Wake County and City of Raleigh to Vote on SOGI Ordinances

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Wake County and City of Raleigh to Vote on SOGI Ordinances By NC Family Staff October 13, 2021 The Wake County Board of Commissioners agreed on Monday to vote on the adoption of a local non-discrimination ordinance next week that would ban discrimination based on—among other categories—“sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” (SOGI). The Raleigh City Council will also vote next week on whether to adopt a practically identical ordinance for the city. If adopted, the ordinances would prohibit “discrimination” in public accommodations and employment in Wake County and the City of Raleigh, and in businesses that contract with these governmental entities. The Wake County Board of Commissioners will vote on the ordinance on Monday, October 18, and the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday, October 19. If these ordinances pass, then as of February 1, 2022, employers in Wake County and the City of Raleigh will not be allowed to “fail or refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate” against any person because of their “Protected Class,” defined as “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, or disability.” In the current draft of the ordinance, the public accommodations section does not apply to multiple occupancy restrooms, showers, or changing facilities. It does, however, apply to “a place, facility, store or other establishment which supplies accommodations, goods, or services to the public or which solicits or accepts the patronage or trade of the general public.” The ordinances would make it illegal to “deny any person the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations” because of that person’s “Protected Class.” The public accommodation section exempts “Religious Organizations” such as a “church, mosque, synagogue, temple, non-denominational ministry, faith-based mission, or faith-based entity that is primarily devoted to the study, practice, or advancement of religion.” It also exempts a “non-profit fraternal or social organization which restricts use of facilities and services to members and their guests.” P.O. Box 20607, Raleigh, NC 27619 919.807.0800

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