NC General Assembly (Photo: Clayton Henkel)

HB2 shadow still looms large in NC, but how large?

BY: - May 30, 2023

Once again, North Carolina is looking down the barrel of a barrage of far-right legislation. Again unchecked by the counterweight of a gubernatorial veto (thanks to one legislator’s act of astounding deceit), Republicans are gleefully railroading extremist social legislation into law. A top reason: some important changes that have overtaken our state’s politics in recent […]


Monopoly men: GOP legislative leaders continue to extend their power in all directions

BY: - May 23, 2023

Is there any aspect of life in modern North Carolina for which the Republican majority of the General Assembly doesn’t see itself as the font of all wisdom and rightful final arbiter? That’s not a facetious question. GOP pols and their pals on the religious right and in the business and gun lobbies love to […]

North Carolina House Republicans advance a new kind of bathroom bill

BY: - January 17, 2023

It’s been almost seven years since North Carolina Republican lawmakers and then-Gov. Pat McCrory hastily concocted and enacted House Bill 2 – the infamous “bathroom bill” that targeted transgender people for ignorant, mean-spirited, and altogether absurd discrimination, while simultaneously making the state the target of numerous boycotts and countless late-night TV one-liners. The bill was later repealed, of course, but its legacy – as an embarrassment to be forgotten as quickly as possible...

Garner becomes latest NC town to adopt LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance

BY: - July 6, 2022

The Garner Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to adopt Wake County’s LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance, joining dozens of communities around the state in broadening protections from discrimination. According to a resolution and inter-local agreement, Wake County will enforce the ordinance within the town The ordinance, which does not apply to religious organizations prohibits discrimination on […]

Will NC get swept up in the national rising tide of anti-LGBTQ legislation?

BY: - March 16, 2022

At Tuesday night’s Wake County Republican Party convention, John Amanchukwu, a youth pastor with Raleigh’s Upper Room Church of God in Christ, gave the opening prayer. “There is a war in our public schools,” Amanchukwu said. “Our children are being turned out at an alarming rate. Our public education system is in shambles and our children have now become expendable....

Monday numbers: A closer look at LGBTQ equality in NC’s cities and towns

BY: - December 20, 2021

This year the Human Rights Campaign, the national LGBTQ advocacy organization, is celebrating 10 years of its Municipal Equality Index. The group calls the annual report “the nation’s premier benchmarking tool for municipal officials, policy makers and business leaders to understand how well cities across the nation are embodying LGBTQ+ inclusion in their laws, policies, and services.”

Raleigh joins Wake County in new non-discrimination protections

BY: - October 20, 2021

The Raleigh City Council unanimously voted to join in a new, LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance Tuesday, the day after the ordinance was passed by Wake County. The move makes North Carolina’s capital city the 15th local government in the state to pass such an ordinance since a ban on local non-discrimination ordinances expired late last year. […]

Robinson, Walker respond to criticism of LGBTQ comments, connections to right wing religious group

BY: - October 9, 2021

This week Policy Watch published a story delving into the connections between Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker and right-wing religious group the American Renewal Project. The group rejects the separation between church and state -particularly in public schools –  condemns LGBTQ people and Muslims and regularly uses […]

Monday numbers: A closer look at the relative well-being of LGBTQ Americans

BY: - August 16, 2021

Last week Charlotte became the latest — and, by far, largest — North Carolina community to pass new LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination protections. The new protections come five years after state lawmakers and then-Gov. Pat McCrory passed HB 2, preventing local governments from introducing new non-discrimination ordinances.

Charlotte latest city to expand LGBTQ protections

BY: - August 10, 2021

The Charlotte City Council unanimously approved new non-discrimination protections Monday, completing the work state lawmakers blocked with the passage of HB2 and its ensuing national controversy five years ago. A ban on such local non-discrimination ordinances expired last year. On Monday, Charlotte became the tenth community — and by far the largest — to pass […]

LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances take effect in four NC communities

BY: - July 2, 2021

As the legacy of HB 2 continues to fade, nine North Carolina cities and counties now bar discrimination against LGBTQ individuals Four new North Carolina communities now have LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances, protecting citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.


Today’s best op-ed is on the sports page

BY: - April 22, 2021

One of the best things about Raleigh’s News & Observer is sports columnist Luke DeCock. The veteran journalist has the rare ability to write insightful essays about NHL game strategy or college basketball recruiting one day and important matters of public policy the next. Today, he’s opted to take on the latter with an on-the-mark […]