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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Joseph A. Herzenberg, November 1, 2000. Interview K-0196. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Gay-friendly political atmosphere in Orange County, North Carolina

Herzenberg briefly describes the Orange Lesbian and Gay Association (OLGA). OLGA was a group that endorsed gay-friendly candidate for local office in Orange County, North Carolina, although the universally gay-friendly posture of local politicians has made that unnecessary of late, Herzenberg says.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Joseph A. Herzenberg, November 1, 2000. Interview K-0196. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

CHRIS MCGINNIS:
Apparently, you had studied, or had started a few organizations such as OLGA? The Orange Lesbian and Gay Association?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, not me just by myself. I never started anything by myself.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
Oh, okay, well these organizations, they mentioned, there was a whole flurry of organizations that came off toward the end of your tape in 1995.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
OLGA was one of them—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
It still sort of exists, well not—
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
What did OLGA do?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
OLGA does what it has to do. [Laughter] The Orange Lesbian and Gay Association, it must be—Used to endorse candidates for local office, in Orange County, for Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Orange County. I think there hasn't been a need to do that in the last few years, so we haven't done it. That is to say, you know, we elected people to Chapel Hill and Carrboro Town Boards and Gloria Failey to the School Board [pause] and the elected officials are doing okay without our help. The most recent example, and it made me very happy, I was out of the country for three weeks almost and I come back and find out that the Chapel Hill Town Council unanimously voted to encourage the United Way not to give money to groups that discriminate. And as far as I know, no gay person asked them to do that. But, they did it anyway. So, I think that the political culture of this county—I don't mean to say that things are safe, in that we don't need to be vigilant—but by and large, people who get elected to office, or most offices in this county, are sensitive enough to gay things so that they won't do something bad, and in fact they will do good things even without being encouraged.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
Great
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And that is why OLGA has not done anything lately, because there has not been the need to do anything.