleven-, twelve- and thirteen-year-olds has been busy organizing a field-trip.

Watch as a middle school’s gay-straight alliance, GLOW, for Gay Lesbian or Whatever, embarks on an adventure in civic engagement with real consequences for many of the club’s members.

“They don’t really see kids as having an idea of how they want their future to be like,” said Sarah, a GLOW member, “but when we actually voice our opinion it really does make a difference.”

Production: Mimi Schiffman
Music: Phil Cook & His Feat
Additional Camera: Patrick Mustain and Vanessa Patchett

Special thanks to:
Lisa Joyner
Carolina Friends School
Phil Cook

Mimi Schiffman is a photographer, videographer and multimedia producer pursuing a master’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This work is a part of a documentary project she is producing on marriage equality for her thesis. The work is being released in the lead-up to the 2012 North Carolina primaries where voters are asked to decide on a constitutional amendment which could render many established same-gender couples and their families legal strangers in the eyes of the law.

Mimi’s work is being posted on Huffington Post.

Yield: Love conquers everything; let us too, yield to love

This is the second in a series of videos by Mimi Schiffman:

Meet North Carolina family: Kim, Kathy, Ben, Jamie and Justin, and listen as they put into words what’s at stake behind North Carolina’s proposed Amendment One.

“I mean, you can term it whatever you want,” said Kathy Sullivan. “But you really cannot look at these relationships and determine they are anything but family.”

The proposed constitutional amendment, which reads: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state,” could potentially invalidate adoptions by same-gender parents across the state.

Production: Mimi Schiffman
Music: “Viandanze,” Fabrizio Paterlini

Mimi Schiffman is a photographer, videographer and multimedia producer pursuing a master’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This work is a part of a documentary project she is producing on marriage equality for her thesis. The work is being released in the lead-up to the 2012 North Carolina primaries where voters will be asked to decide on a constitutional amendment which could render many established same-gender couples and their families legal strangers in the eyes of the law.

Mimi’s work is being posted on Huffington Post.

“Going Forward” was filmed in Fuquay-Varina, NC.

Contributed by Mimi Schiffman:

Twelve-year-old Isak Atkins-Pearcy loves Legos, doughnuts and fighting for what he believes in.

“I think in a world where everything is right, you could love anyone you wanted to.”

He’s been fighting alongside his parents and with his junior high GSA to defeat North Carolina’s proposed constitutional amendment which will be decided in the May 8th primary.

Amendment One would place in the constitution the following language: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”

Meet Isak, and hear a fresh perspective on relationships from a young man, full of conviction and love for his family.

Production: Mimi Schiffman
Music: “April,” Marcel Pequel
Artistic Direction: Isak Atkins-Pearcy

Mimi Schiffman is a photographer, videographer and multimedia producer pursuing a master’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This work is a part of a documentary project she is producing on marriage equality for her thesis. The work is being released in the lead-up to the 2012 North Carolina primaries where voters will be asked to decide on a constitutional amendment which could render many established same-gender couples and their families legal strangers in the eyes of the law.

Mimi’s work is being posted on Huffington Post.

“Love = Love” was filmed in Durham, NC.