Statewide LGBT advocates are condemning the exclusion and are insisting the governor revisit the new order. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the governor continues to claim the new order mirrors federal employment language which already includes protections for LGBT workers.
The executive order was signed on Monday and prohibits discrimination against state employees on the basis of “race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability and genetic information.”
McCrory, a Republican, did not include protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“This order ensures fairness and encourages people to work for state government,” McCrory said in a release. “Insisting on nondiscrimination will strengthen our state and demonstrate that we value diversity of thought and each of our citizens’ unique backgrounds.”
The new executive order affects some 87,000 employees of the state and various state agencies.
Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro said the exclusion of LGBT protections “flies in the face of fairness.”
“…[A]ny executive order ensuring ‘equal opportunities’ that excludes protections for gay and transgender North Carolinians not only flies in the face of fairness, but also discourages fair-minded people from working for the state,” Sgro said in a release.
“Until then,” Sgro added, “the governor’s gesture toward inclusivity will be just that.”
North Carolina currently has no employment protections for LGBT workers. It is one of 29 such states were LGBT employees can still be fired based solely on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Efforts to pass employment protections for state workers and teachers have consistently stalled in the state legislature. Federal protections were passed in the U.S. Senate last fall, but have since stalled in the
Republican-controlled U.S. House.