Charlotte City Council is due to consider amendments to several local non-discrimination ordinances at their March 2 meeting. The changes would extend protections to members of the LGBT community and others. Here are five quick facts you need to know and ways you can take action and get involved.
1. These ordinances would protect a wide range of people, including LGBT people, from arbitrary discrimination in restaurants, bars, hotels, movie theaters, taxicabs and more. The full suite of changes would also require businesses contracting with the city to have similar prohibitions against discrimination and would empower the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee to track, monitor and resolve discrimination complaints based on newly added characteristics: sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status and familial status. That means even single parents and families with children are protected under these new changes.
2. The opposition is using scare tactics linking LGB and, in particular, transgender people to sexual predators. THEIR CLAIMS ARE OUTRAGEOUSLY OFFENSIVE AND FALSE. Seventeen states and more than 200 local governments have offered these or similar protections to LGBT people. There have never been any documented cases linking transgender people to sexual abuse or violence. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite: transgender people face tremendously high rates of violence and harassment. These policies are safe, commonsense public policy, adopted by cities and towns, private companies and states across the nation, including companies like Bank of America and Wells Fargo and nearby cities like Columbia, Myrtle Beach and Charleston.
3. These ordinances change nothing about the safety of bathrooms and, despite the scare tactics of opponents, DO NOT open the door to sexual predators. From the Charlotte Non-Discrimination Ordinance Coalition: “This law has nothing to do with bathrooms, nor will it affect policies regulating the use of public bathrooms. Only people who are actually transgender are protected by this law. This law in no way protects people who pretend to be the opposite gender any more than a law would protect someone who faked a disability or a religion. The behavior some people are describing, men pretending to be women to access the restroom, is criminal behavior and this ordinance would not change that in any way.”
4. You can take action to support these changes. And it takes just a minute or two of your time. Click here to sign Equality NC’s petition to City Council urging them to adopt these ordinance amendments. Signing the petition takes just a few minutes of your time and helps send the message to your elected leaders that they should pass these ordinance changes.
5. You can show your support in person at the City Council meeting on March 2. Come stand with in support of these fair, commonsense protections at the Charlotte City Council meeting on March 2. Arrive early at 4 p.m. to meet with and rally support with other LGBT and straight ally community members. The meeting will be held at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St.
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