Activist asks Clayton leaders to include more protections in town's non-discrimination policy

Josh Chapin Image
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Clayton passes non-discrimination ordinance
The Town of Clayton has adopted its own non-discrimination ordinance but is considering expanding it even further.

CLAYTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Activist asks Clayton leaders to include more protections in town's non-discrimination policy. The town adopted a non-discrimination policy in January 2021.

But one man said it needs to include more protections for more people.

"In the literal sense, this would put us on the map," said Ben Chapman.

Chapman has made it his mission to get this NDO passed.

"For people who are resistant to it, I'd say: Study history," he said. "If there is any doubt there has been discrimination in your community, you might not be familiar with your community's history."

He showed up for the second straight time to the town's regularly scheduled council meeting and waited until the very end to bring this up.

"It's taking this idea that people shouldn't be treated differently and applying it to more categories of people broadening legal protections," he said.

Mayor Pro Tem Jason Thompson talked with Chapman after his presentation.

Thompson told ABC11 that they adopted a fairly generic policy at the last meeting that is in line with what other municipalities have done, but they're open to expanding it to include private businesses and employers in the town.

"I'm all for us doing the right thing," said Thompson. "I've always believed Clayton has done the right thing and if there's a way to memorialize it in a policy, in a document or in an ordinance that we're doing the right thing, then I'm all for it."

Clayton acted fairly quickly to draw something up as other towns nearby decided not to do the same.

Holly Springs decided not to sign on to Wake County's non-discrimination ordinance even after multiple demonstrations and activists pleading for them to do so.

"It's a matter of getting these boards educated on why it's a good idea," said Chapman.

The Town Council has taken Chapman's feedback for different wording and sent it to Human Resources for further review.