Editorial: U.S. Supreme Court's message to N.C. End discrimination now!

Posted June 16, 2020 5:00 a.m. EDT
Updated June 16, 2020 7:37 a.m. EDT

CBC Editorial: Tuesday, June 16, 2020; Editorial #8552
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company.

There was a clear message from the United States Supreme Court early Monday morning. It was a 6-3 decision of diverse justices delivered by Justice Neil Gorsuch and included Chief Justice John Roberts with Justices Ruth Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Alana Kagan.

“An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids,” Gorsuch wrote in his majority opinion. “… It is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”

There is no doubt as to what the court means.

Discrimination does not have an ideology and is not liberal or conservative. Discrimination is not partisan -- Democratic or Republican.

Discrimination -- based upon race, color, religion, sex and national origin -- is wrong.

It is an essential moral tenet. It IS the law of the land.

That land, regardless of what the leadership of the General Assembly may seek to posit, includes North Carolina.

It is past time for the legislature to end its relentless attempt to play favorites based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

It is time for the legislature to embark on a concerted effort to end discrimination by stopping efforts to make it a part of the law -- laws concerning who can vote and how they can vote; who represents citizens in Congress and the legislature; the restrooms people may or may not use; the people they can and cannot marry; who can and cannot adopt children; and more.

Our State Constitution continues to include a variety of discriminatory provisions – including an illegal ban on gay marriage. The legislature should enact a proposed amendment or amendments to rid our State Constitution of its outdated discriminatory provisions.

It also should thoroughly review current laws and programs to identify those that discriminate, or allow discrimination – such as the private school voucher program. Those laws and programs should be amended and revised to clearly prohibit participation and use of state funds by organizations that do discriminate. No public funds should support programs that discriminate.

Lastly, it should look to invest in those efforts in addressing current court judgments and other efforts aimed at ending discrimination in our state. Most prominent among those is the current Leandro decision that affirms North Carolina’s Constitution requires EVERY public school student in the state have the opportunity for a quality education.

State courts and parties to that legal action are finalizing agreement on steps to be taken and, to the degree that any require legislative action or support – and quickly pass it.

It has been a bit more than one month and 65 years since the U.S. Supreme Court said our nation needs to act “with all deliberate speed” to end discrimination. The legislature needs to stop worshiping the past and start implementing an equitable future for all.

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