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New bills aim to expand anti-discrimination laws in North Carolina

All three bills were introduced Thursday, so no word yet as to when any will see their first vote.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Gay rights in North Carolina could soon see a boost from state lawmakers.

Thursday, House leaders introduced three new bills. The bills aim to expand anti-discrimination laws and would repeal the remains of HB2, otherwise known as the notorious bathroom bill.

House Bill 514 would add language to existing state anti-discrimination laws that cover housing, employment, public accommodations, credit, education, insurance and jury service. 

The changes would prohibit discrimination on the bases of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, and genetic information.

House Bill 515 would repeal the sections of state law that were left in place as a result of the compromise regarding HB2.

A third bill, House Bill 516, would ban conversion therapy, a practice touted as a way to ‘cure’ same-sex attraction.

The practice has been around since the late 1800s when ‘cures’ included lobotomy and castration. Today, the therapy is often offered in the form of faith-based camps or counseling sessions. 

Conversion therapy is already banned in 15 states and D.C., as several human rights groups say many who undergo the therapy are minors. They cite some practitioners also still use physical and emotional abuse, including sleep deprivation and electric-shock in order to ‘fix’ the child. 

Doctors have long spoken out against the practice, saying there is no scientific evidence the therapy works. They also say it often leads to depression, suicide and can cause psychological harm.

But in the Carolinas, parents can legally send their children to these camps or counseling programs. 

If the bill passes, it would place professional penalties on anyone who performs conversion therapy on minors or adults with disabilities.

All three bills were introduced Thursday, so no word yet as to when any will see their first vote.

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