Under the Dome

Speaking of anti-discrimination laws ...

At the 2012 Capital City Bikefest in downtown Raleigh, spectators make their way through rows of hundreds of motorcycles on Fayetteville Street.
At the 2012 Capital City Bikefest in downtown Raleigh, spectators make their way through rows of hundreds of motorcycles on Fayetteville Street. ssharpe@newsobserver.com

A House committee on Wednesday passed an anti-discrimination bill — protecting motorcycles.

Rep. John Torbett’s House Bill 1050, titled DOT/No Discrimination Against Motorcycles, would make it illegal to prohibit motorcycles from publicly funded parking decks. It would also forbid the state Department of Transportation from pursuing policies, plans, or designs of parking decks and other projects that impose requirements that only apply to motorcycles.

After Torbett, a Republican from Stanley in Gaston County, explained the bill, Rep. Mickey Michaux, a Durham Democrat, struck an incredulous tone.

"You can’t discriminate against a motorcycle but you can discriminate against a human being?" Michaux asked, invoking the current controversy over LGBT anti-discrimination rights.

Michaux asked if motorcyclists would have to produce their birth certificates to park.

No one answered.

The bill would allocate $10,000 to spread the word about the new law, Torbett said. The House Appropriations Committee approved the bill on a split voice vote.

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