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Charlotte City Council Approves Landmark Non-Discrimination Ordinance Establishing Local Protections for LGBT Residents

CHARLOTTE - Today, TurnOut! Charlotte, a partnership of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Equality North Carolina and MeckPAC, hailed the leadership and vision of the Charlotte City Council for voting to advance city-wide non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, in public accommodations, vehicles for hire and in government contracting. The ordinance passed by a vote of 7-4, with the strong support of newly-elected Mayor Jennifer Roberts, who has been a leading voice for the ordinance in her campaign and since she’s taken office.

"As North Carolina's oldest and largest LGBT advocacy organization, Equality North Carolina is pleased to see Charlotte's elected leaders take a step in the right direction on non-discrimination." Said Crystal Richardson, Director of Advocacy for Equality NC. "We are proud to stand with Mayor Roberts and members of the Charlotte City Council in this victory for equality. This ordinance guarantees equal protection under the law for all, regardless of who they are or who they love."

“The City Council’s vote today sends a clear message that discrimination has no place in Charlotte,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “Everyone, regardless of who they are, should have the legal right to feel safe in their community, and we commend the City Council for standing with us on the side of fairness and equality in the Queen City.”

"Today’s vote is a reminder that a majority of American’s support nondiscrimination,” said MeckPAC Chair Jamie Hildreth, “and that all should be treated with dignity, respect and equality. MeckPAC thanks our Turnout! Charlotte partners, Mayor Roberts and City Council for ensuring that LGBT residents can feel safe and at home in Charlotte."

Prior to today’s vote, Charlotte remained one of the largest cities in the country without a law explicitly protecting LGBT residents and visitors from discrimination. Last month, Mayor Roberts hosted a two-hour long public forum in partnership with the Charlotte Community Relations Committee and the Community Building Initiative, that was intended to bring together all interested parties for a discussion on non-discrimination protections, before reviving the ordinance that failed by a 6 to 5 vote last year.

TurnOut! Charlotte recently reconvened, in coalition with the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce and the Mecklenburg County LGBT Democrats, to spearhead efforts to pass these crucial, fully-inclusive protections, and amplify the voices of pro-equality Charlotteans. Last November, TurnOut! Charlotte successfully helped elect a pro-equality majority to the the Charlotte City Council, a move which cleared the way for today’s victory.

ABOUT EQUALITY NC: Equality NC is a statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians. For more information, please visit w​ww.equalitync.org

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee (MeckPAC) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to mobilize the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and its many allies in Charlotte/Mecklenburg to vote and participate in city/county elections, to educate city/county elected officials about issues of importance to the LGBT community, and to hold city/county elected officials accountable for their votes on such issues.

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