News • August 10, 2021

Charlotte, Largest City in North Carolina, Unanimously Passes LGBTQ-Inclusive Nondiscrimination Ordinance 5 Years After HB2

In a bipartisan vote, Charlotte became the tenth community to pass an LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance, signaling statewide momentum for protections.

Adam Polaski | Campaign for Southern Equality | | 610-306-7956

Nate Fischer | Equality NC ||828-372-2020

CHARLOTTE – Tonight the Charlotte City Council voted unanimously in favor of a local ordinance that would establish clear protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, natural hairstyle, and more in key areas of life, including public spaces and private employment. The vote came after hours of public comment, during which supporters of the ordinance heralded the many ways it would make a positive impact on Charlotte.

Charlotte is now the tenth community in North Carolina to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance like this, joining Apex, Asheville, Buncombe County, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham, Greensboro, Hillsborough, and Orange County.

Kendra R. Johnson (she/her), Executive Director of Equality NC, said today:

"Throughout 2021, communities have come together to affirm that no one should face discrimination – and the vote tonight in Charlotte will double down on that undeniable momentum for LGBTQ equality. The passage of these protections, which include provisions for natural hair, sexual orientation, and gender identity, indicate strong progress for racial and social justice. Small towns, mid-sized cities, counties, and now the largest city in North Carolina have all taken steps to protect LGBTQ people and illustrate that NC is ready for these protections statewide."

Bethany Corrigan (they/them), Executive Director of Transcend Charlotte, said:

"Tonight is a win, not only for the LGBTQ community, but for all Charlotteans. We are only as strong as the least protected, and this expanded ordinance is a milestone toward equality in the Queen City. We applaud City Council for their bipartisan collaboration in passing this comprehensive ordinance and honor the advocates who have tirelessly sacrificed for this moment."

Rell Lowery (he/him), Transgender Community Liaison for Charlotte Black Pride, said:

"Charlotte is the second most dangerous city in the country for transgender and gender nonconforming people – especially Black transgender women. With today's vote, the Charlotte City Council committed to making the city a safer place to live and work for LGBTQ people and people of color. It is an important and long overdue full-circle moment, granting LGBTQ Charlotteans the legal protections that we always needed and deserved."

Daniel Valdez (he/him), President of Charlotte Pride, said:

"With the new protections passed tonight, Charlotte finally joins its peer cities in protecting LGBTQ residents and visitors to our city. Tonight's vote is a strong sign that Charlotte has finally turned a page in our decades-long fight for equality in our city. We're hopeful that Mecklenburg County and other area towns and cities will follow Charlotte's example."

Cameron Pruette (he/him), President of the LGBTQ+ Democrats of Mecklenburg County, said:

"This ordinance will improve the quality of life for everyone in Charlotte and underline that our community will not allow discrimination and abuse to go unchecked. The vote tonight from the City Council will save lives by making Charlotte a safer, more inclusive place that declares in bold print that LGBTQ people are valued and worthy of dignity, respect, and equality."

Erin Barbee (she/her) of the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, said:

"Five years ago our local and state economy felt the awful impacts of anti-LGBTQ policy, and lawmakers saw that discrimination is simply bad for business. Now, with the strong support of business leaders from large and small employers alike, Charlotte's local nondiscrimination ordinance makes clear once and for all that our city is a welcoming place that is open to all."

Allison Scott (she/they), Director of Impact & Innovation at the Campaign for Southern Equality, said:

"Leaders across North Carolina – including our U.S. Senators from NC – should look at what's happening in our state: Communities are taking a stand to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, which leads to safer, more inclusive places to live, work, and raise families. It's time now to ensure that no LGBTQ North Carolinian is left vulnerable to discrimination – and that will require action from elected officials at every level of government."

Local organizing in Charlotte has been led by Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Black Pride, Charlotte Pride, The Freedom Center for Social Justice, LGBTQ+ Democrats of Mecklenburg County, and Transcend Charlotte.

Through the NC is Ready for LGBTQ Protections campaign, led by Equality North Carolina and the Campaign for Southern Equality, a diverse array of voices has spoken out for LGBTQ protections at the local, state, and federal levels. Learn more at


Equality North Carolina builds LGBTQ+ power through advocacy, education, and uplifting the stories of queer and trans North Carolinians in pursuit of racial and social justice.

Based in Asheville, NC, the Campaign for Southern Equality promotes full LGBTQ equality across the South. Our work is rooted in commitments to equity in race, gender and class.

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