Statewide advocacy group hopes to work with GOP lawmakers
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Republicans maintained their control of the North Carolina General Assembly, adding to their majorities in both the Senate and the House. LGBT advocates in Raleigh say they are ready for new partnerships among a strengthened GOP legislature.
Republicans had 31 seats in the state Senate prior to Tuesday’s election and picked up another. In the House, it’s expected Republicans will add at least one seat, though there could be others. After elections in 2010, the GOP held 68 seats in the House, four shy of a three-fifths, veto-proof super-majority.
Republican legislative leaders have already shown their affinity for controversial anti-immigrant and voter identification laws. Some of those measures were vetoed by Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, but incoming Republican Pat McCrory has been outspoken in support of voter identification.
On Tuesday, Equality North Carolina Executive Director Stuart Campbell said his organization is ready if Republican lawmakers should take up any anti-LGBT legislation.
“We will definitely be monitoring for that,” Campbell said, noting with some optimism that Republicans never attempted to roll-back a landmark 2009 anti-bullying bill after they came to power.
Despite approval in May of an anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment, Campbell said LGBT issues are becoming less of a wedge issue. He hopes to make new relationships with lawmakers.
“We think that there will be some members of both parties we can work with,” he said.
Campbell also said he expects some challenges with a new Republican-led administration under gubernatorial victor Pat McCrory.
“I’m hoping that the more moderate Pat McCrory will come back after the election is over,” he said.