After a long round of 1-minute comments mostly raging against it, the Charlotte, North Carolina City Council voted tonight in favor of the expansion of the city’s nondiscrimination law to include LGBT protections, 7-4.
Here’s how it went down:
- Al Austin, John Autry, Patsy Kinsey, Julie Eiselt, Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles, James Mitchell, Lawana Mayfield FOR.
- Ed Driggs, Claire Fallon, Greg Phipps, Kenny Smith AGAINST.
- The Mayor, Jennifer Roberts, was not allowed to vote but urged the council to vote YES.
The ACLU of North Carolina reacts:
CHARLOTTE – Tonight the Charlotte City Council voted to expand the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance to prohibit discrimination in public accommodations based on familial status, marital status, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression. Among other things, the ordinance means that businesses open to the public – including public restrooms, taxi services, hotels and other public lodging – must provide equal treatment and access to people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
“With this vote, North Carolina’s largest city has affirmed that all people deserve to be treated fairly and protected by the law,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “When a business decides to open its doors to the public, it should be open to everyone on the same terms. We applaud Charlotte’s council members for making their city more safe, welcoming, and inclusive, and we urge municipal leaders across the state to follow their example. Charlotte has full authority to enact this ordinance, and we hope the General Assembly will respect this local government’s decision to protect its residents and visitors from discrimination.”
And of course, there was the opposition, hurling out the usual talking points, hissy fits and apoplexies on the dais against the mayor and council. But this guy, “King John”, takes the cake for the most insane opponent to testify, and who also coined the hashtag #genderroyal:
But in spite of the shenanigans, Charlotte now joins over 250 cities and counties to have an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance. Stand by for Gov. Pat McCrory and his Republican majority to try undermining it.
UPDATE: Some video of the testimony. TW: Transphobia throughout.