CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sen. Joel Ford will be holding a community Q&A today at Blue Blaze Brewing, 528 S. Turner Ave., Charlotte, from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Ford ran unsuccessfully for Charlotte Mayor in the Democratic primary, finishing third behind incumbent Jennifer Roberts and Mayor Vi Lyles. During the campaign he tried to pass himself off as an ally to the LGBTQ community with a Facebook ad claiming he was for “equality under the law” and that “Diversity is a blessing that we need to celebrate in Charlotte.”
The senator’s voting record did not match up with his campaign rhetoric, as this paper was quick to note, as well as local LGBTQ organizations Equality NC and MeckPAC.
Ford voted in favor of Amendment One, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman and which was eventually nullified by the Supreme Court decision legalizing marriage equality nationwide.
He also pushed for a compromise on LGBTQ following Charlotte’s passage of a non-discrimination ordinance providing protections for the community, prompting the North Carolina General Assembly to pass House Bill 2 (HB2). Ford was eager to remove transgender protections and has remained in favor of that option, and later told MeckPAC’s Matt Comer that his opinion on the matter had not changed.
Ford also voted to grant magistrates the right to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a position to the right of then-Gov. Pat McCrory.
Openly gay Charlotte City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield is running against Ford for his Senate seat in the primary, although whether she will actually be able to do so it in limbo, awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court on redistricting efforts.
“This is a first and should be interesting,” Mayfield wrote on the Facebook event page.
Attorney Mujtaba Mohammad has announced that he will also try to unseat Ford in the primary.