(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) The Pacific Legal Foundation sued the city of Asheville, North Carolina last week, after city officials issued a ruling requiring members of the Human Relations Commission be of certain races and sexual orientations.
Created in 2018, the stated goal of the commission was to “promote and improve human relations and achieve equity among all citizens in the city by carrying out the city’s human relations program.”
The recently established procedure demanded that two of the six members of the committee were “African-Americans,” and the other two are “Latinx,” according to Conservative Firing Line, which reported the story Monday.
The procedure also required two members to have be “of the LGBTQ+ community,” two young adults between ages 18 and 25, two residing in public housing and two with a disability.
In a press release last week, the Pacific Legal Foundation criticized these requirements as racist and discriminatory.
“The opportunity to serve your local community should not depend on your race. Asheville’s candidates for public service should be treated as individuals, instead of mere members of arbitrary racial groups,” said Andrew Quinio, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation.
“Asheville needs to stop making assumptions about people’s experiences and qualifications based on arbitrary and offensive racial classifications.”
Candidate John Miall grew up in Asheville and worked as the city’s director of risk management for 30 years before applying to join the Human Relations Committee. However, his application faced rejection simply because of his race.
The complaint sought a court declaration against the racial requirements for appointments as unconstitutional, and to stop the city from mandating frivolous requirements.
The suit also requested class action status for all applicants rejected on the basis of their race, age and status.
“Under the HRCA’s membership criteria, the city council will not endeavor to appoint white residents unless they also satisfy a separate category, such as being a member of the LGBTQ+ community, a youth member, disabled, living in public housing, or recognized as a community leader,” the complaint charged.