Western North Carolina Citizens for an End to Institutional Bigotry (WNCCEIB)
PO Box 18640, Asheville, NC 28814
828-669-6677      Fax 828-669-8862
wncceib@buncombe.main.nc.us    www.main.nc.us/wncceib/

Contract cancellation at Wolf Laurel Ski Resort shines light on employment discrimination against Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender(GLBT) people

Latest Happenings:: Following a hate-filled, two page ad in the Asheville-Citizen Times on March 9, 2006, the paper apologized for aspects of the ad in a powerful editorial on Saturday, March 11:

"On homosexual issues, Christians should heed greatest commandment"

That editorial was followed on Sunday, March 12 by a beautiful guest commentary by Rev. Steve Runholt:

Using Bible as a weapon profanes its most important messages".

On March 10, 2006, Leonard Pitts wrote this column in the Miami Herald:

Quoting Bible to attack gays is hypocritical

      We commend these editorials to you, as together, they form an effective counter-weight to the ad and to the rally to support"Christian and Conservative Businesses" against gay rights which was held on Saturday March 11 in downtown Asheville. You may also read a WNCCEIB's letter to the editor pubished in the Asheville Citizen-Times on March 11.
      As noted above, on March 11, the anti-gay rally promoted by the March 9 ad took place in downtown Asehville. 320 fundamentalists gathered with over 100 counter protesters and over 200 others at alternative events in the First Congregational United Church of Christ and at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville . Here is the coverage of the event from the Asheville-Citizen-Times (scroll down to see one of the ministers preaching.

On Sunday, November 6, 2005, a small wedding announcement appeared in LifeStyle section of the Asheville(NC) Citizen-Times. The photo showed Virginia Balfour and Laurel Scherer who had recently been legally married in Massachusetts.

This simple act of affirming their relationship was brought to the attention of the owners of Wolf Laurel Ski Resort in Madison County, NC, about 30 miles north of Asheville. Laurel and Virginia have a business called All Terrain Images which had been taking photos for Wolf Laurel for two years. Their photos appear in brochures, on billboards, in advertisements, and on the Wolf Laurel web site. Rather than congratulate Virginia and Laurel on their nuptuals, the owners Rick Bussey and Orville English told them they could no longer have a working relationship with the ski resort. But the owners did continue to use All Terrain Images' photos in Wolf Laurel's advertizing without compensation.

New Organization Emerges To Educate Public

The fundamental unfairness of the owners' action galvanized support for Laurel and Virginia. A new organization emerged, People for Employment Equality for Gays and Lesbians (EEGL). WNCCEIB is working closely with EEGL and shares with you the following ACTION LINKS so you can partner with us against this form of discrimination:

Action You Can Take To Help

EEGL(Employment Equality for Gays and Lesbians) This link will take you to the EEGL home page. There you can read more background, see the wedding announcement in the Asheville Citizen-Times, read media articles about the incident, order an "I DON'T SKI WITH BIGOTRY" bumper sticker, and, most importantly, report your own experience of discrimination OR ones you know about.

YOU can write or telephone the Wolf Laurel owners and share your concerns:

Orville English & Rick Bussey        828-689-4111 or 800-817-4111
Wolf Laurel Resort
585 Valley View Circle
Mars Hill, NC 28754
Please blind cc EEGL at PO Box 8724, Asheville, NC 28814

Click here TO SEND A COMBINED EMAIL to Wolf Laurel Ski Slopes' owners, to the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, all at once. After you've sent it, please forward a copy to EEGL Thanks!

Click here TO REPORT DISCRIMINATION: In order to educate the public, EEGL is gathering reports and stories about discrimination GLBT people have experienced in western North Carolina and beyond. Names and other identifying information will be kept strictly confidential unless you give permission for them to be used. If you want to make such a report over the phone, you may call WNCCEIB at 828-669-6677.

Click here TO SEND AN EMAIL OF SUPPORT to Virginia & Laurel via EEGL. Those experiencing discrimination are buoyed by knowing they are not alone and have support. Let's let them know that!

Please Forward This Page To Your Friends!

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