On July 23, The Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolinas held another Drag Bingo fundraiser, hosting a nearly sold out crowd and bringing in more than $7,000 to help people living with HIV/AIDS. Among the supporters at the events were the Human Rights Campaign, The Kiwanis Young Professionals of Greater Raleigh, and our own Law Offices of Jeffrey G. Marsocci, PLLC. “As a long standing supporter of The Alliance, we show our commitment not only by words of support but also through our presence,” Client Services Director Kathleen Marsocci said. “In these tough economic times and with all of the budget cuts affecting victims of this terrible disease, it is more important than ever for everyone willing to stand together and help.”
The Human Rights Campaign was on hand to provide information on its organization and national legislative efforts, but the focus was squarely placed on the possible North Carolina Constitutional Amendment that could ban marriage equality and, possibly, impact other steps partners could use to separately gain equal rights. “The NC Senate and House versions sound similar but have radically different possible interpretations,” Jeffrey Marsocci said. “The House version states merely that marriage is only between a man and a woman but the Senate version outlaws other benefits that are typically associated with marriage. Under the Senate version, it is possible, and even likely, that municipalities would not be able to give partner retirement benefits to their employees, and corporations would not be able to provide health insurance benefits for partners of their employees.”
In fighting the possible marriage amendment, The Human Rights Campaign has donated significant amounts of money and put six paid staff members “on loan” to Equality North Carolina to bolster its statewide efforts. “North Carolina has long been a beacon of hope in the South as the lone state without a constitutional ban on marriage equality,” Jeffrey Marsocci said. “And now that this is at risk, equality organizations and efforts are coming together in our state to fight it. I’m glad to see representatives of both HRC and Equality NC at Drag Bingo getting the word out since this legal issue affects many of the same people who support efforts to help with the Alliance’s work in helping people living with HIV and AIDS.”
As usual at Drag Bingo, the Kiwanis Young Professionals of Greater Raleigh provided the condiments for hotdogs and veggie burgers, including the usual ketchup, mustard, mayo as well as shredded cheese, diced onions, and the now-famous homemade coleslaw and chili. The way the Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolinas operates Drag Bingo, a combination of cash from businesses and other “in-kind” donations from businesses and non-profits ensures that every dollar spent by attendees at Drag Bingo goes to support the Alliance’s efforts. This includes the donated condiments and volunteers supplied by The Kiwanis Young Professionals of Greater Raleigh.
In order to maximize efforts and share volunteering burdens, it was also recently announced that the Human Rights Campaign’s Triangle Steering Committee will begin sharing the condiment and volunteer activities at Drag Bingo with the Kiwanis club. While both organizations may eventually share volunteers and supplies, they will initially take responsibility of separate Drag Bingo events. HRC’s first event will be Viva Las Vegas Drag Bingo on August 15.
For more information on Drag Bingo and the Alliance of AIDS Services- Carolinas, please go to www.dragbingo.com.