News (USA)

Religious coalition pressing Asheville for additional LGBT rights, protections

Reverend Joe Hoffman

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A religious coalition known as the “People of Faith for Just Relationships” are pressing the city to do more for LGBT equality.

The group, consisting of 25 local religious leaders led by the Reverend Joe Hoffman, has released a resolution calling for four specific protections.

Hoffman said the purpose of the resolution was “to stimulate Asheville and City Council to take a leadership role in a statewide effort to recognize the need for equal civil rights, employment rights, family rights, and protection from bullying for LGBT citizens.”

According to the Asheville Citizen Times, the resolution calls for:

1. Extending the city’s employment discrimination clause to include “sexual orientation”, “gender”, and “gender identity or expression.”

2. Enacting an anti-bullying ordinance for all city institutions and grounds.

3. Creating a Domestic Partner Registry to recognize same-sex relationships for the purposes of providing documentation and offering a mechanism through which hospitals, businesses, and other entities will have the opportunity to recognize these relationships.

4. Endorsing and supporting the rights of same-sex couples to share fully and equally in the familial rights and responsibilities of civil marriage.

Last year, Asheville city council passed a law legalizing domestic partnerships but the coalition says that the law doesn’t go far enough to ensure equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens.

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