BREAKING: Raleigh Votes to Protect Transgender Workers
RALEIGH, N.C. (October 21, 2014) -- Raleigh City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday afternoon to include protections for transgender city employees in revised policy language recommended by the City's Human Relations Commission. With the vote, the state's capital city became the sixth city in North Carolina to protect all city employees in the LGBT community and the 10th state municipality to offer those protections, following Asheville, Boone, Carrboro, Charlotte, Chapel Hill and Buncombe, Durham, Mecklenburg and Orange Counties.
"Today, we celebrate the Raleigh City Council's vote to extend workplace protections to the city's transgender employees. Like last week's marriage win, this vote in favor of protections for transgender workers comes after years of conversations, testimonials, meetings, and genuine hard work by organizations and individuals dedicated to building a state of equality in 2014 and beyond," said Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC. "We'll endeavor to take this significant victory today for LGBT workers in our capital city to towns, cities and counties throughout the state that want to make a similar pledge: to protect their valuable gay and transgender workers from harassment, discrimination, and dismissal for reasons that have nothing to do with job performance."
Sgro added, "After all, when we protect gay and transgender people within the workplace, they can live better lives outside of it."
The motion to pass the revised language, including protections for transgender workers, came from Republican Councilmember John Odom, thought by many to be the city's most conservative councilmember. The unanimous vote occurred without discussion or debate.
The revised policy language was approved as follows (with revisions underlined):
"The policy of the City of Raleigh is, and shall be, to oppose any discrimination based on actual or perceived age, mental or physical disability, sex, religion, race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial or marital status, economic status, veteran status, or national origin in any aspect of life."