Guest blog by Kathy Staley
A week ago, I watched as Boone’s Town Council voted unanimously on three separate pro-LGBT resolutions: to add sexual orientation and gender identity to its personnel policy, to oppose the proposed referendum on a constitutional amendment limiting marriage, and to support the proposed bill to expand hate crime law to cover sexual orientation and gender identity.
LGBTQA supporters of the resolutions had filled the chambers. So many showed up that town mayor Loretta Clawson commented on the unusually high attendance. When each vote was cast without a single objection, the audience erupted in applause.
To have a unanimous vote was expected. Boone is such a progressive town and the council members that I’d spoken to were in complete agreement and believed that there would be community support. But seeing the vote for myself was so reaffirming, so elating, there aren’t words for how wonderful it was.
All it took was a couple of phone calls to one council member Liz Aycock for this to be acted on. She has long been an LGBT ally and only needed a single request for the expansion of the Equal Employment Opportunity statement to follow through on it.
It makes me wonder if we could have done this a few years ago and how many other towns would follow suit if residents contact the right council members. Hopefully, other North Carolina towns and cities will follow Boone’s example and add gender identity to their statements.