Top politics and advocacy stories the whole year through
There was so much activity in 2012, it would be hard to adequately compile it all in one sitting. We’ve hit upon the major happenings, but there were plenty of other milestones, accomplishments and, even, setbacks.
In February, the annual Human Rights Campaign Carolina Gala returned to Charlotte after two years in Raleigh. The dinner attracted national attention, too, with an appearance from U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. In September, it was determined that Sebelius violated federal law by making “extemporaneous political remarks” during her speech at the event (goqnotes.com/17667/).
In May, after the amendment’s passage, over 1,000 gathered in rural Newton, N.C., to protest an anti-gay preacher’s comments that gays and lesbians should be confined behind electrified fences (goqnotes.com/15163/). The controversy received national attention, including on-the-ground reports from CNN.
In July, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools released its first-ever local data on anti-gay bullying. Officials said they intend to collect more data on the experiences of LGBT youth in local schools (goqnotes.com/15943/).
During the summer, the national craze over Chick-fil-A’s anti-LGBT charitable contributions made its way to Charlotte. No large-scale protests were staged in Charlotte, though local anti-gay street preachers made a scene in Concord (goqnotes.com/16451/). A North Carolina Wendy’s chain drew attention for supporting Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s national corporate office responded by saying it is proud to serve a diverse customer base (goqnotes.com/16279/). Charlotte Mayor Foxx called the controversies nothing more than “little kerfuffles” (goqnotes.com/16212/). Life went on as usual.
In September, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton made LGBT inclusion an important part of his campaign strategy. He toured a gay-owned business in Greensboro (goqnotes.com/17814/) and held a fundraiser with LGBT supporters, the first time a North Carolina candidate for governor had ever done so (goqnotes.com/17859/). Earlier in the year, Dalton had come out opposed to Amendment One.
In October, local candidates and elected officials, including Charlotte Councilmember Mayfield, came under scrutiny for attending a Louis Farrakhan event after some, including Charlotte Councilmember Mayfield, refused to distance themselves from Farrakhan’s history of anti-gay and anti-Semitic comments (goqnotes.com/in/hate-watch/).
In October, longtime activist Ryan Wilson was tapped as SC Equality’s new executive director (goqnotes.com/18382/).
In November, general election results brought a wave of successes and setbacks. Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory was elected to become the state’s first Republican governor in over two decades (goqnotes.com/18676/). Republicans increased their control over the General Assembly (goqnotes.com/18733/). New, LGBT-friendly candidates were elected to the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. Lesbian candidates for state Senate and House lost their bids for office. Nationally, exit polls showed gay voters with a significant turnout. (Election news archives are viewable at goqnotes.com/in/election-2012/.) : :