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LGBTQ Group Pulls Support For Some GA Incumbents

Equality NC
Equality NC Interim Director Matt Hirschy announcing that the organization will not endorse incumbents who supported HB 142

One of the state’s leading gay and transgender rights groups announced Tuesday that it will not endorse incumbents who are running for re-election in the General Assembly that voted in favor of legislation that only partially repealed the “bathroom bill.”

Equality North Carolina made the announcement on https://vimeo.com/266205208">video two weeks before the primary elections, which begin May 8. The organization’s Interim Director Matt Hirschy said that the board “voted unanimously to not endorse” incumbent lawmakers in the state legislature who voted for House Bill 142 last year, which was a compromise bill to replace House Bill 2, otherwise known as the bathroom bill. 

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislators crafted HB 142 to repeal the controversial bathroom bill, which prohibited transgender individuals from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identified – forcing them to instead use the bathroom that matched the gender on their birth certificates. 

The new law repealed HB 2, but prohibited local non-discrimination ordinances until 2020. HB 142 also left regulation of public accommodations up to state lawmakers. 

Hirschy said that HB 142 was not a repeal of the bathroom bill, but instead “enshrined LGBTQ discrimination further into North Carolina Law.” 

He said that incumbents who voted for HB 142 went against the values of Equality NC and because of this, the organization decided to publicly pull support for those elected officials. 

“Today, we are making it clear,” Hirschy said, “LGBTQ North Carolinians will not stand for politicians that campaign on our issues but fail to follow through on their promises for us.”  

Such a decision could affect a number of Democratic incumbents running for re-election. Equality NC pulled its endorsement of Joyce Waddell, the Democratic incumbent for NC Senate District 40 – which covers east Charlotte. According to reporting by CBS17, Equality NC endorsed Waddell in the 2016 election as one of a number of Democratic candidates it hoped would help repeal HB 2. 

Waddell did vote in favor of HB 142, and was not on the organization’s 2018 list of candidate endorsements. Waddell did not respond to an email and phone call for comment. 

Charlotte area candidates on the list of endorsements included NC Senate candidates Mujtaba Mohammed, a Democrat running in District 38, Beth Monaghan, a Republican running in District 39, and Chad Stachowicz, a Democrat also running in District 39. (You can find Equality NC's full slate of endorsements here.)  

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