Cooper signs executive order for LGBT, gender identity protections

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order Wednesday that prohibits harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in government agencies and government contracts. 

The order bans discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sex, pregnancy, religion, National Guard or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. The order also requires business operating within the state to do the same. North Carolina executive agencies employ 55,000 people.

RELATED: Read the order here. 

“By requiring companies that contract with the state to have non-discrimination policies, the state can promote protections for more North Carolinians outside of state government,” Cooper said. “We’ve worked with the business community, advocates for the LGBT community and other North Carolinians who know our state is stronger because of our diversity, and I will keep working to make our state a welcoming and inclusive place.” 

RELATED: Executive Order Fact Sheet

The governor also announced a proposed settlement in the lawsuit challenging House Bill 2 and House Bill 142, the so-called bathroom bill and it's repeal legislation.

In a proposed consent decree, transgender residents of the state would not be barred from using public restrooms and other facilities that match their gender identity. A federal judge still has to sign off on that settlement.

“For too many reasons, it is not in our state’s best interest to remain in drawn-out court battles that still linger because of HB2,” said Cooper. “As a state, we need to work together to make North Carolina more welcoming, and I am pleased that we could come together with the other party in this case to show that we agree.”

RELATED: Electronic copy of consent decree

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