CHARLOTTE — North Carolina’s LGBT advocacy and education group is mounting a statewide education, organizing and engagement campaign, as threats of an anti-gay constitutional amendment continue to loom over the North Carolina General Assembly.Equality North Carolina has held two town hall meetings already, one in Durham and one in Winston-Salem. A Charlotte town hall is scheduled for Thursday, March 24, 7 p.m., at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte, 820 Hamilton St., Suite B11 (gaycharlotte.com). Another upcoming town hall will include a Greenville event on April 6.
Durham-based blogger Pam Spaulding (PamsHouseBlend.com) reported on her city’s event on Wednesday.
Each event includes a group brainstorming session, which Equality North Carolina says will engage citizens and voters to be “involved in our grassroots and grasstops efforts to keep our fine state anti-LGBT amendment-free,” Community Organizer Rebecca Mann said in an email to supporters.
Equality North Carolina’s statewide mobilization campaign follows a flurry of state-level organizing initiatives. Days after the anti-gay amendment was introduced, Equality North Carolina received a $10,000 grant from the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization. That money is being used in part to hire several other community organizers, including one dedicated to Eastern North Carolina and another to working with faith communities. HRC has also dedicated a full-time field organizer, Jessica Osborn, to work on-the-ground in the state. Faith in America, founded by North Carolina furniture-maker Mitchell Gold, has also partnered with Replacements, Ltd. owner Bob Page to call on the state’s business community to come out against the amendment.
The anti-gay constitutional amendment was introduced on Feb. 22 by state Sen. James Forrester (R-Gaston). It would prohibit recognition of marriage and any other relationship status among same-sex couples and could endanger both public and private domestic partner benefits policies. The amendment has not yet been introduced in the House.