ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A split board of county commissioners voted this week to amend Buncombe County’s non-discrimination statement to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Tuesday’s 4-3 vote along party lines will need to be reconfirmed at a second meeting on April 16.

“I’m a lawyer, and I’m not going to tell you that this doesn’t add more liability for the county,” Commission Chair David Gantt said, according to The Citizen-Times. “But if we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing as a community and not discriminating against anyone, we don’t have to worry.”

A motion to table was defeated 4-3. Republican Joe Belcher said he was concerned that legislators in Raleigh could overturn the policy change. Members of the General Assembly have taken up several bills this session limiting the rights and powers of cities and towns.

“If Raleigh wants to come in here and yank away rights for our people, bring it on,” Commissioner Holly Jones said.

Read more at The Citizen-Times

[Ed. Note — This article has been edited to correct the date of the second commissioners meeting. It will be held on April 16.]

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.