Buncombe Co. officials' vote to add LBGTQ community to policy - FOX Carolina 21

Buncombe Co. officials' vote to add LBGTQ community to policy

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The Buncombe County Commission held the first vote on adding the LBGT community to the county's nondiscrimination policy. (Apr. 2, 2013/FOX Carolina) The Buncombe County Commission held the first vote on adding the LBGT community to the county's nondiscrimination policy. (Apr. 2, 2013/FOX Carolina)
ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

The lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and queer (LBGTQ) community and those who support them took their fight against discrimination in the workplace to the Buncombe County Commission in Asheville Tuesday night.

"As a gay person living in North Carolina, I'm discriminated against each and every day," Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara said. 

She's a minister with United Church of Christ and the executive director with Campaign for Southern Equality. She said she hasn't experienced discrimination at work, but said statistics show it's a problem.

"My wife and are married. It's recognized in nine states but not in North Carolina. I believe that's a form of discrimination," Beach-Ferrara said.

She sat in the crowd as Buncombe County Commissioners discussed whether or not to amend its nondiscrimination policy to include benefits for same-sex couples as well as protection in the workplace for the LBGTQ community. However, others called the proposal immoral.

"I think this, according to the Bible, is a sin of choice," Wendell Runion said.

He's the director with International Baptist Outreach Missions.

"I don't think this is a civil rights issue at all as they're trying to claim it is. I think that a person is born of a race because of the birth from their parents," Runion said.

Commissioners voted four to three in favor of the amendment. They will hold a second reading to determine if the policy will become official or not.

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