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South Carolina Equality launches LGBT rights-awareness campaign

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South Carolina Equality launched a rights-awareness program for the state’s LGBT community on Feb. 26.

The “Know Your Rights” campaign will serve as a clearinghouse of information relevant to the rights of gay and lesbian citizens.

Available through a dedicated page on the organization’s website, new information will be provided each month on topics including non-discrimination policies and prevention of hate crime.

The rights-depriving laws currently used in South Carolina shouldn’t leave its gay citizens absent of information of the rights they retain, SC Equality says.

For example, says Randy Moore, the campaign’s project leader:

“While South Carolina still does not legally recognize same-sex marriage within its borders, it's important to know that there are ways to legally safeguard same-sex relationships in our state.”

The advocacy group will also conduct events and educational forums across the state, says SC Equality executive director Ryan Wilson.

“We know that an important part of knowing where we are headed and what laws we need to change requires understanding where we currently stand.”

Kick-off of “Know Your Rights” coincides with other recent LGBT-rights advancements. A federal court decision opposing gay marriage restrictions in Texas and Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of a pro-discrimination bill in Arizona also took place on Feb. 26.

The calendar coincidence of “Know Your Rights” with those improvements indicates a growth in public support for equality, says Wilson.

“Across the south, from Virginia to Kentucky to now Texas, we are seeing the dominoes falling toward equality faster and faster.”

Funding for the campaign comes from grants provided by Richland County Council and the Fund for Southern Communities.

“Know Your Rights” isn’t the only project conducted by SC Equality at the moment. On Feb. 24 it joined with a national advocate in launching the “Southerners for the Freedom to Marry” campaign, seeking gay marriage rights in South Carolina and 11 other southern states.

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