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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Equal Protection

RALEIGH. – The North Carolina General Assembly is considering a bill that would prohibit local governments from enacting measures to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender North Carolinians from discrimination in housing and public accommodations. SB 279 has many other troubling provisions, including one that would jeopardize comprehensive sex education in public schools and could lead to the return of abstinence-only education. The provisions to remove power from local governments weren’t made public until Monday night and could overturn many existing nondiscrimination ordinances across the state.  

“The General Assembly has no business interfering in local decisions to protect residents from discrimination,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “Many communities in North Carolina have passed these ordinances with popular local support in order to compete for the best jobs and show that they are inclusive and welcoming places. This shameful bill would remove that local control and hurt our state’s reputation by sending a message that North Carolina sanctions intolerance and discrimination.” 

On September 21, the Wake County Board of Commissioners voted to add lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to those protected by the county’s employment nondiscrimination policies. Other state municipalities that have adopted LGBT nondiscrimination policies include Buncombe, Durham, and Mecklenburg counties, and the cities of Asheville, Boone, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Charlotte, High Point and Raleigh.


Originally posted on www.lgbtcenterofraleigh.com

In the struggle for marriage equality, the American Civil Liberties is at the forefront of the battle. As Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina, Christopher Brook oversees the organization’s legal program and its work on a wide range of constitutional law issues, including LGBT rights, racial justice, and religious liberty.

Chris grew up in Raleigh and then attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his undergraduate and law degrees. Along the way, he gained a passion for social justice and civil liberty that directs all his efforts in our community.


Isabel Najera was excited to vote in her first election as a U.S. citizen in 2014. The North Carolina mother of four did everything right to cast a ballot that would count. She registered in time, went to the right polling place, and showed up to cast a ballot during early voting. But as she testified in federal court Tuesday, through no fault of her own, Isabel’s registration was lost and her vote did not count.   

Isabel is one of dozens of witnesses testifying this week and next in the trial over North Carolina’s voter suppression law, without which Isabel’s vote would have counted. The ACLU and Southern Coalition for Social Justice are challenging provisions of the law that eliminated same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting, and a full week of early voting. Hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians used these voting options in previous elections before they were repealed by the state’s Legislature in 2013, in what many observers called the worst voter suppression law in the nation.   

Isabel was born in Mexico and came to the United States 21 years ago as a legal permanent resident. She worked as a migrant farm worker before getting a job with her local Head Start, teaching 2- and 3-year-olds life and socialization skills. While working, Isabel also earned her GED and eventually an associate’s degree in early childhood education.


By Mike Meno, ACLU-NC Communications Director

The ACLU and other groups were in federal court for the first day of arguments against North Carolina’s 2013 voter suppression law, which many court observers have called the most restrictive voting law in the nation. Along with the ACLU of North Carolina and Southern Coalition for Social Justice, the ACLU is representing the League of Women Voters of North Carolina and other groups and individuals in a challenge to provisions of the law that eliminated same-day voter registration and out-of-precinct voting, and reduced the number of days when North Carolinians could vote early by an entire week. Hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians, the majority of them African Americans, have relied on those measures to cast their votes in past elections.

The trial will feature dozens of witnesses who will explain how North Carolina’s new voting restrictions have severely restricted ballot access for the state’s most vulnerable citizens, including low-wealth voters, those with transportation challenges, and particularly African American voters. In the 2012 election, 900,000 North Carolinians cast their ballots during the seven days of early voting eliminated by the North Carolina General Assembly. Seventy percent of those who voted early were African American.