Leader of LGBT rights organization named to state Legislature

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Chris Sgro executive director of Equality North Carolina will finish the term of late state Rep. Ralph Johnson. (LYNN HEY/News & Record)

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Chris Sgro, the leader of the largest LGBT advocacy organization in North Carolina, will finish the term of late N.C. Rep. Ralph Johnson.

Sgro was appointed by the Guilford County Democratic Party Executive Committee on Saturday to fill the vacancy in the North Carolina House of Representatives, District 58.

Sgro is the executive director of lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender advocacy group Equality North Carolina. He will be the only openly LGBT member of the North Carolina General Assembly.

Sgro will hold office until the end of the year and is not running for election to a full term. Rep. Ralph Johnson died last month.

The Guilford County Democratic Party Chair will forward Sgro’s name to the governor, who is required to appoint their recommendation within seven days of its receipt.

Democrats are currently pushing for the repeal of House Bill 2, which blocks transgender individuals from using public bathrooms that match their gender identity and stops cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances to protect gay and transgender people. The bill also bans state lawsuits for any type of workplace discrimination.