The Charlotte City Council will hear four LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances at their meeting this evening. Here’s a rundown of things to know.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. today, Monday, March 2, at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St., in Uptown Charlotte.
Those opposed to the ordinances and those in favor are both asking their supporters to begin showing up at the government center at 4 p.m.
Outside, the NC Values Coalition expects 1,000 people to turn out for a rally with David and Jason Benham, twin sons of anti-gay street preacher Flip Benham.
Supporters of the ordinances with the Charlotte Non-Discrimination Ordinance Coalition are asking their followers to wear blue in support of the ordinance. Supporters will meet inside the the government center. Get more info on that at this Facebook event page.
The news coverage and social media
It’s going to be a busy news day here at qnotes and for all local media.
Ordinance crash course
Get a basic crash course on what the ordinance proposals are in our “Five Things You Need to Know.”
Want to learn more? See this website for frequently asked questions compiled by the Charlotte Non-Discrimination Ordinance Coalition.
Know the groups involved
The debate over the ordinances has drawn support and opposition from a large swath of conservative and progressive groups.
Here’s our report on some of the folks who will be speaking at the Council meeting. As of now, some 80 or more people have signed up to speak. Half or more are from anti-LGBT groups, with the great bulk of them from outside of the city.
The debate has even drawn some national attention, with Franklin Graham speaking out.
The state’s leading anti-LGBT advocate, Tami Fitzgerald of the NC Values Coalition, has even gone so far as to suggest that a passed ordinance will be a “good way to bring in business” for attorneys looking to sue.
Supporters and opponents also include a variety of high-profile activists, faith leaders and businesses on each side of the issue.
Know the arguments
Opponents and supporters have spent weeks debating in public and on local airwaves.
And be sure to catch Sunday’s NBC Charlotte “FlashPoint” for more, too. They devoted the entire 30-minute show to the ordinances. They’ve posted in four, bite-sized parts for online viewing:
Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four
Another interesting read: this pro-con op-ed package from the Charlotte Observer.
Know the history
This isn’t the first time Charlotte City Council has heard a public accommodations ordinance update.
In November 1992, a proposal to add sexual orientation, among other characteristics, to the ordinance attracted similar anti-LGBT rhetoric we hear today. That proposal was voted down 7-4.
See our full archive of coverage here, where we’ll also be posting updates today, through the evening and into tomorrow.
Featured photo — background photo credit: Uptown Charlotte from Center City’s new Romare Bearden Park. Photo Credit: James Willamor, via Flickr. Licensed CC.