Mar 17, 2016
LGBT Leaders, Charlotte City Council Member, Allies Respond to NCGA Attack on Non-Discrimination Protections
Raleigh, N.C. — Today, Equality NC, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy group stood with other leaders in reaction to fear-based attacks from the North Carolina General Assembly on municipal authority and LGBT people. Leaders in both chambers have threatened a special session, costing over $42,000 a day, to attack a non-discrimination ordinance passed by the City of Charlotte in February. The ordinance mirrors existing protections in 200+ cities across the nation, including Myrtle Beach and Columbia, SC. In those communities, there have not been any reported incidences of public safety risk due to the ordinance. The move to call a special session or pass legislation in the short session to usurp municipal authority would be unnecessary and highly unusual.
The Executive Directors of Equality NC and ACLU, as well as Charlotte City Council member John Autry joined leaders from the transgender, business, and faith communities to stand in opposition to this attack.
"What Speaker Moore and Senator Berger are doing is political theatrics at their worst. They should be ashamed to spread false concern and use discriminatory language in an effort to win political points and usurp municipal authority. Instead of concentrating on jobs, infrastructure, or education they are using the LGBT community as a wedge issue in what will be a failed attempt to win votes," said Chris Sgro, Executive Director of Equality NC. "Cities across the nation, including in neighboring states have similar protections. Transgender and gay people deserve to be protected against discrimination, and Charlotte did the right thing by joining most major cities across the nation in enacting protections. Speaker Moore and Senator Berger should be ashamed of this cynical election year stunt. I urge them to keep their eyes on making this a state of opportunity and innovation, and not the most discriminatory in the nation."
"I am a transgender woman, and I face discrimination often. I work hard and am invested in the City of Charlotte. They stood up to protect me and many other members of my community. I'm not a politician, but I don't think many folks will understand why the North Carolina General Assembly is telling communities across the state that they must discriminate against people. This needs to stop today," said Erica Lachowitz, a Charlotte resident.
The North Carolina General Assembly is currently debating whether to consider discriminatory legislation, and fair-minded North Carolinians will continue to watch them and stand up against such efforts.
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 www.equalitync.org