Renewed fight for non-discrimination ordinance in Holly Springs

Josh Chapin Image
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Big crowds as Holly Springs discusses nondiscrimination ordinance
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More than half of the room stood up inside Holly Springs Town Hall Tuesday night to show their support for a non-discrimination ordinance.

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WTVD) -- More than half of the room stood up inside Holly Springs Town Hall on Tuesday night to show their support for a non-discrimination ordinance.

It's been a controversial issue in this southern Wake County town. Community leaders seem split on whether or not to add guaranteed protections for LGBTQ+ citizens.

"If we're a community, we're a community of everyone," said Rob Nester, who took his comments to the podium. "To say I love everybody, but I don't want to protect everybody is wrong."

One of the faces of the fight is Donna Friend. She and other advocates have still not been able to get the town to take action.

"It's really not about me: Do we want this to happen to a person of color?" said Donna, who rallied outside before the town council meeting.

Mayor Sean Mayefskie continues to say an ordinance isn't needed.

It's his belief that the town's efforts to recruit diverse residents and businesses speak volumes.

Wake County adopted an ordinance at the end of 2021 to protect residents from discrimination but Holly Springs has yet to sign on.

"What evidence is there that discrimination exists?" asked Steve Bergstrom at the podium Tuesday, agreeing with the mayor.

The Holly Springs dad ran and lost his race for a Wake County school board seat. He said he believes an ordinance could cause more problems than it is worth.

"These words become law and the law opens us up as individual citizens," he said. "It really opens up small businesses and the town to possible legality problems in the world."

Pastor Jahmar Cobb's family has been in Holly Springs for 60 years.

"We're here to appeal to our governing board for our town that there's a lot of our citizens who feel excluded from our community," Cobb said. "Change is good. Change represents that something is growing.

"The non-discrimination ordinance has been presented by Wake County, it's been adopted by many towns, and if we believe it doesn't have enough teeth or verbiage, then we're asking that our town would come together as one and adopt its own ordinance," Cobb added.

Fuquay-Varina and Wake Forest are the two other Wake County towns not to sign on to the county's ordinance.