Press Release • January 25, 2023

Boone Town Council Votes to Protect People from Discrimination Based on LGBTQ+ Identity and Natural Hairstyle

For Immediate Release

Alainna Liloia | Equality NC |

Adam Polaski | Campaign for Southern Equality |

Boone – Tonight, the Boone Town Council unanimously voted to pass an ordinance that protects residents from discrimination based on race, natural hair or hairstyles, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ancestry, marital or familial status, pregnancy, veteran status, religious belief or non-belief, age, or disability. The ordinance ensures protections in employment, housing and places of public accommodations – such as restaurants and businesses – by prohibiting discriminatory practices. Notably, the new ordinance ensures that prohibitions on racial discrimination include discrimination based on natural hairstyles, and that prohibitions on sex discrimination include discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Similar ordinances prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity have been passed in 21 other municipalities all across North Carolina. They include large cities and smaller towns – such as Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Hillsborough, and Morrisville – and five counties. See all of the inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances here.

Kendra R. Johnson, Executive Director of Equality NC (she/her pronouns), said:

"The nondiscrimination ordinance passed in Boone is an important step in dismantling discriminatory practices that target LGBTQ+ folks and people of color. Marginalized groups have long experienced discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations, and we are pleased to see Boone's Town Council put new protections in place to ensure more equitable access in these areas. Moving forward, we hope to see more towns adopt LGBTQ+ inclusive and racially inclusive non-discrimination language in a continued shift towards equality."

Allison Scott, Director of Impact & Innovation at the Campaign for Southern Equality (she/her pronouns), added:

"Over the past few years communities across North Carolina have embraced LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination protections and protections for discrimination based on natural hairstyle. These include urban and rural communities, large and small municipalities, and local governments from every region of the state. It's great to see the Boone Town Council take action tonight – because no one should be left vulnerable to discrimination because of who they are, who they love, or how they express themselves."

Learn more about the need for inclusive nondiscrimination protections in North Carolina by visiting the website for NC is Ready.

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Equality North Carolina builds LGBTQ+ power through advocacy, education, and uplifting the stories of queer and trans North Carolinians in pursuit of racial and social justice.

Based in Asheville, NC, the Campaign for Southern Equality promotes full LGBTQ equality across the South. Our work is rooted in commitments to equity in race, gender and class.

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