Equality NC celebrates historic change in Chapel Hill policy

May 12, 2004

EQNC thanks Task Force's Lisa Mottet for assistance

Following is a press release from our colleagues at Equality North Carolina:

Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Contact: Ian Palmquist
(919) 829-0343 (office)
(919) 349-0936 (mobile)

Hon. Mark Kleinschmidt
(919) 956-9545 (office)
(919) 260-2488 (mobile

Equality NC celebrates historic change in Chapel Hill policy
Town is first in state to protect transgender community from discrimination
On Monday, May 10, the Chapel Hill Town Council voted unanimously to add gender identity and gender expression to its non-discrimination policies. The policy applies to employment discrimination against town employees, and ensures fair delivery of town services.

"Chapel Hill is making history," said Ian Palmquist, Executive Director Programs. "For the first time, a North Carolina municipality has said it will not tolerate discrimination on gender identity or expression. Let the unanimous vote against bigotry send a clear message to elected officials across the state that anti-trans discrimination has no place in North Carolina."

Equality NC worked closely with openly gay Council Member Mark Kleinschmidt, the main advocate for the change. Palmquist thanked Lisa Mottet, Transgender Civil Rights Lawyer at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for her help refining the language of the policy.

The Chapel Hill policy was also updated to use "sexual orientation" instead of the out-dated term "affectional preference." With the revision, the Town Code now states: "All personnel responsible for recruiting and employment will continue to review regularly the implementation of this personnel policy and relevant practices to assure that equal employment opportunity based on reasonable job-related job requirements is being actively observed to the end that no employee or applicant for employment shall suffer discrimination because of age, sex, race, color, religion, nonjob-related disability, national origin, sexual preference, gender identity, gender expression, or marital status." Language in the town's Comprehensive Plan was similarly revised.

A similar proposal is currently under consideration in the neighboring town of Carrboro.

Equality NC is a statewide advocacy group dedicated to securing equal rights and justice for North Carolina's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.