Challenges May Await Winston-Salem Non-Discrimination Proposal

Challenges May Await Winston-Salem Non-Discrimination Proposal

7:02pm Mar 18, 2021
Councilwoman D.D. Adams speaks during a press conference in November, 2020. PAUL GARBER/WFDD

The Winston-Salem City Council on Monday will consider updating its non-discrimination ordinance, but the proposed changes have some challenges ahead.

The updates would include added personnel protections for LGBTQ people, expanding the criteria to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

It would also ban discrimination based on hairstyles traditionally associated with race, such as cornrows and afros.

Councilwoman D.D. Adams says other urban cities including Durham and Greensboro have passed similar measures. She says she’s almost sure the ordinance updates will be challenged by the GOP-led General Assembly, but Adams says it’s still worth moving forward with the changes.

“We cannot allow others to dictate what our citizens want us to do, and that is required for everybody to have a better quality of life or opportunities,” she says.

Adams says another challenge is applying the non-discrimination policy not just to the city government but also to the private-sector organizations it works with.

If passed, the measure includes a 100-day study period to determine how it could be enforced among such third-party groups.   

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