RALEIGH, N.C. (April 27, 2012) — With the vote on Amendment One only three days after the OutRaleigh street festival in downtown Raleigh, some significant contributors to the North Carolina economy, including nationally recognized companies, are showing their support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community by sponsoring OutRaleigh, a program of the LGBT Center of Raleigh. If passed, the amendment "could undermine private employers' efforts to attract top employees to North Carolina by providing employee benefits to domestic partners, as the courts and public medical facilities may not be permitted to recognize those benefits," according to a paper written by UNC School of Law professors. A copy of the report is available at the ACLU of NC website. Additionally, at the request of the LGBT Center and OutRaleigh organizers, Governor Beverly Perdue and City of Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane signed proclamations declaring the first week in May "All Families Matter Week", in honor of OutRaleigh's 2012 theme.
Of the event sponsors, companies headquartered in North Carolina include Accenture, Food Lion, R.A. Jeffrey's, Replacements Limited and Workplace Options. Other substantial North Carolina employers sponsoring OutRaleigh include IBM and PNC. A full list of OutRaleigh sponsors is available at OutRaleigh.org
"As a company whose services are focused on helping employees maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life, Workplace Options understands how important families are in the equation – not just some families as defined by Amendment One, but all families," says Alan King, president and COO of Workplace Options. "Supporting OutRaleigh is a visible expression of our commitment to this principle. More importantly, it is simply the right thing to do."
The proclamation of "All Families Matter Week" by Governor Perdue and Mayor McFarlane cite statistics including:
* 2-million children in the United States are being raised by lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender parents, with the majority of them in southern states
* Households with unmarried partners - including same-sex couples - increased 55 percent in 2011
* Only 48 percent of households in North Carolina are headed by married couples
* Raleigh has the third-highest percentage of same-sex couples with children among metro areas that have a population of more than 1 million
* Three percent of all foster children, currently live with LGB foster parents
These statistics are clear indicators of the public importance for festivals like OutRaleigh, which provide a family-friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all people to have fun and learn about issues affecting LGBT neighbors, friends, coworkers and family members. Copies of the proclamations are available by clicking here.
Occurring May 5 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in downtown Raleigh at City Plaza, OutRaleigh will include guest speakers, more than a dozen performances from locally and nationally recognized entertainers, a KidsZone and an expo area.
About LGBT Center of Raleigh:
The LGBT Center of Raleigh is a non-profit organization that offers a supporting and welcoming space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as well as their friends, family and supporters. Their offices include a library, art gallery, coffee shop, meeting rooms and performance space. Open seven days a week, the center provides social, educational and health programs for all ages and affinity groups. These include youth programs, Gay and Gray, NAIL (No Accidents in Life), M Club, the Women's Initiative, the Transgender Initiative, HIV /STD testing and the annual OutRaleigh festival. Visit www.lgbtcenterofraleigh.com.
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