Metro Weekly

Pelosi: North Carolina moving against tide on LGBT rights

Democratic leaders touts Equality Act as a way to counteract anti-LGBT bills passed at the state level

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Photo: Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, via Wikimedia).

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Photo: Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, via Wikimedia).

“The tide of history is to expand freedom and end discrimination. This is going in the opposite direction.”

–U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), responding to a question from a reporter from The Charlotte Observer about North Carolina lawmakers’ decision to pass an anti-LGBT measure into law. The newly approved law, which has been signed into effect by Gov. Pat McCrory (R), prohibits localities from passing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination protections and restricts transgender individuals to using only the bathroom that corresponds with their biological sex at birth.

When asked what could be done federally to counteract anti-LGBT measures in the states, Pelosi touted the Equality Act as one of four major steps to achieving full federal equality — following hate crimes protections, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and marriage equality — that congressional allies had hoped to push in Congress. The Equality Act, which has received support from most Democrats and a handful of Republicans in Congress, would amend the Civil Right Act of 1964 to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes for the purposes of prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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