April 8, 2016 — Today Family Equality Council announced that it is regretfully postponing its Family Weekend in the South gathering, a sold-out, first-of-its-kind event planned for June 17-19 at the Camp Kanuga retreat in Hendersonville, North Carolina, due to the state’s passage of the discriminatory law HB2 on March 23. Family Equality Council connects, supports and represents the country’s 3 million LGBTQ parents and their 6 million children.
Statement from Emily Hecht-McGowan, Interim Co-Executive Director and Director of Public Policy:
“HB2 is a sweeping anti-civil rights law that strips local protections from several classes, including women, people of color, people with disabilities and the LGBTQ community. It also contains particularly egregious provisions targeting members of our community who are transgender. Two-thirds of the families registered for the weekend would have been traveling from states other than North Carolina. Even though Camp Kanuga is an incredibly welcoming and affirming partner, given the hostile climate under this new law, we could not guarantee the safety of our families as they traveled to and from our event. We do not want to put our children in harm’s way. We are committed to serving our families in the south, but we also need to be reasonably confident that we don’t put their safety, security and dignity at risk.”
Statement from Brent Wright, Interim Co-Executive Director and Director of Programming:
“We did not make this decision lightly or without great debate. The decision was made by a cross-section of our leadership team and came after two weeks of discussing the situation with stakeholders and our families. We are committed to serving our families in the South, but given the situation in North Carolina, this is just not the right place for our families at this time. Sometimes we have to make hard decisions for our families.”
Family Equality remains deeply committed to its work in the South. Executives are looking to relocate the event to a different state in the region, possibly Georgia, where Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a similar “religious liberty” bill on March 28, saying, “I believe it is a matter of character for our state.”
For TV, newspaper and web interviews with Hecht-McGowan or Wright, contact Media Manager Bradley Jacobs at 917-324-8771 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Family Equality Council: Family Equality Council connects, supports, and represents the three million parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer in this country today and their six million children of all ages. We are changing attitudes and policies to ensure that all families are respected, loved, and celebrated—including families with parents who are LGBTQ. We are a community of parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren that reaches across this country. For over 30 years we have raised our children and raised our voices toward fairness for all families.