Legislators in North Carolina attempted an 11th-hour sneak attack on LGBT North Carolinians by attempting to attach language to Senate Bill 279, which would have prohibited cities and counties from passing nondiscrimination ordinances in cases of public accommodations and housing and from passing higher minimum wages or regulations involving employment practices.
Imagine a town being prohibited from banning discrimination in 2015. These are the kinds of cynical actions some legislators across the country are attempting to push through, mostly for their own political gain. Equality Federation’s partners are united for fairness and we are determined to win equality in every community.
Equality North Carolina rapidly mobilized thousands of citizens to call their legislators Tuesday night.
Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality North Carolina, said, “I’m so proud of the work we have done to make our voices heard in opposition to the proposed changes to SB 279. Fair minded North Carolinians sprung into action today and were integral in defeating SB 279. Thanks to the messages from countless gay, transgender, and allied residents of the Tar Heel State, our cities and counties can continue to move forward with adding vital protections for LGBT citizens. Equality NC thanks representatives from both parties who listened to these messages and spoke out against the bad policy and process surrounding SB 279.”
In the absence of national protections like those that would be provided in the Equality Act, many cities and counties across the country have passed local nondiscrimination ordinances. Click here to see a detailed map of local LGBT protections.
Sadly, SB 279 is still a terrible bill. The ACLU opposed it, saying it would weaken North Carolina’s Healthy Youth Act by removing the requirement that sex ed be taught by recognized sexual health experts. SB 279 could even enable the return of abstinence-only education in our public schools: “The Healthy Youth Act mandates that educational materials given to students be ‘based on scientific research that is peer-reviewed and accepted by professionals and credentialed experts in the field of sexual health education.’ SB 279 could allow ideological extremists to teach students beliefs that are not based in science and may run counter to expert recommendations for teaching young people about sexually transmitted infections, contraception, and more.”
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