Today, HRC and Equality NC, the statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for LGBTQ North Carolinians, announced key state legislative endorsements for the fall election. HRC and ENC also committed to supporting the endorsements by launching TurnOut NC, a project to mobilize pro-equality voters and elect pro-equality leaders in Raleigh.
“Governor Pat McCrory and his allies in the legislature have repeatedly refused to listen and to learn, putting discrimination above the well-being of their state. By standing behind HB2 in the face of an overwhelming chorus of bipartisan voices demanding repeal, they have failed in their elected duties,” said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “Together with Roy Cooper as governor, these candidates will help repair the damage inflicted on North Carolina and ensure everyone, including LGBTQ people, can live free from fear of discrimination. We’re proud to endorse these candidates in the fight to repeal HB2.”
“I am excited about these candidates who will support full equality — an important value here in North Carolina,” said Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality North Carolina. “I know LGBT North Carolinians and our many allies will stand up for Roy Cooper and these legislative candidates, who will help repair our reputation and stop the economic damage by working to repeal HB2.”
The joint endorsements include:
For House of Representatives: Rep. John Ager (D), Cynthia Ball (D), Chaz Beasley (D) Mary Belk (D), Jane Campbell (UNA), Sue Counts (D), Terence Everitt (D), Jennifer Ferrell (D), Judge Joe John (D), Rochelle Rivas (D) Rep. Brian Turner (D).
For State Senate: Sen. Jay Chaudhuri (D), Sen. Jeff Jackson (D), Sen. Joyce Waddell (D) and Susan Evans.
HRC and Equality North Carolina have both previously endorsed Roy Cooper’s campaign for Governor.
The LGBTQ vote has the power to impact elections up and down the ticket in North Carolina. An estimated 331,000 LGBTQ adults of voting age live in the state — a substantial population given that the state was won in the last three presidential elections by an average margin of 180,500 votes.
The endorsements come after the ACC announced it would stand up for the safety of its employees, players, and fans by moving championship games out of North Carolina due to the state’s refusal to repeal its anti-LGBTQ HB2 law. The NCAA this week announced it would also move all 2016-2017 championship events out of the state of North Carolina due to HB2 because lawmakers had declined to repeal the law.
Prior to the NCAA and ACC, the NBA previously announced it was moving the 2017 All-Star Game because of the failure of the General Assembly to repeal HB2, costing North Carolina an estimated $100 million in All-Star Game related profits.