Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In Charlotte: City Council fails to pass LGBT-inclusive ordinances

Last night in Charlotte, NC, haters, allies and fam appeared in the city hall to debate on the LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances.

The discussions were harsh, deep and at times, hard to endure. That chamber was filled with so much emotion, you couldn't help but to be drawn to the live feed. However, after all was said and done, the ordinances failed. Mostly because of a stupid and weak amendment by Councilmember Vi Lyles (a Democrat). Her amendment excluded restrooms from the ordinances, giving in to the foolish notion of trans folks scaring kids on the toilet.

The final vote was 6-5.

The Charlotte Non-Discrimination Ordinance Coalition released this statement (via Q Notes):

The Charlotte Non-Discrimination Ordinance Coalition is condemning Charlotte City Council’s decision on Monday to reject amendments to local non-discrimination ordinances. The measures would have added sexual orientation and gender identity, among other characteristics, to already protected classes in four city non-discrimination ordinances. Their action repeats a similar rejection of inclusive non-discrimination protections made by Council in November 1992.

For the second time in our city’s history, Charlotte City Council has shown it does not have the courage or the conviction to stand for fairness and equality. More than two decades ago, Council members shamelessly rejected similar public accommodations protections. In repeating that sad legacy on Monday, Council chose to listen to the divisive, prejudiced rhetoric of out-of-town special interests who have been behind recent attacks on the rights of LGBT people across the state and across the country. They have proven they will stop at nothing to malign and discriminate against LGBT citizens and residents.

These safe and equitable protections have been adopted by 17 states and more than 200 local governments across the country with no ill effect, including in Bessemer City, Greensboro, Raleigh and Winston-Salem, and in South Carolina’s Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

Charlotte’s decision tonight moves the city backward not forward and shows a continued lack of commitment to fair treatment of all its citizens and residents. This coalition will not stop lobbying Council for these changes and will bring them back to city leaders for future consideration. We thank our Council champions and those who voted for the measure, placing equality over discrimination.

I watched most of the debate and again, it was a lot to take in. But if you want to learn more about Charlotte and the craziness around it, please go over to Q Notes. Matt Comer did a great job recapping last night.

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Viktor is a small town southern boy living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Twitter, writing about pop culture, politics, and comics. He’s the creator of the graphic novel StrangeLore and currently getting back into screenwriting.