Early voting begins Thursday and with it comes an increase in Amendment 1-centric rallies, parades, parties and discussions. The fight continues until Election Day, May 8.

  • Thursday, April 19: Those opposed to Amendment 1 gather for a party at the polls, dubbed NCCU and Neighbors Vote Together Against Family Discrimination. Meet from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Alfonso Elder Student Union on the N.C. Central University campus to celebrate the start of early voting and cast your ballot. Freedom song singers are needed.

    Also Thursday, the Mountain Goats and Mac McCaughan will play requests, and a few other tunes as well, at an 8 p.m. show at Durham club Motorco that’s a benefit to defeat Amendment 1. General admission is $20; a $100 VIP ticket guarantees your request will be performed and gives you access to a pre-show meet and greet. Greg Cartwright and Tara DeFrancisco also will play.

  • Saturday, April 21: There’s an 11 a.m. march from Corporation and Foster streets in Durham to the Durham County Board of Elections to vote, with an after-party from 1 to 4 p.m. at Motorco featuring Greg Humphreys, Shawn Deena and Sad Magazine.

    From noon to 5:30 p.m. is “Grill the Amendment” a grillout and parade event at 1005 Urban Ave. in Durham. Two parades will take place: at 1 p.m. to the Durham Board of Elections, and at 3 p.m. to Duke’s West Campus polling place. RSVP to Liz Linzer, whose band TenOhFive Urban will perform, at elizabeth.m.linzer@gmail.com. Food and beer will be provided, but you’re encouraged to BYO as well.

  • Monday, April 23: If you’re still undecided on the amendment, attend a 5:30 p.m. forum at UNC’s ROTC Armory, 221 S. Columbia St., sponsored by the League of Women Voters of NC. UNC professor Kenny Andrews’ Sociology Service-Learning Group will facilitate a non-partisan discussion of Amendment 1.
  • Saturday, April 28: At 7 p.m., Binkley Church, 1712 Willow Drive in Chapel Hill, is holding a commitment/ recommitment ceremony for any couple (gay or straight) that wants to show respect for all relationships. A reception follows. Contact Peter Carmine at peter@binkleychurch.org or Stacy Shelp at stacyshelp@gmail.com to help plan or sign up.

    In Raleigh, there’s a polling place potluck party at noon in front of the Wake County Government Building, 335 S. Salisbury St.; vote there and then proceed to the Capitol Building to enjoy the food you all furnish. Bring a blanket, utensils, plates and, as the invite says, “your fiercely dressed beautiful selves.”

  • Sunday, April 29: If there’s a prize for best-named events, Local Bites for Civil Rights just might win. Come to Durham Central Park from 1 to 5:30 p.m. for a benefit to support the Coalition to Protect NC Families. Nine food trucks, including American Meltdown, Bageuttaboutit, Chirba Chirba and Klausie’s Pizza, will feed the masses. Call 917-714-9601 for more information.