Mar 31, 2015
N.C. House Speaker Moore: RFRA Bill to Be Scrutinized
RALEIGH, N.C. (March 31, 2015) -- Equality NC, North Carolina’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, responded today to comments made by House Speaker Tim Moore said Tuesday that discussions over a so-called "religious freedom" proposal would slow in his chamber to give lawmakers time to see if the legislation would harm North Carolina's economy, especially in light of criticism over Indiana's similar new law.
"The last thing that we need to do is to rush into anything," Moore, R-Cleveland, told reporters as opposition to identical proposals filed last week in the House and Senate has grown from gay-rights and civil rights groups, along with many Democrats. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory reiterated his skepticism about the idea on Tuesday. "What does it do to move North Carolina's brand forward?," Moore added.
The legislation referenced, HB348, one of two so-called "North Carolina Religious Freedom Restoration Act" (or RFRA) bills circulating in the North Carolina General Assembly, could allow anyone to claim exemption from state or local laws--based on so-called 'religious beliefs.' A similar Indiana law signed last week by Gov. Mike Pence has generated a firestorm of opposition and lawmakers are now considering changing it.
Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, responded to the Speaker's comments by calling on North Carolinians to continue to press electeds to oppose this and any and all legislation that would codify discrimination against the state's LGBT community.
"In the wake of what is happening in Indiana, we already know what discrimination like this does to a state's 'brand.' Our concern remains how this type of blatant discrimination impacts average North Carolinians, LGBT or otherwise."
Sgro added, "Equality NC and our allies will do everything we can to make sure these bills never become law, from the committee rooms of our state legislature, all the way to the governor's desk at the state capitol."
Equality NC is asking all North Carolinians to encourage their legislators to vote against this latest discriminatory RFRA legislation, as well as contact the governor to encourage him to stand by his comments, and veto any RFRA legislation that passes his desk.