On December 1st, 2020, HB 142 sunsetted – it was a compromise over the repeal of HB 2, dubbed NCs “Bathroom Bill”. This was the part of the bill that blocked municipalities from passing nondiscrimination ordinances. It was passed to prevent local lawmakers from passing locally-supported ordinances to protect their LGBTQ citizens. To this day, I don’t understand the motivation to introduce or pass this bill.
Equality NC and other LGBTQ+ Rights Advocates worked tirelessly against this bill, and not surprisingly, it was costly to our state. According to an AP Analysis, an estimated $3.76 billion in economic opportunity was lost due to HB 2, and I don’t think any of us who were mortified that the bill was introduced, much less passed, were surprised in the least by the backlash. People vote with their wallets, and this is something we need to remember at the state AND the municipal level.
I bring up HB 2 because I believe that municipalities should pass anti-discrimination ordinances – including Cary. I understand that municipal powers are given by our GA, but now that the three-year ban on local non-discrimination ordinances has expired, we should react.
Municipalities still have to remain within the law, but they can pass anti-discrimination ordinances regarding public accommodations and private employment. In a nutshell – proactively protecting the rights of folks in the LGBTQ+ communities in our Town – from punitive treatment like being denied service or being fired for their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Hundreds of communities nationwide offer their LGBTQ+ communities these types of protections, and polling and research show that the majority of Americans agree.
I hope to see communities in the Triangle following the lead of Charlotte, Asheville, and many other NC towns and cities in passing nondiscrimination ordinances. Check out what Winston-Salem is doing, it is a model of how Cary could move forward in well-thought-out phases. Cary can and should do this, and if elected, Amanda Murphy (District C) and I would like to work with staff and Council on an NDO for Cary.