RALEIGH-- This week, Hillsborough, Carrboro, and Chapel-Hill became the first municipalities to pass LGBTQ protection ordinances after the expiration of a state ban prohibiting local governments from enacting anti-discrimination policies. Equality NC and Campaign for Southern Equality have spearheaded advocacy efforts for local cities and towns to adopt LGBTQ protections since the restoration of power for local governments.
“It's been a long road to get to this point, but our community has not relented. It is a proud day to see cities and allies stand with us against fear and hate,” said Joaquin Carcaño, a plaintiff in the HB2 lawsuit, Carcaño et al. v. Cooper et al. “I am hopeful that a further wave of LGBTQ protections across the state awaits us and our community can invest our energy and strength into living our full, beautiful lives rather than defending ourselves against attacks.”
In 2016, the ACLU, ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal sued North Carolina over House Bill 2, and subsequently, House Bill 142, for the targeting of LGBTQ members. Among other things, these laws prevented municipalities from enacting their own nondiscrimination ordinances and prohibited use of public restrooms that matched gender. The prohibition of local municipalities to enact their own nondiscrimination ordinances moratorium ended December 1, 2020.
“We’re glad to see our local leaders taking it upon themselves to ensure all North Carolinians are protected,” said Chantal Stevens, executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “It is encouraging to see progress made at the local level, and we hope more cities and towns throughout North Carolina will enact similar anti-discrimination ordinances to protect all of their residents.”