Democrats propose bills to protect LGBTQ citizens in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- North Carolina Democrats filed three bills that aim to give the LGBTQ community more protections in North Carolina.

"Currently LGBTQ (members in) North Carolina -- like so many other minorities -- are treated like second-class citizens, without basic protection from discrimination," Kendra Johnson with Equality NC said.

The Equality for All Act would specifically protect LGBTQ people from being discriminated against when buying a home, getting a job, receiving credit, getting insurance, or public housing.

The Mental Health Protection Act would protect LGBTQ children and disabled adults from "conversion therapy," which is a practice considered unethical or ineffective by many medical and scientific organizations--such as the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Conversion therapy is currently legal in North Carolina.

The third bill proposed is a full repeal of 2017's House Bill 2 by getting rid of House Bill 142. House Bill 142 was considered a compromise that got rid of HB2, but many advocates and members of the LGBTQ community say HB142 did not do enough.

"North Carolina Democrats are proud to stand in support of these bills that protect and advocate for the health, well-being, and safety of LGBTQ individuals and marginalized communities across North Carolina," NC Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin, President of LGBTQ Democrats Ginger Walker, and President of the Democratic Women of North Carolina Julia Buckner said in a joint statement. "No one should be punished for who they are or who they love, and these bills are a step in the right direction for ensuring equality and justice in our state."

Sponsors of the proposed bills said they have not yet discussed the ideas with their Republican colleagues, who still own the majority of seats in the North Carolina General Assembly.
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