Politics & Government

McCrory appoints LGBT leader Chris Sgro to NC House

Chris Sgro speaks at the Charlotte Non-Discrimination Ordinance Coalition at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in March.
Chris Sgro speaks at the Charlotte Non-Discrimination Ordinance Coalition at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in March. dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

As of Thursday afternoon, the N.C. General Assembly now has one openly gay member as the debate over House Bill 2 rages on.

Gov. Pat McCrory issued a proclamation appointing Equality North Carolina executive director Chris Sgro to the N.C. House. Sgro has been one of the leading opponents of the state’s new LGBT law.

McCrory didn’t have a choice about who fills the House seat, which became vacant when Rep. Ralph Johnson of Greensboro died last month.

The governor’s proclamation makes that clear: “The provisions of General Statute 163-11 require that the vacancy created by the death of the Honorable Ralph C. Johnson be filled by appointment of the person recommended by eligible members of the Guilford County Democratic Party Executive Committee.”

Sgro’s time in the legislature will be short. Amos Quick, a Guilford County school board member, won the Democratic primary for the seat last month and doesn’t face any opposition in November, so he’ll take office in January.

N.C. Democratic Party Chairwoman Patsy Keever said Sgro will make an impact in the upcoming short session, which starts April 25.

“Chris Sgro is an excellent choice for this seat, and I know he’ll do a great job working for all North Carolinians in the upcoming legislative session,” Keever said. “As a strong and vocal advocate for the LGBT community, Chris has the experience and the skills to continue our fight against HB2, Gov. McCrory’s discriminatory, job-killing law.”

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