Cherokee upholds same-sex marriage ban

After nearly two hours of discussion, debate and even tears during its Thursday, Sept. 9 meeting , the Cherokee Tribal Council shot down an effort to change a law banning the licensing and solemnization of same-sex marriages on the Qualla Boundary. 

Sylva shows community ‘Pride’

Under bright blue skies filled with hot sun, Sylva hosted its inaugural Sylva Pride celebration this past Saturday. Over 500 people nestled into the small, burgeoning mountain town to celebrate and show support for the queer community. 

This must be the place: Ode to Sylva Pride, ode to all the colors of the rainbow

Kudos to the town of Sylva for hosting its inaugural Pride celebration this past Saturday in downtown. A day filled with activities, a parade and drag shows all in the name of showcasing and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community that lives and works (and thrives) in our mountain communities. 

Tribal Council again refuses to consider same-sex marriage ordinance

For the second month in a row , the first item on Tribal Council’s agenda  was an ordinance to legalize same-sex marriage on the Qualla Boundary, and for the second month in a row, members voted July 8 to deny the legislation even the perfunctory first reading necessary to place it on a future agenda for debate and a vote. 

Curatory creates space for contemporary art, community

Ashten McKinney is the new kid on the block, but already she’s making friends with her neighbors and offering a welcoming, safe space for her community. 

‘Why do we have to normalize what’s already normal?’

During the pandemic, Asheville-based artist Pearl Renken wrestled with the pain, isolation and racial reckoning happening in the United States. Her first instinct during that time was to paint, very literally, the pain she was seeing, the hate that felt abundant. 

Better together: FUMC Waynesville welcomes LGBTQ members

The congregation at First United Methodist Church of Waynesville isn’t changing who they are following a controversial vote taken at the denomination’s General Conference special session in February. 

My church embraces LGBTQ members

By Nina Dove • Guest Columnist

When I walked into a Reconciling Ministries meeting at my church (First United Methodist Church of Waynesville) four years ago, I had very few expectations. The Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) is an organization devoted to promoting the inclusion and acceptance of LGBTQIA+ persons in the church. Having been raised in a church with a large percentage of retired ministers, and retirees in general, I was cautious about our chapter of RMN; I assumed, walking in to the room, I would see primarily young and middle-aged adults, and perhaps one or two crotchety homophobic elders only there to voice their dissent. Not that I thought that people over 65 were incapable of being open-minded, but to some extent I believed the stereotype that older people, especially religious ones, would refuse to accept gay people. 

Women’s March embarks on third year; Organizers strive for inclusivity for all women

This year marked the third annual Women’s March on Asheville — part of a national movement to rally for equal rights and social change for women. 

The first march was held less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017 as tensions were high. Women were angry about Trump’s attitude and actions toward women and also feared for the erosion of their rights, safety, health and families. 

Strange bedfellows emerge in HB2 ‘repeal’

An admittedly imperfect compromise that could end the tempest of controversy surrounding North Carolina’s HB2 has been reached, but not everybody’s seeing rainbows after the storm.

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