Current Legislation (2011-2012)
For Equality NC, the fight against Amendment One, a constitutional rewrite banning all relationship recognitions for same-sex couples, started years ago. After working to keep North Carolina amendment-free for seven years, passing the historic School Violence Prevention Act in 2009, and setting the national standard for hospital visitation rights for LGBT families, we knew that given the outcome of the 2010 elections, we would face the fight of our lives in the months and years to come.
On May 8, 2012, the opponents of Equality were successful in passing Amendment One. At that point, our focus changed to ensure that something like Amendment One would never happen again, and to lay the groundwork for an eventual repeal of this harmful amendment. From this point forward, Equality NC will work tirelessly to not only elect pro-equality candidates in 2012, but to pass comprehensive legislation in the following areas:
Inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination
One of the most pressing issues facing North Carolina’s LGBT community is the absence of protections from workplace discrimination. North Carolina is one of 29 states where it is legal to fire someone because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Many times we heard from LGBT North Carolinians who were afraid to speak out against Amendment One because they feared for their jobs. Sadly, many North Carolinians are unaware that these discriminations even exist. An Equality NC priority will be to hold legislators accountable for statements of support for the gay community by demanding that the General Assembly pass comprehensive non-discrimination legislation.
Can you imagine going to the hospital with your child and not even being allowed to see them? This could happen in North Carolina. Because second-parent adoption is illegal in North Carolina, only one parent in an unmarried couple is legally recognized as the parent of the child. The other parent is a stranger in the eyes of the law. It is of the utmost importance that North Carolina protects its most vulnerable families and their children. Equality NC will be partnering with the ACLU of North Carolina to support same-sex couples in their parental rights, including visitation and custody.
AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)
Working with partners like the North Carolina AIDS Action Network (NCAAN), Equality NC supports state budgeting for improved access to health care services for ADAP recipients in North Carolina.