Apr 23, 2015
Equality NC Responds to Lawmakers' Decision to Stop NC's RFRA Bills
Raleigh, N.C. – Equality NC, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, issued the following statement today after North Carolina's House leadership announced that the state's so-called 'Religious Freedom Restoration Act" (or RFRA) would no longer be considered in the General Assembly's 2015-2016 session.
"Today, true North Carolina values of fairness and justice prevailed with the announcement that the state's so-called 'Religious Freedom Restoration Act" (or RFRA) would no longer be considered in the General Assembly's 2015-2016 session, said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. "This decision is a testament to the actions of thousands of North Carolinians--from business leaders to faith communities to a majority of North Carolina voters--who made their voices heard over the past several months through emails, letters, calls and in-person meetings and who pushed back on the notion that religion should ever be used to discriminate against North Carolinians."
Following a major backlash against Indiana's RFRA law, major businesses and faith leaders had already come out publicly against the North Carolina RFRA legislation, including major employers like IBM, American Airlines, Red Hat, and Replacements, Ltd., as well as the North Carolina Council of Churches.
Gov. McCrory also spoke out against the bill, saying it "makes no sense." On Monday, Equality NC delivered over 10,000 petitions to McCrory's offices, asking him to reject RFRA legislation if it made it to his desk, in addition to shepherding thousands of constituent calls and emails in opposition to the bill to legislators.
The organization is continuing to ask North Carolinians to encourage their House leaders to oppose Senate Bill 2, legislation that would allow certain public officials to opt out of issuing legal marriages to couples with whom they do not agree.
Sgro added, "While we celebrate this victory for equality, we remain focused on continuing to fight a law that would allow public officials to discriminate against same-sex couples, advocating for proposed legislation that would finally provide statewide protections in employment for tens of thousands of LGBT North Carolinians, and fighting to keep our state on the right side of the RFRA debate, and history, in this legislative session and beyond."