RALEIGH — The statewide LGBT advocacy group EqualityNC is celebrating the election results. Of the 58 candidates they endorsed in the 2008 election, 50 won their races. The group is also counting the time until the kickoff of their second annual, statewide Equality Conference and Gala next Saturday, Nov. 15.

Last year the group managed to draw over 200 attendees to their first annual event. The 2007 evening gala awarded Speaker of the N.C. House Joe Hackney for his work in support of the state’s LGBT population.

This year, the group will again hold their conference and gala at Duke University. Saturday evening, they’ll award N.C. House Rep. Paul Luebke (D-Durham), who will participate in panel discussions at the conference.

“Paul Luebke has been fighting for fairness year after year,” EqualityNC Executive Director an Palmquist said in a press release. “He’s taken the lead in efforts to pass hate crime legislation, and more recently has been the lead sponsor of the inclusive non-discrimination bill for state employees.”

The conference, to be held in Duke University’s student center, will feature nationally-respected leaders and advocates, including Kate Kendell of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Alexander Robinson of the National Black Justice Coalition, Mara Keisling of the National Center for Transgender Equality and North Carolina’s own Pam Spaulding, Jimmy Creech and Mandy Carter.

This writer will take part in a panel discussion on Mitchell Gold’s new book, “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing up Gay in America.”

At a glance…

N.C. Equality Conference & Gala
Nov. 15, 2008
Duke University, Durham, NC
Conference: 8:30 a.m., Bryan Student Center
Gala: 6 p.m., Nasher Museum of Art

Registrationinfo: equalitync.org/conference

Matt Comer

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