Will Governor McCrory Work To Restore Discrimination Protections For Veterans?

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Will Governor McCrory Work To Restore Discrimination Protections For Veterans?

 

RALEIGH, N.C. – As Governor McCrory addresses the North Carolina National Guard convention, an important question to ask is: will he restore the protections for veterans that were taken away by House Bill 2? Governor McCrory’s House Bill 2 not only stripped discrimination protections for LGBT individuals, but also for veterans. With HB2 as law, cities and counties are prohibited from passing protections for active duty military personnel or veterans. Because of this provision, Greensboro’s ordinance protecting people from discrimination on the basis of veteran status was revoked.

This week, Rep. Billy Richardson introduced legislation during the short session to remedy the harmful effects of HB2 by introducing a bill designed to ban discrimination among military personnel and veterans.

“House Bill 2 was passed in just 12 hours and signed by Governor McCrory in the dark of night with no real opportunity for the public to review the legislation. Maybe Governor McCrory didn’t care or didn’t notice, but HB2 doesn’t just impact the LGBT community, it legalized discrimination against veterans,” said North Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Patsy Keever. “It’s time for Governor McCrory to repeal this shameful law.”

HB2 Forced Greensboro To Amend Its Policies Preventing Discrimination On The Basis Of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity And Military Status By Contractors And Entitles Renting City Facilities. According to a letter from Greensboro City Attorney Tom Carruthers to the Greensboro City Council, “The question is best framed as: ‘Does the City of Greensboro’s policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender preference, genetic information, familial status, military status and political affiliation conflict with State Law?’ The wording of the new law may be construed to support or oppose the additional protections afforded by City policy. This question of legislative intent was clarified in the Senate Committee considering passage of this bill. A legislative attorney reading the bill to the Committee noted that the language in question would still allow local governments to regulate their own employees. “I believe this legislative record indicates the better reading of this portion of this bill permits the City of Greensboro to maintain its current non-discrimination policies for its own employees. The City is permitted to set a higher standard for itself than mandated by the State. The City remains constrained from providing these additional protections to applicants for employment. The City may not require other entities who contract with the City or who rent City facilities to adopt these additional protections. Our office has revised current City contract language to conform to the new law.  We continue to evaluate what additional actions may be required and will inform Council of our opinions in a timely fashion.” [Letter from Greensboro City Attorney, 4/1/16]

 

News & Observer: “Cities And Counties Can No Longer Expand Their Local Rules To Ban Discrimination Against People For Being Gay, Transgender, A Veteran Or A Parent, To List Some Examples.” [News & Observer,3/28/16]

 

  • Greensboro And Orange County Have Ordinances Protecting People From Discrimination On The Basis Of Veteran Status.[Greensboro Municipal Code, accessed 3/28/16; Orange County Municipal Code, accessed 3/28/16]

 

North Carolina Bill “Would Also End Anti-Discrimination Protections For Veterans.” According to The Huffington Post, “The bill would also end anti-discrimination protections for veterans. At least two North Carolina jurisdictions — Greensboro and Orange County — have anti-discrimination ordinances in place banning bias based on military or veteran status. Under the new measure, cities and counties would be prohibited from passing protections for veterans or service members.” [Huffington Post, 3/23/16]

 

Senior Counsel Of The Human Rights Campaign: HB2 “Overturned Ordinances In Greensboro And Orange County, Which Protected Veterans From Discrimination.” “And Kate Oakley, senior counsel of the Human Rights Campaign, questioned how the law could change defense against discrimination for reasons other than sexuality. “(HB2) also overturned ordinances in Greensboro and Orange County, which protected veterans from discrimination,” Oakley said. “It may be that a claim of discrimination on the basis of religion will only result in a mediation.” [Daily Tar Heel, 3/29/16]

 

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The North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) is the North Carolina affiliate of the Democratic Party. NCDP works to elect Democratic public officials, encourages North Carolinians to become involved in Democratic politics, and fights for equality, opportunity and prosperity for all North Carolinians.