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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 15, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 16
North Carolina NAACP against anti-LGBT law
Plans sit-in for April 21
Section One
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North Carolina NAACP against anti-LGBT law
Plans sit-in for April 21

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The North Carolina NAACP has announced plans for a sit-in at its state's capital on April 21 to demand repeal of HB 2, the bill legalizing sweeping discrimination against LGBT people in the state.

'We are the laughing stock of the whole nation,' said North Carolina NAACP president Rev. William Barber, referring to the nationwide outcry against the legislation.

Barber is best known as a leader of North Carolina's Moral Monday Movement, originally organized to protest laws restricting voting rights, and many members of that coalition are now involved in fighting back against HB 2.

'We cannot be silent in the face of this race-based, class-based, homophobic, and transphobic attack on wage earners, civil rights, and the LGBTQ community,' said a group called Forward Together Moral Movement, a project of the North Carolina NAACP.

'Together with our many allies, we will coordinate a campaign of nonviolent direct action, along with other forms of nonviolent protest, that will instruct our legislators with respect to the rights of all people.'

Because HB 2 also includes a ban on raising the minimum wage above $7.25 per hour, the NAACP is being joined by a labor group called Raise Up for $15.

The North Carolina legislature was called into special session to pass the anti-LGBT measure and adjourned immediately afterwards. It will be in recess until April 25, so no lawmakers will actually be inconvenienced by the April 21 sit-in, but organizers say that event is only the beginning.

Other groups have also planned protests. On April 13, a group is organizing an 'air horn orchestra' to surround the governor's mansion with noise.

On the other side of the issue, the Christian Action League of North Carolina held a rally of several hundred people on April 21 to show its appreciation for the new law.

Meanwhile Democratic Rep. Billy Richardson, one of 11 Democrats who voted for HB 2, expressed his regrets on April 11 and called for the measure to be repealed.

'By enacting House Bill 2, the legislature did the wrong thing,' he said. 'I made the wrong vote, and we must now make it right.'

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