An elderly lesbian couple from North Carolina recently took part in a series of videos, which were released this week, and reflected on their fifty years together, the journey to marriage equality in their state and the impact of the now infamous anti-queer House Bill 2.
Lennie and Pearl, highly visible figures in the fight for same-sex marriage rights, traveled to Maine to wed in 2013 following the repeal of a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act. Their participation in these new videos, which were produced by Human Rights Campaign and are primarily campaign clips for Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency, allowed them to speak out about what’s at stake in North Carolina for queer people in the upcoming election.
“HB2 came out very quickly,” Lennie says in the below video. “The prejudice that still exists is very sad to me. I thought that we had gotten beyond that ― HB2 is totally unconstitutional... every single vote counts. You can’t say well my vote doesn’t count ― it does. And sometimes elections are very close.”
North Carolina Governor Pat McCory is currently facing an up-hill battle for reelection, largely because of his unwavering defense of HB2, which reportedly could cost the state close to $5 billion a year. In fact, for the first time in 25 years, McCory did not receive the much sought-after endorsement of The Charlotte Observer.
Check out the videos above and below to hear more from Lennie and Pearl.