Politics & Government

House Democrats file bill rewriting anti-discrimination laws

Several House Democrats on Tuesday filed a sweeping anti-discrimination bill, which may not garner enough Republican support to succeed but it makes for a timely statement.

Newly seated Rep. Chris Sgro, Democrat from Greensboro and executive director of Equality N.C., calls it the “most comprehensive non-discrimination legislation for LGBT and other North Carolinians.”

Sgro says passage of the bill, along with repeal of House Bill 2, will ensure protections from discrimination in all walks of life. HB2, however, has become the focal point of a national debate over transgender rights, and its future now rests with the courts as much as with the legislature, which is not likely to repeal it.

House Bill 1078 would provide discrimination protections in housing, employment, money-lending, education — including charter schools — insurance and access to bathrooms based on a person’s gender identity. Other protections would include sexual orientation, veteran status, age, disability, genetic information and political affiliation.

Supporters of the bill have scheduled a news conference Wednesday.

Besides Sgro, primary sponsors are Rep. Pricey Harrison of Greensboro, Susan Fisher of Asheville and Kelly Alexander of Charlotte.

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