Editor’s note: This post has been uppdated below with clarification from Gov. McCrory’s Deputy Communications Director.
Equality NC is calling on Governor Pat McCrory to revisit an executive order he signed Monday that requires equal employment opportunities for all employees and applicants for employment ‘without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability and genetic information.’
LGBT advocates say that the governor’s order referred to several specific classifications yet excluded gay and transgender workers from the state’s nondiscrimination policy.
McCrory’s office issued a press release Monday, touting the significance of the executive order:
“Insisting on nondiscrimination will strengthen our state and demonstrate that we value diversity of thought and each of our citizens’ unique backgrounds,” said Governor McCrory.
But Equality NC’s Executive Director Chris Sgro said the failure to include any language that supports LGBT protections “flies in the face of fairness.”
“While we agree with Gov. McCrory that ‘insisting on nondiscrimination will strengthen our state and demonstrate that we value diversity of thought and each of our citizens’ unique backgrounds,’ any executive order ensuring ‘equal opportunities’ that excludes protections for gay and transgender North Carolinians not only flies in the face of fairness, but also discourages fair-minded people from working for the state,” said Sgro.
“In turn, we insist that the governor revisit his views on equal employment opportunities to include protections for North Carolina’s hardworking gay and transgender employees — all of whom can currently be fired for reasons that have nothing to do with job performance. Until then, the governor’s gesture toward inclusivity will be just that.”
Equality NC, which has been working to improve workplace protection policies, notes that North Carolina is one of 29 states where you can still be fired for being gay or transgender.
On Tuesday morning, Governor McCrory’s Deputy Communications Director sought to clarify their earlier release:
“This Executive Order mirrors federal and state regulations as well as orders issued under Governors Hunt, Martin, Easley and Perdue during the course of more than 30 years. Governor McCrory and the state of North Carolina do not accept discrimination of any kind. What the governor does not tolerate are employees who do not do their jobs.” – Ryan Tronovitch, Deputy Communications Director
But in a follow-up with Charlotte qnotes reporter Matt Comer, Tronovitch declined to elaborate on the McCrory’s position. Here’s more from Comer’s story:
Tronivitch has declined repeatedly to specifically comment on the exclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity, and whether the governor believes LGBT employees aren’t deserving of the same protections offered to other workers.
“Matt – our statement answers your questions,” Tronovitch replied to this writer.
A request to receive a copy of the executive order has not been fulfilled.