March 29, 2016
Office of the General Assembly, Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk, Louisville
Since 1977 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church has advocated for just treatment of LGBT persons in regard to their civil liberties, equal rights, and protections under the law from social and economic discrimination that is due all citizens (Minutes, PCUS, 1977, Part I, p. 174).
Therefore, we applaud Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia on his veto of Georgia House Bill 757, which would have caused discrimination against LGBT persons. Governor Deal said, “I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia, of which I and my family have been a part of for all of our lives.”
At the same time, we find that the recent legislation approved in North Carolina and signed into law, which bans people from using bathrooms that don’t match the sex indicated on their birth certificate, is discriminatory. It would be good for legislators and the governor in Raleigh to hear the words of Governor Deal.
The North Carolina law also prevents cities and counties from establishing ordinances extending protections covering sexual orientation and gender identity to restaurants, hotels, and stores. It overrode the desire of the city of Charlotte’s duly elected leadership to be a city of nondiscrimination.
This law is discriminatory both to the LGBT community and everyday employees in North Carolina, and is defended by casting all transgender persons as sexual offenders. It is our hope that the legislature and the governor of North Carolina will listen to the citizens of their state, do factually based analysis, and repeal this discriminatory law.
March 29, 2016