First, Triangle lawyers condemned the North Carolina Bar Association’s cancellation of a drag show scheduled to take place during Pride month at Durham’s Motorco. Now, more than 100 North Carolina organizations, officials, attorneys, and individuals have since criticized the NCBA’s action. 

The NCBA says it canceled its June 8 Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Committee’s drag show trivia night in order to avoid it being “interpreted as a political statement,” and because continuing with the event would “impair the effectiveness” of the association’s legislative responsibilities. 

On June 1, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ), more than 120 nonprofit, LGBTQ+ and legal organizations, current and former elected officials, attorneys, and individuals across the state responded with a letter to the NCBA denouncing its decision to cancel the event over its fear of political backlash. 

“Conservative lawmakers are attacking the LGBTQ+ community from all sides across our nation,” said Ryan Roberson, the executive director of SCSJ. “Organizations like the NCBA wield vast influence — it’s important for them not to bow to the anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and political pressure to erase our queer family from public life, especially as we enter Pride Month. It’s worth a reminder, injustice against one of our communities is injustice against all.” 

SCSJ and the signees are urging the NCBA to stand with the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month and every month. Specifically, the letter requests that the association make an “unambiguous statement acknowledging the decision to cancel the SOGI Committee event was wrong and committing to centering LGBTQ+ voices in matters affecting their rights and well-being, eschewing censorship and authoritarianism in all its forms, and taking proactive measures to rebuild trust between the Association and its members.”

The NCBA has yet to respond or make a statement about this letter. The drag event is scheduled to go on at Motorco on Thursday at 6 p.m. after the Pauli Murray LGBTQ Bar Association took over organizing for it.

Read the full letter below.


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