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Your City Enacted LGBTQ Protections! Oop, Your State Just Killed Them

September 25, 2019

The Advocate,

Rebecca Isaacs,

September 25, 2019-

The LGBTQ community is no stranger to state overreach — when legislatures swoop in to eradicate local nondiscrimination measures or take other sweeping actions that, ultimately, hurt our ability to live, work, and raise our families free from discrimination. In fact, the first time most Americans even became aware of the concept of preemption legislation was when North Carolina enacted HB 2 — the discriminatory law that attacked the very humanity of transgender people, and eviscerated local nondiscrimination measures across the Tar Heel state.

But preemption’s impact extends far beyond the LGBTQ community — increasingly, preemption laws harm low-income workers, people of color, women, and immigrants as well. A new report from Local Solutions Support Center and the State Innovation Exchange looks at how preemption bills that take power away from local governments — and in the process, hurt often marginalized communities — have been on the rise since 2011. Coincidentally, that’s the same year that Nashville enacted an ordinance protecting LGBTQ employees of city contractors from discrimination — a move that Tennessee state quickly voided by passing a preemption law.

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