Gov. Cooper issues executive order protecting gender identity

RALEIGH, NC — North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order Wednesday to promote diversity and prohibit discrimination in government agencies and government contracts in an effort to make the state a welcoming place to all.

The order bans discrimination in his administration on the grounds of race, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression in employment. The order also requires those doing business with the state to do the same.

The consent decree proposed that transgender people in North Carolina won’t be barred from using public restrooms and other facilities. The judge in the federal case must agree to the terms of the consent decree before it becomes law.

HB2 was passed in March 2016, which required transgender people to use restrooms in schools and government buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate.

HB142 repealed HB2 but it also said that cities can’t create their own nondiscrimination ordinance until December 2020.

“Earlier this year, I said there was more work to do to protect against discrimination and make North Carolina a welcoming state,” Cooper said. “Today’s executive order and consent decree are important steps toward fighting discrimination and enacting protections throughout the state government and across our state.”

The executive order means 55,000 state employees and more than 3,000 vendors that work with the state must follow nondiscrimination rules.

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