A majority of Wake County’s towns and cities have not adopted a non-discrimination ordinance that would provide greater protections for LGBTQ people.
But two – Cary and Garner – are considering joining Wake County’s ordinance this month all while the Holly Springs Town Council continues to face scrutiny for not approving an ordinance last week.
The Wake County Board of Commissioners approved a non-discrimination ordinance that expanded protections last year but only applied to the unincorporated parts of the county unless a city or town joined it.
Here is a breakdown of which Wake County towns and cities have joined the ordinance.
The town was the first of Wake County’s municipalities to adopt a non-discrimination ordinance and ninth across the state. The town council adopted the ordinance in July 2021.
“There should be no question of whether equitable service and opportunities are offered for all people to thrive. The adoption of this ordinance is to ensure Apex is a welcoming place for all citizens and visitors through equal protections under the law, ”said Mayor Jacques Gilbert.
The town has not adopted a non-discrimination ordinance but will discuss joining Wake County’s NDO during a meeting on Thursday.
The town has not adopted a non-discrimination ordinance. And it is not scheduled for an upcoming board meeting.
The town has not adopted a non-discrimination ordinance but is set to discuss Wake County’s NDO during a work session on June 28, according to Kyle Kettler, a spokesperson for the town.
Garner does have a “harassment and sexual harassment policy” that prohibits harassment “of and by employees” based on many factors including gender identity and sexual orientation.
Despite recent protests outside the town hall, Holly Springs has not adopted a non-discrimination ordinance.
Some of the town council disagree on whether the ordinance is “right” for Holly Springs and whether the town could join a portion of the ordinance.
The town joined the Wake County ordinance in February, with Mayor Jessica Day calling it a critical issue.
“Knightdale has put so much effort toward being a diverse, inclusive community, but also having that sense of belonging,” Day said in a Wake County news release. “We constantly have those conversations when we are planning things: How do we make sure that our community is embracing the diversity that we have, as we continue to grow? How do we make sure we keep that diversity within our community? ”
The town joined the Wake County ordinance earlier this year.
“We make an impact when we stand with organizations like Equality NC and the NAACP and say that discrimination will not be tolerated in our town and it’s important to get that down on paper and have processes to combat that,” said Morrisville Council member Anne Robotti , in a Wake County news release.
Wake County’s largest city joined the county’s ordinance in October 2021.
“This was an overdue step that sends a strong message that everyone is welcome in our city,” said Raleigh City Council member Jonathan Melton, one of the first openly gay people elected to the council.
The town has not adopted a non-discrimination ordinance, but Mayor Ronnie Currin said the town board did review Wake County’s in April. Board members decided to revisit it later and it’s set to be discussed on Aug. 16, he said.
The town wanted more information, he said, adding a “couple municipalities were considering doing something on their own. Waiting to see how and what develops with that. ”
The town does not have a non-discrimination ordinance. But Wake County did adopt a nondiscrimination policy in 2021 that prevents people from “discrimination under any town of Wake Forest program or activity” based on sexual orientation and gender identity, among others.
Wake Forest does not have plans to bring the issue back up, said Mayor Vivian Jones.
The town joined Wake County’s non-discrimination ordinance back in late April. At the time, the town was the 19th city or county to have an LGBTQ + inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance, according to Equality NC.
“Our communities deserve to feel safe from the bigotry, and we applaud the town for taking this action for lived equality,” Kendra Johnson, executive director of Equality NC, said in an April news release. “Wendell passing this is a small yet crucial step for racial and social justice in North Carolina.”
The town has not adopted a non-discrimination ordinance. An email and phone call from the N&O to the mayor was not returned.