Originally published: July 2, 2013, 9:51 a.m.
Updated: July 2, 2013, 11:28 a.m.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — City Council appointed their colleague, Patsy Kinsey (D-Dist. 1), mayor at a special meeting on Monday night. The longtime elected official will fulfill the unexpired term of Mayor Anthony Foxx. He resigned last night to take his post as secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Kinsey will serve until December. She will not run for mayor but will again seek her District 1 seat on Council. That seat, which represents several neighborhoods with large LGBT populations, will be filled by an appointee chosen by Kinsey’s colleagues. Those interested in serving in the seat have until July 15 to apply and must be registered Democrats who live in the district.
Scott Bishop, chair of the Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee (MeckPAC) said Tuesday morning that his organization would be keeping track of the process to fill Kinsey’s vacated seat.
“MeckPAC will watch the replacement process and will act as if this were an election by sending our MeckPAC Candidate questionnaire to the applicants, if we are able to learn who they are, or at the very least, to the selected replacement,” Bishop said in an email to the newspaper. “This will help us ascertain the LGBT friendliness of the replacement.”
Kinsey has been a strong but quiet supporter of LGBT equality initiatives. She took a behind-the-scenes role, working with local activists and her colleagues, to include same-sex domestic partner benefits in last year’s budget. She’s also been a regular at LGBT community events hosted by the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, the Human Rights Campaign and others.
Kinsey is supportive of potential changes to the city’s Commercial Non-Discrimination Ordinance, a local law that requires businesses seeking city contracts to certify they have non-discrimination policies. It does not currently include sexual orientation and gender identity.
“I have always been supportive of LGBT initiatives and see no reason why I would not support LGBT inclusive changes to the City’s Commercial Non-Discrimination Ordinance,” she told qnotes last week.
The city spent at least $1.1 million dollars during the Democratic National Convention with businesses that do not offer LGBT workers full employee protections.
MeckPAC has apparently been working on the issue. City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield said in June the group might bring the issue forward. She also said that no proposal has yet to be submitted to Council.
Bishop said his group has had no conversations with any Council members regarding the ordinance. MeckPAC committee member Roberta Dunn told qnotes the ordinance was briefly discussed with City Manager Ron Carlee at a meeting in May.
A statewide anti-LGBT group recently targeted elected officials on the ordinance issue.
It’s not clear when or if the ordinance may come up for a vote or if it has the necessary votes to pass Council. In addition to Kinsey, three other Council members have voiced public support for a potential change. Other leaders have not responded to requests for comment. A majority of Council received endorsements from MeckPAC in 2011. Council has not held a public vote on any single matter of LGBT inclusion since November 1992, when it considered and defeated an inclusive public accommodations ordinance.