About Us

About Equality North Carolina

Equality North Carolina (ENC) is the nation's oldest statewide organization committed to securing rights and protections for the LGBTQ community. We aim to ensure that every North Carolinian sees themselves reflected in this movement, working together to create a safer, more equitable world for all marginalized individuals. Together, we can build a better North Carolina.

Our long-term goal is to achieve comprehensive statewide nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression across housing, employment, public accommodations, credit, insurance, and education—without exemptions that single out LGBTQ people.

What We Do

  • Advocacy: We champion policies that protect LGBTQ rights and fight against discriminatory practices.
  • Training & Education: We equip individuals, institutions, businesses, and government entities with the knowledge to create diverse, inclusive, and equitable environments.
  • Leadership Development: We nurture and develop leaders within the LGBTQ community to drive social change.
  • Community Mobilization: We engage and activate communities and partners to advocate for equality and justice.

At ENC, we believe in the power of unity and action. Join us in building a brighter future for all North Carolinians.


We envision a thriving, liberated North Carolina with a powerful LGBTQ community united in service of racial and social justice.


Equality North Carolina builds LGBTQ power through advocacy, education, and uplifting the stories of queer and trans North Carolinians in pursuit of racial and social justice.


  • We hold people at the center of all that we do: we see, hear, respect, and value each other.
  • We honor and build power on the margins until the margins are the center.
  • We know all oppression is interconnected. None of us are free until all of us are free.
  • We work strategically and sustainably: our work holds the realities of the need for both long- and short-term progress.
  • Y’all means all. We believe in the inherent dignity and worth of all, including people who are LGBTQ, Black, Brown, Indigenous, Workers, Women, Resource Poor, Incarcerated, Immigrants, Undocumented, Rural.

Our History

In the late 1970s, the world was a challenging place for LGBTQ people. On the brink of the AIDS crisis, our community faced an epidemic that would devastate a generation of leaders, creators, thinkers, and innovators. Rights and protections for LGBTQ individuals were nonexistent, and even BIPOC had only recently achieved legal recognition.

In 1979, seven dedicated individuals from diverse backgrounds united to form the North Carolina Human Rights Fund, aiming to create a more just and equitable world for those facing threats from their government and communities. Initially, the organization focused on providing legal services to LGBTQ individuals prosecuted under the Crimes Against Nature Law. Their courageous efforts helped shape the landscape for LGBTQ rights.

These founders not only provided essential legal support but also fostered local organizations across the state and helped fund the first NC Pride marches. In the late 1980s, their focus expanded to include education on lesbian and gay issues, evolving into what we now call the Equality NC Foundation.

In 1990, inspired by the LGBTQ mobilization during the Jesse Helms-Harvey Gantt U.S. Senate race, a group founded the NC Pride PAC. This Political Action Committee channeled the community's energy into state-level political change, remaining active in legislative and statewide races.

By 2002, the need for a parent organization to unify the PAC and Foundation became clear. This led to the formation of Equality North Carolina (ENC), which now manages our extensive lobbying and advocacy work. We are immensely proud of the countless activists, organizers, and community leaders whose dedication has brought ENC to where it is today.