“Either we are a community accepting of our LGBTQ residents and this is a no-brainer or we are not,” said Holly Springs town council member Aaron Wolff, as he took Mayor Sean Mayefskie and other colleagues to task June 7 for failing to issue a Pride month proclamation or sign on to Wake County’s non-discrimination ordinance.
“What is the downside?” Wolff asked. “I can only think of one downside and that’s the fact that it would make a small part of our population uncomfortable: the part that thinks the lives of our LGBTQ community are worth less, that their lives are sinful [and] that their lives are nothing to be proud of. Pride, in this context, is [viewed as] an offensive term.
“If we have to choose between making an intolerant minority uncomfortable, and making our LGBTQ community feel welcome and safe, I choose the latter every single time.”
Wolff said the Wake County non-discrimination ordinance has also been widely misunderstood by many opponents. It does far more than protect LGBTQ individuals, according to Wolff.
Protected classes under this ordinance passed by the county last October include 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.
“I’ll say it again – pregnancy, religious belief, age, veteran status, disability. It is unclear to me if everyone who reached out to us against this ordinance had a full and clear understanding of exactly what they were campaigning against,” said Wolff.
Mayefskie, apparently in defense of his lack of LGBTQ policy support, said he believes the town is inclusive and their actions speak louder than words.
To date, six towns in Wake County have signed on to the non-discrimination ordinance.