Oops! North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Law Also Hurts Veterans
The signing of the controversial and discriminatory HB2 bill in March effectively removed local ordinances from providing legal protections to members of the LGBT community from being discriminated against. However, the law also affects veterans who may face job discrimination, while removing the ability of local municipalities to provide legal protections for our state's veterans.
But there was another consequence to the sweeping anti-LGBT law: It wiped out local anti-discrimination protections for veterans, too.
Two jurisdictions in North Carolina — Greensboro and Orange County — had ordinances in place that barred job discrimination against vets. These types of protections trace back to the Vietnam War, when vets couldn’t get work as a result of their military service. In more recent years, veterans’ advocates have raised concerns about Iraq and Afghanistan War vets being turned away from jobs because of employers’ fears, unfounded as they may be, that they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and would be emotionally unstable on the job.
McCrory eliminated those two local ordinances for veterans when he signed HB 2. The law also ensures that cities and counties can’t pass these kinds of protections going forward.
“While rooted in hostility toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, HB 2 also preempts municipal non-discrimination protections for veterans and the men and women of our Armed Services,” reads a letter sent to McCrory this week, signed by eight House Democrats who are also veterans.
North Carolina prides itself on being a state friendly to military personnel, while also having the world's largest military base at Fort Bragg. It is both puzzling and wrong that Governor McCrory has put in place a measure that is discriminatory to the state's LGBT community, but also detrimental to former servicemen and women of our nation.