Bill package in North Carolina aims to protect LGBTQ rights

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Bill package in NC aims to protect LGBTQ rights
Lawmakers join advocates to introduce group of bills aimed at protecting LGBTQ people in North Carolina.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A group of North Carolina leaders stepping up to push for change.

"For too long LGBTQ North Carolinians have lived in the shadow of archaic and outdated laws that impact everyone in our community," said Kendra Johnson of Equality NC.

Equality NC joined with lawmakers to create a bill package that includes a repeal of House Bill 2 and puts a statewide nondiscrimination law in place.

SEE ALSO: Hillsborough passes ordinance protecting LGBTQ+ community from discrimination

"No one should worry that they can't buy a home because of who they love or be denied a haircut or a hotel room because of their gender identity," Rep. Vernetta Alston (D-District 29) said.

In addition, the package includes a bill banning conversion therapy. It also bans the gay transgender panic defense. Right now, that legal loophole can be used if someone attacks, harms or even murders a gay or transgender person.

SEE ALSO: Pres. Biden to lift ban on transgender people serving in US military

"By banning this defense we send the message that someone's existence as an LGBTQ+ person does not excuse anyone from committing a heat of passion attack," Rep. John Autry (D-District 100) said.

Advocates and lawmakers all hope these bills will change the lives of everyone in North Carolina, especially the LGBTQ+ community.

WATCH: North Carolina LGBTQ activists celebrate end of ban on non-discrimination ordinances

The bill banning local governments from enacting non-discrimination ordinances to protect the LGBTQ community has officially expired.

"These four bills won't fix all of the problems and obstacles that our communities face, but they are a start," Johnson said.

Despite a republican-led legislature, these lawmakers believe there is enough momentum that they could get these bills passed.