Locals react to discrimination bill that doesn’t include LGBT community

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)- There are a lot of opinions about the General Assembly calling a special session to overturn a local ordinance and propose a new bill.

The bill states regulation of discriminatory practices are to be handled by the state, and not at the local level. It also protects people from discrimination based on a number of criteria, including race, religion, color, biological sex. It doesn’t include gender identity.

For Amy Bright, LGBT community member, and the rest of the LGBT community, this issue is personal.

“It’s horrific, it’s a horrific way to treat the citizens of this state,” Amy Bright said.

Bright has lived in North Carolina her whole life and she’s disappointed in the direction her state is going in.

“We used to be a very progressive state. We were considered the only progressive state in the south for a number of years and I feel like we’ve just went backwards,” Bright said.

Others see this issue in a different way.

“What’s going to keep somebody else, from making some other self designation that allows them to go where they want to go for purposes other than just using the restroom,” noted Pastor Jeff Manning, of Unity Free Will Baptist Church.

Pastor Manning agrees with a handful of legislators. He doesn’t think the LGBTQ community should be able to use the bathroom of their choice.

“My heart goes out to them, but I think that the rights of the citizenry for privacy and decency should over rule that,” Pastor Manning said.

Some people in the community think legislators should spend their time and our tax dollars on a different topic.

“This is really a non-issue. This is people who simply want to be able and go in and comfortable be able to use a toilet,” said Mark Harrington, Greenville-native.

The legislature also discussed employment. The bill prohibits local governments from altering the minimum wage.

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