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Jan 14, 2015

Equality NC Responds to So-Called "Religious Freedom" Briefing

RALEIGH, N.C. (October 25, 2014) -- Equality NC responded today to news on the opening day of the 2015 legislative session that Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam (R-Wake) will move forward with a legislative briefing on a so-called "religious freedom" bill at the North Carolina General Assembly.

WRAL posted this morning on Twitter that the briefing would take place on January 28, 2015.

The legislation has been widely expected ever since Senate Pro Temp Phil Berger announced in October 2014 that he intended to file legislation that would explicitly permit state employees to discriminate against same-sex couples and decline to perform their duties under North Carolina law.

Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, said the legislation, as suggested by Sen. Berger, would essentially legalize targeted discrimination against the state's LGBT community.

"With this announcement, Rep. Stam is now joining Sen. Berger in a transparent effort to dress up anti-LGBT discrimination by calling it "religious freedom." This is an unconstitutional political stunt that the United States Supreme Court has consistently said it won't allow," said Sgro. "We've seen this cynical tactic play out in many parts of the country in many different ways. Now these leaders are bringing this divisive debate to our state where North Carolina's true values of fairness and equality are under attack. We ask our supporters to join us as we prepare to fight this, and any attacks on LGBT North Carolinians, during this legislative session."

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