Video of Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Panel 9/20/12

posted Oct 18, 2012, 11:09 AM by Haley Warden-Rodgers

Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell: One Year Later

posted Oct 10, 2012, 6:33 PM by Haley Warden-Rodgers

On September 20, Dan Woods and Kulsoom Naqvi joined us at Duke Law for an enlightening discussion of the effort to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and the issues that continue to face same-sex military couples today. The room was packed! We'll try to get the recording posted soon.

Duke Issues a Statement Opposing the Amendment

posted Feb 19, 2012, 11:22 PM by Haley Warden-Rodgers

Duke University and Duke Medical Center issued a joint statement in opposition to the so-called "Defense of Marriage" Amendment, which will appear on the May 2012 primary ballot. The full version appears below, with key language in bold.

Statement from Duke University and Duke Medicine

February 17, 2012

Duke University and Duke Medicine have a strong commitment to diversity in our missions of education, research and service to society. We put this goal into action by valuing all members of our community, including our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) faculty, staff, students and alumni.

More than two decades ago, Duke added "sexual orientation" to the university's nondiscrimination policy, which it later expanded to include "gender identity." Through this and other policies, and through its actions, Duke has sought to eliminate discrimination and promote equality for LGBT members of its community.  The many steps it has taken include:

  • Providing health insurance for same-sex spousal equivalents and families
  • Extending Family Medical Leave Act benefits to LGBT families
  • Extending the Duke Children's Tuition Grant Program to LGBT families
  • Ensuring family facility benefits for gym and library access
  • Recognizing LGBT families for institutional financial aid purposes
  • Welcoming same-sex unions at the Duke Chapel and the Duke Gardens.
  • Providing funding, space and support for the Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual  & Transgender Life

We believe recognizing the families of LGBT faculty, employees and students by offering these and other benefits is essential for Duke to recruit, retain and nurture excellence in all our endeavors.  In addition, our commitment to diversity and equality extends beyond the campus to our larger community and region. For example, since 2000 Duke has hosted the annual NC Pride parade and festival. It also hosted the first two Equality NC conferences and galas and sponsored the 2011 Equality Gala. 

Duke University and Duke Medicine reaffirm their commitment to providing equal benefits to LGBT faculty, staff, employees and students. As a major employer in North Carolina, we are proud to serve as a model of acceptance and diversity, and we stand alongside the LGBT community in seeking a more equal world. 

Monday: Panel on the Amendment

posted Oct 12, 2011, 9:38 AM by Haley Warden-Rodgers   [ updated Oct 12, 2011, 7:27 PM ]

Not Just About Gay Marriage: Why You Should Care About the NC "Marriage" Amendment
When: Monday (Oct 17) 12:30pm - 1:20pm
Where: Duke Law School, Room 3037

Last month, the NC legislature voted to put an Amendment on that May Primary ballot that would ban all state recognition of unmarried couples, with potentially devastating consequences for LGBT couples, unmarried domestic violence victims, and children of unmarried parents.

  • Senator Ellie Kinnaird is in her seventh term as a North Carolina Senator representing Orange and Person counties. Previously, she served as Mayor of Carrboro for four terms and worked as a legal services attorney and in private practice.
  • Lydia Lavelle is a professor at NC Central School of Law, and is on the Board of Alderman in Carrboro, where she and her partner are registered domestic partners; she is also a former President of North Carolina Assoc. of Women Lawyers.
  • Sharon Thompson is a former legislator and practices family law in Durham, representing LGBT clients on many issues. She has received awards from the North Carolina ACLU, the North Carolina AFL-CIO, Planned Parenthood of Raleigh, and North Carolina Assoc. of Women Attorneys for her legislative and client work.
Join OUTLaw, Human Rights Law Society, Duke Law ACLU, and Duke Law Democrats for this burrito lunch. First come, first served.

For more information, contact Haley Warden at or visit the OUTLaw Website for the Amendment at


Tomorrow! Learn how to Stop this amendment...

posted Sep 22, 2011, 2:00 PM by Haley Warden-Rodgers

On Tuesday, Sept 13th, the North Carolina state legislature voted to put an amendment to the state constitution on the ballot that would prohibit government recognition of any unmarried couple, not just same-sex couples. This has potentially serious implications for LGBT people, straight or gay domestic violence victims, and unmarried parents, not to mention businesses. The amendment goes to popular vote in the May 8th statewide primary election. That means you only have 227 days to make the voters of North Carolina realize why this is a very bad idea. 

