Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed June as LGBTQ Pride Month to honor the state’s LGBTQ+ community, their fight for equality and North Carolina’s efforts to create a welcoming community for all.
“North Carolina’s diversity is one of our greatest strengths,” Governor Cooper said. “As we celebrate the LGBTQ community this month, let’s recommit our efforts to ensure our state is welcoming and inclusive.”
LGBTQ Pride Month commemorates the riots held 53 years ago at the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969. This event is often recognized as the birth of the modern LGBTQ+ movement.
The United States Supreme Court has issued rulings on several landmark cases upholding LGBTQ equality in the month of June, including extending discrimination protections for LGBTQ employees under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in 2020 and affirming same-sex couples’ right to marry under Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015.
Governor Cooper has taken several steps to make North Carolina a safe and welcoming place for people in the LGBTQ+ community to live and work.
In October 2017, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order No. 24 which prohibits employment discrimination in the Governor’s administration, including on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The Order requires entities doing business with the state to do the same. Executive Order No. 24 also created the NC Commission on Inclusion which identifies policies and measures to promote inclusion and address discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
In August 2019, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 97 making North Carolina the first state in the South to ban state funding for conversion therapy for minors.
In addition to these executive orders and actions, Governor Cooper’s administration continues to find ways to uplift and better serve the LGBTQ community. For example, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services provides guidance and training to child welfare workers and foster families to provide appropriate and affirming services to LGBTQ youth. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety has trained corrections officers on best practices in protecting LGBTQ inmates. And Cabinet agencies have created new positions and offices to increase diversity, equity and inclusion across state government —including the first Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in a North Carolina Governor’s Office.
Despite progress toward equality, the LGBTQ community still faces challenges – specifically among LGBTQ youth. According to the Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, 45% of LGBTQ youth considered attempting suicide in 2021 and 60% of LGBTQ youth who wanted mental health care were not able to get it in the past year. In his most recent budget proposal, the Governor outlined significant investments to expand mental health programs for students across North Carolina to make sure they can get the care they need.