North Carolina's 30th Annual Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Festival celebrates full throttle today across the triangle with colorful parades, 5K runs, live music performances, and dance parties. Here in Chapel Hill/Carrboro, we have many NC Pride "firsts" to laud. Here are some: Chapel Hill elected its first openly gay mayor, Mark Kleinschmidt, in 2009. It was the first North Carolina municipality to elect an openly gay town council member, and also the first to include sexual orientation as a classification under the NC hate-crimes law. It too was the first in the state to support the repeal of NC Amendment One, the North Carolina Defense of Marriage Act.
Carrboro was the first NC municipality to elect an openly gay mayor, Mike Nelson, in 1995. The town's current mayor, Lydia Lavelle, is the first openly lesbian mayor in the state of North Carolina. Its police chief, Carolyn Hutchison, was the state’s first openly gay police chief, appointed in 1998. Carrboro also was the first municipality in North Carolina to grant domestic-partner benefits to same-sex couples.
(photographs taken on Main Street in Carrboro)