Right thing to do.’ In historic vote, Charlotte expands LGBTQ protections

Right thing to do.’ In historic vote, Charlotte expands LGBTQ protections

On Monday, Charlotte’s City Council unanimously voted in favor of a nondiscrimination  ordinance that would establish protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, natural hairstyle and more. 

The expansion of protections marks Charlotte as the tenth North Carolina community to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance. This comes after 5 years since the state blocked Charlotte’s expansion to its nondiscrimination ordinance with the discriminatory legislation, House Bill 2.

  • In 2016, Charlotte’s City Council voted to expand its nondiscrimination ordinance to include LGBTQ+ protections but those protections were challenged by Republican legislators through the controversial HB2.
  • After statewide and national outcry, HB2 was repealed and replaced with House Bill 142, which still prevented North Carolina cities from passing their own protective ordinances and nullified Charlotte’s vote.
  • In December, the limitations on municipalities expired, giving multiple cities and towns across the state an opportunity to  adopt their own nondiscrimination laws. As of now, Apex, Asheville, Buncombe County, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham, Greensboro, Hillsborough, Orange County, and Charlotte have passed protections for natural hair, sexual orientation, and gender identity. 

Five years since the passage of HB2, North Carolinians across the state are taking a stand towards expanding protections for the most vulnerable members of our communities.

Through the continued passage of LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordiances, communities are ensuring that all North Carolinians have the right to dignity, equality, and fairness, no matter who they are. 

It’s time now for elected officials at every level of government to follow in the footsteps of our communities in passing legislation that will move our state forward in becoming a safer, more inclusive place to live, work, and raise families for all. 

Bottom Line:

As Kendra R. Johnson, Executive Director of Equality NC stated, “Throughout 2021, communities have come together to affirm that no one should face discrimination – and the vote tonight in Charlotte will double down on that undeniable momentum for LGBTQ equality. 

The passage of these protections indicate strong progress for racial and social justice. Small towns, mid-sized cities, counties, and now the largest city in North Carolina have all taken steps to protect LGBTQ people and illustrate that NC is ready for these protections statewide.”

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Alanna Joyner

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