The Harrisburg Town Council heard a presentation during Monday’s meeting that pitched a drafted town non-discrimination ordinance that incudes members of the LGBTQ community.
Encompassing Margins Corporation Founder Mary Perez spoke before the council about her organization and why it proposed the ordinance. Perez had sent similar drafted ordinances to every municipality in Cabarrus County for consideration. The Town of Harrisburg was the first to respond.
The ordinance seeks to protect all people from discrimination of employment and in places of public accommodation regardless of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ancestry, marital or familial status, pregnancy, veteran status, religious belief, age, or disability.
Other states have passed non-discrimination laws and other municipalities have passed similar ordinances. Hillsborough recently passed a non-discrimination ordinance that Perez used as a template for the Harrisburg draft. Mecklenburg also recently passed a non-discrimination resolution.
NC. State Rep. Larry Pitman sent an email to the town council asking them not to adopt the ordinance. But not all members of the council received it. Pittman had sent the email out through an old email list that included previous council members.
While the majority of the conversation Monday evening was about LGBTQ inclusivity, the ordinance includes a comprehensive list of groups to be protected. Some of these groups are already protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, but not all. The ADA also doesn’t include small businesses that employ less than 15 people.