The Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council has unanimously agreed to withdraw its funds from First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company, which is based in Raleigh, North Carolina. This decision was made in protest of the North Carolina House Bill 2.
Fair Housing Council funds had previously been banked at North Milwaukee State Bank, which closed on March 11, 2016. The FDIC subsequently transferred all North Milwaukee State Bank deposit accounts to First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company.
North Carolina’s House Bill 2 restricts exercise of civil rights in several ways; for instance, it removes the right of workers to sue under state law for employment discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. Further, the most notorious aspect of the bill, the “Bathroom Bill,” requires that people use public restrooms that correspond with their biological sex at birth, regardless of their gender identity or expression. Moreover, the bill prohibits local governments from enacting ordinances that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected classes beyond those defined by state law.
Each of these restrictions on the civil rights of North Carolinians means that, for the Fair Housing Council, doing business in North Carolina is insupportable.
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council continues to affirm the rights of all people to live free from discrimination in housing, employment and public spaces, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race and other characteristics.