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North Carolina House Democrats introduce ‘Equality for All’ legislation

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Some North Carolina House Democrats have responded to House Bill 2 with legislation of their own.

Tuesday, they filed House Bill 1078, also called the "Equality for All Act".

"This legislation is the most comprehensive set of non-discrimination protections ever introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly," said primary sponsor Rep. Chris Sgro, a Democrat representing Guilford County.

Sgro said HB 1078 expands protections for veterans and the LGBT community and also expands protections based on familial status.

"Discrimination in any form is not representative of North Carolina values," Sgro said. "I certainly think it can pass."

Some sponsors of HB 1078 called for the repeal of HB2, saying HB 1078 better reflects the direction the state should move toward.

"This bill reflects North Carolina values," said primary sponsor Rep. Pricey Harrison, a Democrat representing Guilford County. "We are not a state about state-sponsored, state-sanctioned discrimination. [HB2] has tarnished our state and done untold economic damage. We ought to pass this bill that writes discrimination protection into state statutes, which is the trend we should be following."

In a statement, Republican House Speaker Tim Moore said:

"Over 60 bills were filed today and just like every other bill, HB 1078 will be read in and referred to committee. Like every other bill, if it garners enough support, it will move through the process."

Rep. Kyle Hall, a Republican representing Stokes and Rockingham Counties, also responded to HB 1078.

"It'll be considered, but I don't think it's going to go very far," he said. "It's already stopped right now, in my opinion, simply because HB2 is in litigation. This has become a nationwide issue because the Obama administration and the Justice Department has decided to make this a nationwide issue."

Hall said he stands by HB2.

"I think the judges will end up ruling in our favor," he said.