Equality and Leadership


Screenshot 2013-04-18 at 9.04.18 AMBack in 2010, I introduced same-sex domestic partner benefits policy for employees of the City of Asheville. Recognizing the relationships and health needs of our LGBT employees was a big step forward. As city officials it’s important that demonstrate leadership to ensure the values of our community are reflected in government. A year after passing same-sex domestic partner benefits, I worked with over 50 clergy from the area to introduce and pass the City’s Equality Resolution, which included a Domestic Partner Registry, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the city’s non-discrimination policy, taking a stand against bullying, and endorsing same-sex marriage. I’m grateful to the Council members who supported providing increased safety, opportunity, and acceptance for those citizens marginalized by unjust laws and policies.

Since that time we’ve seen Mission Hospital and Care Partners, two of Buncombe County’s largest employers adopt same-sex domestic partner benefits. Most recently, leaders in the Buncombe County Commission have taken similar steps to protect and recognize their LGBT employees. Their wise decisions mean that thousands of area workers are treated with respect.

We can do more. It’s still legal to discriminate against LGBT citizens when offering housing, and that’s something we have a responsibility to address. When offering economic incentives to business partners, we can guarantee that they include sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination policies.

Anything short of full equality for our LGBT citizens is unjust, and I will work to continue our march toward a city that demonstrates its values in all of its policies.

If you believe that these steps are the right ones, then please take the time to visit my campaign website and volunteer or donate. It’s critical that we have leaders on City Council who have demonstrated ability to get things done, and I’m asking for your help to continue this important work.


  1. randallt says:

    I just came over here after I posted this, bragging about you to the Kossacks who will be descending on Asheville at the By Water on Saturday 4/20. And there you are, proving my point. Thanks.

    The event starts at 1:00, everyone is welcome.


  2. TJ says:

    Sounds great! Y’all have a great time! vc

    Glad you are still around, Randall!

  3. Alan Ditmore says:

    It’s also still legal to discriminate IN FAVOR of LGBTQ people when offering housing and even to advertize rentals “LGBTQ only” Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater Gordon, in the long run it will not be worth it and is already limiting LGBTQ housing in Massachusetts.

  4. Alan Ditmore says:

    I will concede that demanding LGBTQ favorable policies for economic development incentives is a good idea, and a new one as far as I know; though of course eliminating such incentives entirely is a better one, as is demanding LGBTQ affirmative action instead of nondiscrimination policies. The more demanding the better when it comes to incentives that really should be impossible to get.