Join OUTLaw and Lauren Rodgers, a Durham resident and staunch opponent of the amendment, this Friday (September 23rd) at 1:30pm in Law School Room 3043 for an informal discussion about what this means to the average North Carolinian, why you should care, and what you can do about it.

Disclaimer: The focus of the presentation will be on ways in which you can get involved in the fight against discrimination - it is not a legal talk. If you're looking to trip up the speaker with nuanced legal questions and hypotheticals, it won't be hard. She is not an attorney or a law student, but can guide you to legal reports if you are interested. Duke OUTLaw will be sponsoring an event in mid-October that delves into the legal aspects of the amendment.

Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal Celebration

posted Sep 19, 2011, 10:08 AM by Stephen Wagner

When: Tuesday, September 20 · 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Where: Alivia's Durham Bistro

What: Duke OUTLaw & Servicemembers Legal Defense Network are throwing a celebration for the repeal of DADT on Tuesday evening. Join military service members, veterans and Duke community members to celebrate the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell!

$3 Sam Adams and $2 Bud Lite, and a 10% discount on food.

RSVP optional at

Rally Against the Anti-LGBT Amendment

posted Sep 13, 2011, 7:24 AM by Stephen Wagner

When: Tues., Sept. 13, 2011, 12 Noon
Where: Halifax Mall (just outside of the General Assembly Legislative Building). 300 N Salisbury St, Government Complex, Raleigh, NC.
What: “On Tuesday, September 13, at noon, Equality NC will join a coalition of pro-equality organizations, as well as supporters of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights from across the state, to convene outside of the state capitol for a rally urging legislators to oppose North Carolina’s proposed anti-LGBT constitutional amendment. The rally on Halifax Mall will take place during a special legislative session on constitutional amendments beginning September 12, and will coincide with a predicted vote on House Bill 777/Senate Bill 106, the “anti-LGBT amendment,” that would ban same-sex marriage (as state statute already does), as well as prohibit civil unions and nullify domestic partnership benefits.” More info.

Congratulations to the newest officers!

posted Sep 5, 2011, 12:31 PM by Haley Warden-Rodgers

Introducing your newest officers:

VP: Alley Latham
Treasurer: Brandon Edmond
Events: Menaka Nayar
Communications: Steve Wagner
1L Rep: Mike McGrath
2L Rep: Timothy Capria
3L Rep: Jamie DeWeese

Elections 2011-2012

posted Aug 30, 2011, 4:33 PM by Haley Warden-Rodgers

Elections for the 2011-2012 school year are coming up on Monday, September 5. If you are interested in any of the following positions, please email a statement of interest to Haley ( by Friday, Sept 2 at 11:59pm. All Duke Law students are eligible for the open positions, including 1Ls.
  • Vice President: Head Honcho #2. "The Vice President shall assist the President in the general running of the organization. The Vice President shall be the organization’s spokesperson when the President is not able to attend an OUTLaw event or meeting. The Vice President will also conduct elections."
  • Treasurer: Head of fundraising and money-handler. "The Treasurer shall request funding from law firms and the DBA finance committee for OUTLaw events as necessary. The Treasurer shall also handle budgetary appeals to the DBA and coordinate the financial reimbursement of organization members when necessary."
  • Communications Chair: The face (well, email address) of OUTLaw. "The Communications Chair shall take minutes at Board meetings and maintain the Web site, mailing list, and any other electronic means of communication that enable the organization to publicize meetings, events, and news of interest to OUTlaw’s membership."
  • Events Chair: The Party (slash Educational Event) planner. "The Event Chair shall have primary responsibility for organizing member events designed to foster a sense of commitment to the organization and fellowship among its members and to recruit new members, including external informational and charitable programs, as well as social gatherings. These events may include, among other things, panel discussions, presentations, and group travel for events related to LGBT legal and social issues."
  • Class Representatives: "The 1L, 2L, and 3L class representatives shall serve as liaisons to their respective classes. They will assist the Board in planning events and will learn how to access the funding and event-planning resources available to student groups. An annual responsibility of the representatives will be to compose the letter sent on OUTlaw’s behalf to newly admitted students."

Morris Nichols at Duke, Aug 29 - Message to OUTLaw

posted Jul 11, 2011, 9:24 AM by Haley Warden-Rodgers

Morris Nichols invites OUTLaw members to submit their resumes for OCI interviews at Duke on August 29. A letter to OUTLaw members from the recruiting chair is attached.

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