Joe Hackney

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s statewide LGBT advocacy organization has announced it will present N.C. House Speaker Joe Hackney (D-Chatham, Moore, Orange) with its 2010 Legislative Leadership Award.

Equality North Carolina’s executive director, Ian Palmquist, made the announcement in an email to supporters on Sept. 27.

“As Speaker, Joe Hackney has demonstrated real leadership time and again,” Palmquist wrote. “Every year the right wing pushes the marriage discrimination constitutional amendment. And every year, Joe Hackney says no. He’s put himself on the line to keep that attack on our community bottled up.”

Palmquist added, “It’s thanks to his leadership in the House and Senator Banight’s leadership in the Senate that we proudly remain the only Southern state that has not written this kind of discrimination into our constitution.”

Palmquist also said Hackney was key ally on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. In 2009, Hackney also supported the Healthy Youth Act, which mandates abstinence-based, comprehensive sex education in public schools. Hackney has also supported safe schools initiatives.

“Over the last three years, the Speaker worked closely with Equality NC and our coalition partners to finally do something to make our schools safer for all students,” Palmquist wrote. “When it came time to vote on the School Violence Prevention Act last year, Joe Hackney personally secured the last few votes we needed for passage, and then cast the tie-breaking vote that secured this historic victory.”

Hackney will receive the award at Equality North Carolina’s annual gala. The event will be held Nov. 13 at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

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