NC Towns Considering More LGBT Protections After Moratorium

Jan 11, 2021

A 3 1/2-year ban on local ordinances aimed at protecting LGBT rights in North Carolina expired Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, prompting gay rights groups to urge the passage of such measures.
Credit Gerry Broome / AP

Three North Carolina municipalities plan this week to discuss ordinances to expand more anti-discrimination protections to LGBT citizens.

Town boards for these Orange County communities have placed proposals on their agendas on successive nights, beginning Monday in Hillsborough. Carrboro's council meets Tuesday and Chapel Hill's on Wednesday.

Gay-rights groups say the ordinances, if enacted, would be the first approved since the General Assembly's three-and-a-half-year pause on such rules expired Dec. 1. These groups have urged their passage by towns and cities.

The moratorium emerged in 2017 from a compromise between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican lawmakers to do away with the state's 2016 “bathroom bill” related to restroom access for transgender people.

The ordinances would make it unlawful within town limits for businesses to discriminate in employment and in offering goods and services to the public on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and other differences. Some proposals would subject violators to misdemeanors and fines.