Apr 22, 2015
Equality NC Responds to House Passage of Indiana-Style RFRA
Raleigh, N.C. – Equality NC, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, condemned the late-night passage of House Bill 348, the chamber's so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act (or RFRA).
House lawmakers voted xx-xx to approve the Indiana-style RFRA bill. The legislation will now be considered by the North Carolina Senate.
Major businesses and faith communities have come out strong against state RFRA legislation, including North Carolina employers IBM, American Airlines, Red Hat, and Replacements, Ltd., as well as the North Carolina Council of Churches.
Equality NC’s Executive Director Chris Sgro immediately condemned the bill’s passage, calling on the North Carolina Senate and Governor Pat McCrory to listen to the "majority of North Carolinians" and stop any legislation that uses religion to discriminate against LGBT North Carolinians.
"Tens of thousands of North Carolinians, including business and faith leaders, have already spoken out against this type of misguided bill. We’ve told state leaders that if RFRA passes, it could subject LGBT North Carolinians to discrimination. It could send the message to major employers that our state is closed for business to all. It could put North Carolina's very reputation at risk, at a cost of millions—just like what happened in Indiana," said Sgro. "We’re extremely disappointed that xx members of the North Carolina House have ignored the majority of North Carolinians who oppose this license to discriminate."
Sgro added, "We now turn our attention to fair-minded electeds in the NC Senate and Gov. McCrory who, we hope will have the ability to stop this dangerous bill dead in its tracks."
Gov. McCrory has already spoken out against the bill, saying it "makes no sense." On Monday, Equality NC has already delivered over 10,000 petitions to Gov. McCrory's offices, asking him to reject RFRA legislation.
Equality NC is asking all North Carolinians to encourage their Senate leaders to vote against this latest discriminatory RFRA legislation, as well as contact the governor to encourage him to veto any RFRA legislation that passes his desk.