HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WNCN) – After an hour and a half of questions and debate, the Holly Springs town council did not adopt a non-discrimination ordinance outlined by Wake County.
A group of a few dozen Holly Springs activists called on the town to take up the county’s law protecting against discrimination for gender, ethnicity, orientation and marital status among many other things.
“We have families of all kinds and to feel accepted and loved in any city they’re in, I think it’s so important and Holly Springs shouldn’t be denying that to people,” Holly Springs local Josie Reed said.
Wake County’s existing ordinance allows people to report discrimination at businesses based on those attributes.
Councilmember Aaron Wolfe supported the idea.
“It might not seem urgent to us sitting up here, but, to the folks of this community, it is,” Wolfe said.
Other council members addressed concerns about the unknown liability put on local businesses, as well as seeing how cities that have adopted the law fare in the long term.
“Those are things that are not yet known,” councilman Timothy Forest said. “They’re what I call unknowable. It’s hard to make a decision on that today.”
Wake County is currently paying legal fees for any of the municipalities that have adopted the ordinance.
Supporters argued that it saves the town money rather than footing the bill for a separate non-discrimination law.
“The bottom line is the funding is there,” Holly Springs resident Donna Friend said. “Wake County thought is was a good thing to do.”
Across the county, Raleigh, Morrisville, Apex and Knightdale have all signed on to the ordinance, with Cary and Garner set to talk about its potential adoption in late June.