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Garner becomes latest NC town to adopt LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance

The Garner Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to adopt Wake County’s LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance, joining dozens of communities around the state in broadening protections from discrimination.

According to a resolution and inter-local agreement, Wake County will enforce the ordinance within the town The ordinance, which does not apply to religious organizations prohibits discrimination on the basis of “race, natural hair or hairstyles, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, pregnancy, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ancestry, National Guard or veteran status, religious belief or non-belief, age, and disability.”

Garner is the seventh community within Wake County to adopt its own non-discrimination ordinance or sign on to the county’s. The others are: Apex, Cary, Knightdale, Morrisville, Raleigh and Wendell.

In April leaders from across the county gathered at Campbell University’s School of Law to celebrate the wave of new ordinances.Campbell’s law school has taken the lead in helping resolve complaints filed through the ordinance process.

As Policy Watch has reported, the new ordinances became possible when a state ban on new local protections — including nondiscrimination ordinances for employment and housing — was lifted. The ban was a legacy of the  brutal fight over HB 2 and HB 142, the controversial laws that excluded lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from statewide nondiscrimination protections.

This year the LGBTQ people nationwide have seen been targeted by an unprecedented number of hostile bills in state legislatures. Though LGBTQ North Carolinians saw important legal victories last month, they have also been targeted by state legislation casting them as dangerous or mentally ill and been the focus of campaigns and protests fro local GOP officials. The ongoing political campaign was given a spot light late last month when masked right-wing protesters attempted to shut down drag queen story time events at libraries and private businesses.

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Garner becomes latest NC town to adopt LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance