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Equality NC Applauds the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board for Supporting Diversity and Inclusivity

RALEIGH, NC — Equality NC, North Carolina’s largest and oldest organization working for LGBTQ equality, applauds the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) board for voting 7-2 in favor of approving language that is supportive of diversity and LGBTQ inclusivity. The revised multiculturalism policy expands CMS’ definition of diversity to include sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

“Equality NC and countless LGBTQ students and their parents are grateful for the support of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board of Education,” said Equality NC Interim Executive Director Matt Hirschy. “The revised policy language is a proactive and welcome step to ensure that all children will have an opportunity to learn in an environment free of harassment and discrimination no matter who they are. History has shown and will show again that we are better people when we allow everyone an equal chance to succeed.”

Tuesday’s vote was met with vocal support from both sides but ultimately ended with an overwhelming vote of 7-2 in favor of the policy changes. Opponents of the policy changes were extremely divisive in their language, including Rev. Flip Benham, who had to be escorted out by the police. The revised language is part of a larger framework put into place by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education “to provide all students the best education available anywhere, preparing every child to lead a rich and productive life.” The revised language of the multiculturalism policy now includes race; color; ancestry; gender/gender identity/expression; sexual orientation; national origin; origin linguistics or language difference; different abilities physical, cognitive, social and environmental abilities; or religion; age; socioeconomic status; and other characteristics that make members of the school community unique.

Equality NC is a statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer North Carolinians. For more information, please visit www.equalitync.org

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