Last week Charlotte became the latest — and, by far, largest — North Carolina community to pass new LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination protections.
The new protections come five years after state lawmakers and then-Gov. Pat McCrory passed HB 2, preventing local governments from introducing new non-discrimination ordinances. The law, which excluded lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from statewide nondiscrimination protections, kicked off a bruising political fight, generated international headlines and led to heavy economic losses before the it was partially repealed.
The moratorium on new discrimination protections expired in January. Since then, cities and counties large and small have passed new or expanded protections for the LGBTQ community, veterans, natural hairstyles and other categories that did not enjoy protection in housing, employment and public accommodation.
LGBTQ advocates point to new ordinances across the state as evidence of momentum for statewide anti-discrimination protections. Last week new U.S. Census Bureau data — including the Household Pulse Survey — gave greater insight into how vitally important such protections may be for a population already experiencing great economic and health disparities. The data show this is particularly true in light of the economic hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit LGBTQ people particularly hard. For LGBTQ people of color, the numbers are even more alarming.
Today we take a by-the-numbers look at some of the challenges still faced by LGBTQ Americans and the difference non-discrimination protections could make.
13.1 — Percentage of LGBTQ adults living in households that experienced food insecurity in the last seven days. Among non-LGBTQ adults, the percentage is 7.2.
36.6 — Percentage of LGBTQ adults living in a household that had difficulty paying for usual household expenses in the previous seven days. Among non-LGBTQ adults, the figure is 26.1%.
19.8 — Percentage of LGBTQ adults living in a household with lost employment income in the past four weeks. For non-LGBTQ adults, that number is 16.8%.
8.2 —Percentage of LGBTQ adults who said they “were not at all confident” they would be able to make their next housing payment on time. Among non-LGBTQ adults, that number is 6%.
38 — Percentage of LGBTQ people of color whose work hours have been reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among white LGBTQ people, that number is 29%. Among the general population, it is 24%.
22 — Percentage of LGBTQ people of color who became unemployed in the COVID-19 pandemic. Among white LGBTQ people, that number is 14%, similar to the general population (13%).
58 — Percentage of transgender people of color who lost work hours in the COVID-19 pandemic. Among white transgender people, that number was 54%.
150 — Percentage more likely it is for LGBTQ people of color to have experienced a pay cut, compared to the general population, since a majority of states began initiating reopening policies.
50 — Percentage more likely it is for white LGBTQ people to have experienced a pay cut, compared to the general population, since a majority of states began initiating reopening policies.
10 — Number of local governments in North Carolina that have passed LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances since the moratorium was lifted in January: Apex, Asheville, Buncombe County, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Hillsborough and Orange County.
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