Rainbow flags wave in the wind with the LGBT Center of Raleigh's delegation at the HKonJ march, with the Capitol in the background. Photo by Jake Gellar-Goad.

RALEIGH, N.C. — LGBT activists and organizations from across the state joined thousands to march in Raleigh’s annual “HKonJ,” the state NAACP’s Historic Thousands on Jones Street rally.

Among the groups present were Equality North Carolina, the LGBT Center of Raleigh and Cape Fear Equality, among other ally groups like Democracy NC.

Democracy NC’s Jake Gellar-Goad marched with his group and sent some photos and a report back to qnotes.

According to Goad, state NAACP President the Rev. William Barber spoke out in favor of ongoing efforts to protect LGBT community members, specifically citing LGBT-inclusive protections in public accommodations and elsewhere. It was a clear reference, Goad said, to the current debate in Charlotte on whether to add LGBT-inclusive amendments to several local non-discrimination ordinances.

Charlotte’s Bishop Tonyia Rawls also spoke at the event.

The Rev. Robin Tanner, pastor of Charlotte’s Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church, was also there with her partner, the Rev. Ann Marie Alderman. Tanner has been an outspoken advocate for LGBT marriage equality and a supporter of the NAACP’s Moral Monday movement. She and Alderman plan to have their state-recognized marriage on March 15, but told local news station WNCN that she came to support even more movement toward equality.

“We need to keep marching for so many other people in our state who are still denied justice,” Tanner said as she and Alderman marched. “Marriage equality is not the promised land.”

Organizers had hoped 30,000 people would attend the event, but numbers seemed slightly less than predicted.

Read more reports of the march via The News & Observer and via Durham’s Herald-Sun.

Thousands marched in the NAACP's annual HKonJ in Raleigh. Photo by Jake Gellar-Goad.
Thousands marched in the NAACP’s annual HKonJ in Raleigh. Photo by Jake Gellar-Goad.
The LGBT Center of Raleigh joined in the NAACP's annual HKonJ march. Photo by Jake Gellar-Goad.
The LGBT Center of Raleigh joined in the NAACP’s annual HKonJ march. Photo by Jake Gellar-Goad.

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