RALEIGH, N.C. — A statewide conservative group responsible for the push behind North Carolina’s anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment in 2012 emailed their supporters today in advance of an upcoming “Moral March” by the state NAACP and other progressive groups. The anti-gay group is encouraging its supporters to say “thank you” to Republican state leaders via social media. But, activists are turning the conservative group’s chosen hashtags on their head.

In an email to supporters, N.C. Values Coalition Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald encouraged social media users to use the hashtags #RightTrackNC and #NCThanksYou when sending messages of gratitude to Gov. Pat McCrory and legislative leaders.

“This weekend liberal groups like EqualityNC and Planned Parenthood Action are busing in activists from across the country to attend the so-called ‘Moral March on Raleigh’ where they will be protesting the historic conservative reforms that the NC General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory passed last year,” Fitzgerald wrote. “It is important that we take this opportunity to thank our conservative leaders in Raleigh for the good work they’ve done and make it clear to them that the out-of-state activists these liberal groups are busing in don’t represent the values of the people of North Carolina.”

LGBT activists are having none of it, taking to Twitter with messages like, “Since #Amendment1 passed, support for marriage equality has increased by 10%. #RightTrackNC,” and “After a year of regressive Republicans in NC, we are ready to elect Democrats into office to support public ed & equality #RightTrackNC.”

The Moral March is scheduled for Feb. 8. Traditionally, the North Carolina NAACP has held its Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) march around this time each year. The Moral March has grown after the NAACP and a coalition of other groups repeatedly protested the Republican legislature last year during their Moral Monday movement.

For more information on the march, visit hkonj.com/moral_march_on_raleigh.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.