RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s statewide LGBT advocacy organization received a $10,000 grant today from the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) provided the grant to aid Equality North Carolina in its legislative fight this year to stop an anti-LGBT constitutional amendment from reaching the ballot in 2012. The amendment, which would ban all recognition of any same-sex relationship, was introduced in the North Carolina Senate this by state Sen. James Forrester (R-Gaston).

“We are pleased to forge a stronger partnership with Equality North Carolina and redouble our efforts in the Tar Heel State,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said in a release Friday. “We look forward to working together in order to make North Carolina a better place to live, work and raise families.”

Ian Palmquist, executive director of Equality North Carolina, told qnotes the money will be used to help shore up a staff and community organizing presence.

“We’ll be hiring in the next couple days a contract organizer solely focused on engaging voters in the districts of legislators we need to persuade,” he said. “There’s a ton of potential to scale that up and to have even more activity in those targeted areas of the state where we can have the most impact.”

Palmquist said on-the-ground outreach efforts will get underway as he and the group’s professional lobbyist, Dean Plunkett, will continue their conversations with elected officials at the Legislative Building.

Equality North Carolina also expects to begin some phone banking and polling, along with other more expensive projects, bu the biggest investment the group will make, Palmquist said, is in their organizing team.

“We need to mobilize as many people as possible,” he said.

Matt Comer

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