For Immediate Release
NC Values Coalition Lambastes Wake County Commissioners, Raleigh City Council On SOGI “Anti-discrimination” Vote
October 20, 2021 – Raleigh, NC – “Every person should be treated with dignity and respect. And our laws should protect the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of every citizen, no matter who they are,” said Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the North Carolina Values Coalition (https://www.ncvalues.org). “Unfortunately, coercive sexual orientation and gender identity (“SOGI”) laws like the ordinances just adopted by Wake County and Raleigh undermine both fairness and freedom. These laws force people who willingly serve everyone to promote messages and celebrate events that conflict with their beliefs,” said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald continued, “One only needs to look back just a few years or less to the stories of small business owners like Jack Phillips, Barronelle Stutzman, and Blaine Adamson who were penalized, dragged through endless court battles, and whose livelihoods were threatened or destroyed just for declining to create custom art that expresses messages that conflict with their beliefs. People of faith should not be treated like second-class citizens. Tolerance is a two-way street.”
Currently, Fitzgerald is referring to the passage of nondiscrimination laws that are amended to add Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (“SOGI”) as protected categories. These laws are on the rise after the expiration of House Bill 142 (“HB 142”) in December of 2020. HB 142 placed a temporary pause on local SOGI laws and was created in response to the Charlotte, NC Bathroom Bill that resulted in House Bill 2 several years ago. With the moratorium no longer in effect, LGBT groups are urging local governments to put SOGI laws in effect and to do so unnecessarily.
Fitzgerald continued, “Although these recent ordinances exempt religious organizations, they do not protect the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of free speech and freedom of religion for people of faith in their everyday lives, at work, at school, and in their businesses. Laws that single out and punish citizens on the basis of their peacefully expressed beliefs should be rejected. These divisive SOGI laws take away constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and provoke intolerance toward people who have beliefs different than those in political power.”
Research indicates that in public records requests in 12 states revealed an overwhelming majority (99.98%) of allegations of discrimination lacked merit. In Phoenix, Arizona, the city passed a SOGI law on the belief that discrimination based on sexual orientation was rampant in the area. During the first two years following its passage, only four complaints were filed—all of which were dismissed without merit.
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Founded in 2011, the N.C. Values Coalition is a non-partisan, statewide grassroots network of North Carolinians who support and advocate for pro-family positions. The North Carolina Values Coalition is a non-profit education and lobbying organization that qualifies for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is based in Raleigh, NC.
For Further Information Contact
Stephen Xavier, Director