Folly Beach Passes Non-discrimination Ordinance
March 13, 2012
Folly Beach, SC March 15,2012- On March 13, 2012, Folly Beach City Council voted unanimously to pass a new ordinance to prevent discrimination in public accommodations.
Sponsored by Councilman Charlie McCarty, the ordinance protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, familial status, disability or sexual orientation. Similar ordinances have passed in Charleston, Columbia and Richland County.
The sponsor of the measure, Councilman Charlie McCarty stated, "Our goal is to have a policy that states our commitment to non-discrimination". McCarty concluded the evening, his last Council meeting before his retirement, by sharing a personal story about his mother and grandparents, who experienced discrimination because of their Irish heritage.
Christine Johnson of South Carolina Equality, and Warren Redman-Gress of AFFA, approached Folly Beach Mayor, Tim Goodwin and City Manager, Toni Connor-Rooks in May 2011 to request the Council consider adopting a non-discrimination policy.
SC Equality Executive Director, Christine Johnson commended the work of the City Council saying, "The Folly Beach City Council has lead by example and demonstrated the unique ability of elected officials to address discrimination, while fostering community, culture and policy that embraces diversity. Folly Beach has a significant lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender presence. On behalf of Folly Beach LGBT individuals and their families, as well as the many diverse communities that enjoy their vacation time on Folly, SC Equality thanks the Council for embracing diversity not only in word, but in deed. We invite other local government officials to follow the exceptional leadership example of Folly Beach, Charleston, Columbia and Richland County".
During the summer of 2010, SC Equality conducted a statewide survey of LGBT South Carolinians. Over 1,000 respondents from 44 of 46 counties participated. 55% of all respondents stated they had experienced homophobia, trans-phobia or harassment in a public establishment or public accommodation.
SC Equality is a the Palmetto State's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender education and political advocacy organization, whose mission is to achieve equal human and civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender invidividuals and theirs families.