Club Argos rallies for gay rights

Sean Carter is taking the guesswork out of politics for local constituents with gay marriage benefits at Club Argos in Augusta and Marlboro Station in Aiken. The sometime-drag-queen is raising money to fund a letter-writing and petition campaign.

“We might live in a small town, but even the smallest voice can make a big dent in politics,” Carter said. “Everybody who supports this cause needs to stand up and speak. If they did, this country would realize that there’s a lot more positive sentiment towards us getting married than negative.”
Carter has put together letters calling for the recall of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy by which the military requires its members to remain silent and inactive in their sexual orientation. Letters are also available that oppose the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, which defines marriage as existing only between one woman and one man.
He and members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Straight Alliance of the CSRA oppose the military code because they say that it encourages violence against soldiers who are not straight. They protest the FMA because they say that constitutional amendments exist not to restrict individual rights, but to expand them, and because the debate is couched in religious tones that violate the separation of church and state.
“The first thing you have to do as a heterosexual couple is get a marriage license, which is issued to you by the state. Marriage is actually a government-sponsored institution that is sanctioned by the state,” he argued.
Inspired by what he described as treachery by candidates in the 2004 election — like John Kerry, who took a big ol’ check from gay rights activist Harvey Fierstein and then stumped in favor of FMA — Carter was driven to do something.
All that the campaign needs is the signatures of like-minded people, envelopes, stamps and the addresses of area local, state and federal representatives. But that requires money and manpower, so Carter is asking for support. He said he’s getting it, too: “People jumped on board faster than I could blink.”
Master of ceremonies Isaac Kelly paid for the printing and Club Argos and The Marlboro Station donated time and space.
“Without all of them, I would be doing this benefit from the side of the road with a cardboard sign written in magic marker!” Carter joked. But his gratitude is genuine.
Access to the entertainment is covered by the $2 donation at the door. Then steel yourself for a storm — Claire Storm, that is — followed by Alexis De La Mer who is making a special trip from New Port Richey, Fla., just for this performance. Marty Monroe and Carter’s own alter-ago, Jackie Chanel, round out the show. Auction prizes include framed works from local artists, gift certificates and gift baskets. And then there’s Claire Storm’s head, which is also up for auction. It is probably better if we don’t explain.
The point, Carter says, is to support the rights of every American, gay, straight, bisexual, transsexual and — hey, asexual, too.
“We’re not asking for better rights or special rights,” Carter said. “We’re just asking for the same rights everyone else has.”Gay Marriage Benefit
June 6 at Club Argos
June 8 at Marlboro Station


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