ACLU-NC Executive Directer Jennifer Rudinger speaks during last night’s Equality NC town hall forum. Photo courtesy Jen Jones/Race to the Ballot (Twitter).

GREENSBORO, N.C. — More than 100 people gathered at College Park Baptist Church for Equality North Carolina’s “What’s Next” post-Amendment One town hall forum last night. Organizers say it was the largest event thus far in their statewide series of community forums.

Equality NC, along with the Human Rights Campaign, American Civil Liberties Union-North Carolina, Southerners on New Ground and other coalition partners, have taken to the road to host the town hall meeting across the state in the aftermath of Amendment One passage on May 8.

These meetings will provide an opportunity for supporters to look forward and learn how together the community can continue to fight for full equality by electing pro-equality legislators, being effective grassroots leaders and providing vital work by sharing personal stories.

Triad Health Project Executive Director Addison Ore, a former Equality NC board chair, moderated last night’s Greensboro meeting. Participants in the panel discussion included ACLU-NC Executive Director Jennifer Rudinger, Equality NC Executive Director Stuart Campbell, Replacements Ltd. General Counsel Andrew Spainhour and Bishop Donagrant McCluney, a SONG field organizer.

At the meeting, Rudinger addressed her group’s recently filed federal lawsuit seeking to defend and reinstate second-parent adoptions for same-sex parents. She said 80 percent of the public supports such rights for parents. The lawsuit, she said, has the potential to lay the groundwork toward overturning other discriminatory laws.

Minnesota’s upcoming anti-LGBT constitutional ballot initiative was also discussed. That state will face a campaign this fall similar to North Carolina’s spring amendment referendum. Campbell said Equality NC has already committed to support Minnesota in their efforts to prevent their amendment’s passage.

The series of meetings began on May 23 in Greenville, N.C., followed by meetings in Raleigh, Siler City, Kitty Hark, Durham, Wilmington, Asheville and Morehead City.

Future meetings include tonight’s event in Rocky Mount, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 516 N. Church St..

Other upcoming meetings include:

  • Sandhills Community, June 20, 7 p.m.
    Southern Pines Civic Club, 105 S. Ashe St.
  • Winston-Salem, June 24, 7 p.m.
    Green Street Methodist Church, 639 S. Green St.
  • Hickory, June 25, 7 p.m.
    Grace House (Old Hickory Funeral Home), 102 1st Ave., N.W.
  • Bakersville, June 26, 6 p.m.
    DT’s Blue Ridge Java, 169 Locust Ave., (Spruce Pine)
  • Boone, June 27, 7 p.m.
    Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 381 E. King St.
  • Charlotte, June 28, 7 p.m.
    Wells Fargo Auditorium, 430 S. Tryon St.

— Lainey Millen contributed.

Matt Comer

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

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