By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
October 22, 2021
Wake County and the City of Raleigh adopted SOGI Ordinances this week. The vote by these local governments was unanimous in both cases. The SOGI ordinances ban discrimination in public accommodations and employment based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
The ordinances will take effect on February 1, 2022. These new ordinances prohibit employers from not hiring, firing, or discriminating against any “Protected Class” of persons concerning “tenure, promotion, transfer, compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment, or any other matter directly or indirectly related to employment.” A “Protected Class” includes “race, natural hair or hairstyles, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, pregnancy, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ancestry, National Guard or veteran status, religious belief or non-belief, age or disability.”
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said:
“I know people want to know about how all this applies to restrooms, showers, and locker rooms. The mainstream media has played that issue down in their reporting. As many of them have reported, it’s true that state lawmakers still have control of the use of public bathrooms such as government buildings. However, ‘public accommodations’ defined in these ordinances refer to ‘a place, facility, store or establishment which supplies accommodations, goods, or services to the public or which solicits or accepts the patronage or trade of the general public.’ And the ordinances also say that it’s illegal to ‘deny any person the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations’ because of the individual’s ‘Protected Class.’ That certainly sounds like if a biological male who believes he is a female wants to use the ‘Ladies’ restroom, a business that serves the public better not deny him doing so.”
Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, non-denominational ministries, faith-based missions, or faith-based entities “primarily devoted to the study, practice or advancement of religion” are supposed to be exempt.
But Creech says Christians have no reason to breathe a sigh of relief.
“I think we still have to be very concerned about Christian businesses that serve the public. They should be entirely free to operate according to their Christian values. These SOGI ordinances approved in Wake County and Raleigh won’t allow them to do this without penalty. They ought to be free to choose or fire their employees accordingly,” said Creech. “True Christianity is not only what we do on a Sunday or within the walls of a church, but our worship of God also requires that we bring everything we do, especially our work and services to the public, into compliance with God’s Word. This alone is acceptable worship. If a Christian florist or photographer refuses to do a gay wedding, some people want to say this weaponizes religion against certain groups. It does no such thing. Instead, it is a form of moral discrimination, which our Constitution has traditionally protected.”
Whether Protestant or Catholic, Conservative Christians generally deny that “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are anything like race. Ryan Anderson, Ph D., with the Heritage Foundation, states the argument succinctly:
“Sexual orientation and gender identity are radically different from race and thus should not be elevated to a protected class in the way that race is. First, race manifests itself readily, whereas sexual orientation and gender identity are ambiguous, subjective, and variable traits. Second, sexual orientation and gender identity are linked to actions, which are a proper subject matter for moral evaluation. Race is not.
“Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed that his children would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. A person’s character is expressed in his voluntary actions, and it is reasonable to make judgments about those actions. Race implies nothing about one’s actions.”
Wake County and Raleigh’s approval of their SOGI ordinances makes 15 local governments in the state that have done so. The passage of these ordinances results from the North Carolina General Assembly’s repeal of HB 2 – Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act. The controversial bill was supplanted by compromise legislation, HB 142, which suspended the passage of SOGI ordinances until after December 2020.