RALEIGH CITY COUNCIL REFUSES TO EXPAND NON-DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE: The city of Raleigh will wait to expand protections for LGBTQ people, Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said, despite other governments expanding their non-discrimination ordinances now that a state ban has ended. “If we are going to pass something that can’t be enforced and isn’t legal, then we are not really accomplishing anything,” Baldwin said. “We are just contributing to the noise." Raleigh City Attorney Robin Tatum said she couldn’t comment on the city’s authority to expand its non-discrimination order based on gender identity, sexuality and military status, citing attorney-client privilege. The School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill can’t provide a “clear answer” on the legality of the local ordinances, said Rebecca Badgett, a local government legal educator.
HRC REPORT SHOWS NC HAS A LONG WAY TO GO IN PROTECTING LGBTQ FROM DISCRIMINATION: "In 27 states, LGBTQ people remain at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services because of who they are," reads the press release. "There are 18 states and Washington, D.C., that have robust LGBTQ non-discrimination laws covering employment, housing and public accommodations." The report designates states into multiple categories. These include "Working Toward Innovative Equality," "Solidifying Equality," "Building Equality" and "High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality." The latter designation is for states with limited or no protections for LGBTQ individuals. North Carolina is part of the 27 other states within the latter category. "North Carolina continues to significantly lag behind the rest of the nation when it comes to protecting LGBTQ folks and creating a culture where our most vulnerable can thrive,” said Kendra R. Johnson, Equality NC executive director. “Equality NC believes that the tides are changing – we will continue to fight for LGBTQ folks, particularly our Black and Brown trans communities, every day and work alongside elected officials and other community leaders to build a better North Carolina for us all.” Around 83% of Americans are in favor of LGBTQ non-discrimination laws, according to a recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute.
REPUBLICANS TO FILE BILL FORCING NC SCHOOLS TO REOPEN DURING PANDEMIC: Republican lawmakers are drafting legislation to reopen schools amid the pandemic and plan to release a proposal in the coming days, state Senate leadership said Thursday afternoon. The bill would likely require all public school districts to offer in-person learning but also give parents the option of virtual learning if they choose. Such a measure would attempt to force Gov. Roy Cooper's hand, although the governor said this week that his education team is looking at the latest research that indicates little transmission risk if schools open with widespread masking and other precautions in place. There's broad consensus in North Carolina that remote learning has not worked well for many students, educationally or psychologically. There's similarly broad agreement that local school districts should have the final say in how they reopen. Berger wants Cooper to lift his statewide order and let local officials choose how and when they want to reopen schools for full-time, in-person learning for all students.
UNC STUDENTS FILM THEMSELVES PARTYING INDOORS WITH NO MASKS: This seems like just like a typical party on a Friday night. But it’s not typical, because these unmasked students are dancing away indoors in the middle of a pandemic. A social media account called “Where y’all goin’, UNC," posted images of the party on Instagram with the description indicating the students involved are from UNC-Chapel Hill. The post even provides first and last names. Now, the videos have made it to the desk of UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. “We are aware of those videos,” Guskiewicz said. “Our campus police and Chapel Hill authorities have looked closely at those videos to see if they can authenticate them to see if they are in the Chapel Hill area.” Between Aug. and Oct. there were 324 cases investigated by UNC for COVID-19 violations. UNC campus police and Chapel Hill Police are out on the weekend investigating noise and party complaints. UNC Student Tullis Davis believes the university is right to investigate. “I think it is a good thing and a right thing to do to maintain the spread of the virus so we can get back to class,” Davis said.
CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS ARE PUSHING TO EXPEL NUT-JOB MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE: Some Democrats are expressing fears that Republican lawmakers — who in some cases have tried bringing weapons onto the House floor — cannot be trusted. Some have bought bulletproof vests and are seeking other protections. And Democratic leaders are putting maximum pressure on the Republican leadership to denounce freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who once endorsed violence against members of Congress. One Democrat advanced a resolution to expel her from Congress. Greene also spread conspiracy theories that the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead was a “false flag,” and new videos showed her stalking and harassing David Hogg, a Parkland student turned advocate of stricter gun safety laws, who was a teenager at the time. Pelosi and other senior Democrats have called on McCarthy and other senior Republican leaders to address Greene’s social media comments. Democrats were incensed that Greene was given a spot on the House Education and Labor Committee, given her comments about the Parkland shooting. “Assigning her to the education committee, when she has mocked the killing of little children” at school, “what could they be thinking, or is thinking too generous a word for what they might be doing?” Pelosi said. “It’s absolutely appalling.” Greene responded to the Democrats’ criticism in an emailed statement: “Democrats and their spokesmen in the Fake News Media will stop at nothing to defeat conservative Republicans. They are coming after me because I’m a threat to their goal of Socialism. They are coming after me because they know I represent the people, not the politicians." Through a spokesman, McCarthy described Greene’s comments as “deeply disturbing.”