I met lawyer Sam Wolfe back in 2012 at the Protest against “Love Won Out” in front of Midway Church in Villa Rica, GA. He was there representing the Southern Poverty Law Center, along with many others including Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out, Chaim Levin of Gotta Give Em’ Hope, Art Izzard from the Queer Justice League of Atlanta, members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s Atlanta chapter, GetEQUAL GA (Hi Paul Shapoe!) and GetEqual OH (hey Tom Morgan!), and my friend Edric Floyd of PFLAG Macon (Macon Georgia).
Edric and I rode up from what was then Macon State College (now Middle Georgia State University) to Villa Rica in the morning. It was pretty gray out, and we protesters had to stand on the edge of the other side of the road according to the squad cars blocking the one entryway to the church parking lot. There was one bullhorn, and no sidewalk.
Someone from Georgia Voice and Matt Hennie from Project Q Atlanta (both of which are models for how I want to operate the Pink Peach News – LGBT News in Columbus, Georgia) were both present. I remember some cowardly truck turned the corner next to us screaming the word “faggots” before speeding off.
It was my first LGBT-rights protest, and my first taste of the LGBT Atlanta which was a far cry from the comparative nothingness of LGBT Macon. It motivated me to become more involved in advocacy; I became President of Middle Georgia State University Gay-Straight Alliance in August for my final senior year.
I’m glad that Sam has spent up to this point fighting the good fight in Alabama and throughout the Deep South. His career at the SPLC should be best remembered for fighting successfully for an Alabama widower who fought to have the death certificate of his husband include his name as spouse and inheritor of his estate, against the intransigence of a bull-headed homophobic mother-in-law and a just-as-bullheaded State Supreme Court.
Sam Wolfe, pictured here at the Civil Rights Memorial in Birmingham, is an honorable person and tireless advocate for human rights. I cheer him as he moves on to the next chapter in his life. Viva Sam Wolfe!