Raleigh City Council on Tuesday voted
unanimously in favor of adopting protections for its LGBT citizens.
The move comes a day after Wake County, North Carolina's most
populous county, approved a similar measure.
The Wake County Board of Commissioners
voted unanimously to expand a nondiscrimination ordinance, commonly
referred to as an NDO, to include sexual orientation and gender
identity. The ordinance covers employment and public accommodations.
Raleigh is the 15th North
Carolina municipality to adopt such a measure this year, joining
Charlotte, Apex, Asheville, Buncombe County, Carrboro, Chapel Hill,
Durham, Greensboro, Hillsborough, Winston-Salem, Chatham County,
Orange County, and Wake County. Mecklenburg County is also
considering a similar ordinance.
The surge in protections comes roughly
five years after the state blocked Charlotte's ordinance with House
Kendra R. Johnson, executive director
of Equality NC, the state's largest LGBT rights advocate, said the
actions signal “undeniable momentum for LGBTQ equality and a major
cause for celebration.”
“At the beginning of 2021, every
LGBTQ person in our state was left vulnerable to discrimination –
but now, then months in, local nondiscrimination ordinances protect
millions of residents,” Johnson said in a statement.
Charlotte's passage of its NDO in 2016
stirred controversy and fueled the passage of House Bill 2, North
Carolina's so-called “bathroom bill,” which prohibited
transgender individuals from using the bathroom of their choice.
A national outcry against HB2 pressured
Republican lawmakers to partially repeal the measure. Municipalities
in North Carolina have been free to adopt their own NDOs since