Local News

Sexual Orientation May Soon Be Protected Right In Raleigh

Posted April 5, 2004

— Raleigh city leaders prepare to face off Tuesday on the topic of gay rights.

The Human Relations committee updated its mission statement to include sexual orientation as a protected right. The current city code protects homosexuals from discrimination.

"I view this as equal rights in that no one is being discriminated against," councilwoman Janet Cowell said. "I don't think this will create a special class of people. We are just ensuring everyone gets equal treatment under the law."

Not everyone on the council supports aligning the mission statement with the city code. Councilman Mike Regan said sexual orientation is a behavior and does not warrant protection by the city.

"There are plenty of behaviors that aren't listed as a protected class. In my opinion, an employer ought to be able to discriminate on the basis of someone's sexual orientation," he said.

Regan plans to ask the council Tuesday to go a step further and get rid of the sexual orientation protection in the code.


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