Chris Sgro

Talking Politics with Dr. Chris Cooper

May 16, 2017
Jeremy Loeb/BPR

Western Carolina University political scientist Dr. Chris Cooper is a frequent guest of Blue Ridge Public Radio.  In his most recent visit, Cooper spoke with BPR's Jeremy Loeb and Matt Bush about the latest in state politics.  The conversation touched on the recently-passed Senate budget, a big Supreme Court punt on voter ID, the brewing (pun intended) legal battle involving craft beer, possible campaign finance mischief, Senator Richard Burr's role in the national spotlight, and some high-profile resignations for the progressive left in North Carolina.  

Equality NC Leader Stepping Down

May 12, 2017
Jeremy Loeb/BPR

Chris Sgro, the leader of the state LGBT rights group Equality NC, has announced he's stepping down at the end of May after nearly four years with the group.  He's taking a job with the national gay rights group Human Rights Campaign.  He'll be their communications director.  Sgro spoke with BPR about his time with ENC and about the bill that partly repealed HB2.

Colin Campbell/News & Observer

There were more protests and arrests Friday as lawmakers continued their surprise additional special session to limit the powers of Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper.  On party-line votes, both chambers passed SB4, a bill that includes broad election changes.  It was quickly signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory, according to House Speaker Tim Moore.  The legislature also passed HB17, which restricts Cooper's ability to make appointments.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

The race for governor in North Carolina is nail-bitingly close.  Republican Governor Pat McCrory has been bogged down for the last six months defending House Bill 2, the state's controversial "bathroom bill."  His opponent, Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper wants it repealed.  That position is supported by gay rights groups and they're making it known.  Two leaders of the LGBT movement were in Asheville stumping for Cooper on Thursday and Friday.

NBA Pulls All-Star Game From Charlotte Over HB2

Jul 4, 2016
Chuck Burton/AP

*Updated 7/21 at 6:26pm: As the NBA had been warning NC lawmakers for months, it's announced that the All-Star Game has been pulled from Charlotte because of the controversial House Bill 2.  

The NBA has released the following statement: "The NBA has decided to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte with the hope of rescheduling for 2019.

NBC News

Updated 8/2 7:25 am (Associated Press): Gov. Pat McCrory decided against signing one bill sent by the legislature because money appropriated to defend House Bill 2 originated from a disaster relief fund.

The bill became law without McCrory's signature as a deadline passed Sunday night. It contained many tweaks to a larger budget measure, including $500,000 for the governor's office for legal costs of defending House Bill 2, which limits anti-discrimination rules for LGBTQ people

NC House Democrats Seek to Expand State LGBT Protections

May 11, 2016

Democrats in the North Carolina House have filed a bill to expand state protections to include sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status and familial status.

Greensboro Representative Chris Sgro is one of the sponsors of House Bill 1078, dubbed the “Equality for All Act”.  He called it the most comprehensive set of non-discrimination protections ever introduced in the General Assembly.

Harry Lynch, News & Observer of Raleigh

North Carolina lawmakers will convene later this month for their short session and House Bill 2 is expected to figure prominently.  The bill barring anti-discrimination measures for the LGBT community was passed in a one-day special session.  Hundreds of people rallied today in the state capital in support of HB2, despite a backlash from the political and corporate world that’s gone nationwide.  This weekend we learned one of the most prominent members of the opposition will now be an insider arguing for its repeal.  Chris Sgro, Executive Director of gay rights group Equality North Carolin

Maroon 5 Facebook

Updated: 5/21

(Associated Press)

The pop group Maroon 5 has joined the list of entertainers canceling appearances in North Carolina because of the passage of legislation that denies anti-discrimination protections and dictates which restrooms transgender people can use.

The members said they won't appear Sept. 11 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte or Sept. 12 at PNC Arena in Raleigh. The band announced on its website Friday that its members feel canceling "is morally right as we feel everyone should be treated equally."

Tom Bullock/WFAE News

Charlotte has rejected a measure protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

City Council voted Monday night against expanding the city's nondiscrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity to a list of protected groups. It also would have prohibited discrimination based on someone's marital and familial status.

AP PHOTO/TED RICHARDSON

A North Carolina gay rights group is voicing concerns over news that a so-called “religious freedom” bill could be introduced by the state legislature.  Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro says the law wouldn’t be about religious freedom at all.  He says one goal would be to give magistrates a way to opt out of performing same-sex weddings – which are now legal in North Carolina.  And he says history has shown that businesses are opposed to these sorts of laws.