Mark Kleinschmidt

Orange County Superior Court Clerk


Mark will continue to serve as the only LGBTQ clerk of court in North Carolina!


Mark is completing his first term as the Clerk of Superior Court and Judge of Probate in Orange County, North Carolina. Twenty years ago, Mark became the fifth out-LGBTQ elected official in North Carolina history. His service includes having been Chapel Hill’s first out-LGBTQ Mayor from 2009- 2015.

Mark has fulfilled his pledge to make securing legal protections for LGBTQ families simpler and more efficient even as he continues to work to improve access to justice for everyone. Near the beginning of the pandemic, it was Mark who was the first in his community to call stakeholders together to fashion a plan to address the coming eviction crises. Resources and systems were put in place to help keep thousands of people in their homes and protect housing providers.

Prior to assuming his current office, Mark was an attorney in private practice that included representing people facing the death penalty, accessing accommodations for people with disabilities and fighting for LGBTQ equality. Mark is proud to have been one of the attorneys who sued and won marriage equality for the people of North Carolina.

Mark lives in Chapel Hill with his husband Matt DeBellis and their pup Ellie.

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