CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts released a statement following the North Carolina General Assembly’s special session in which a bill was passed to strike down Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinance.
The controversial ordinance, which included provisions against discrimination based on marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression was initially slated to take effect April 1.
Opponents of the bill pointed to the law’s permission to allow transgender people to use the public restroom of the gender which they identify with as an opportunity for sexual predators to target women.
Governor Pat McCrory said in February that he would take legislative action against the bill if the city council approved it.
Roberts released the following statement Wednesday night:
"I am appalled with the General Assembly’s actions today. It has passed a bill that is worse than what we have seen in Indiana and Georgia and other states. This legislation is literally the most anti-LGBT legislation in the country. It sanctions discrimination against the LGBT community.
This legislation also repeals local protections against discrimination based on race, color, national origin, and sex and replaces them with a statewide prohibition with no consequences for those who discriminate. Contrary to the NCGA’s claim that they have broadened protections, they have actually opened the door to discrimination against anyone for any reason.
This legislation overturns the ability of local governments to provide, as we have for many years, protections for our transgender employees. It prohibits local governments from providing to their employees the same protections that private employers provide to their employees and puts us at risk of violating federal laws.
This legislation overturns well accepted and successful practices that permit visitors to use the restroom of the gender which they identify in public facilities. This puts at risk our travel and tourism industry by overturning our policies of inclusion at our convention center, arena, airport, and auditoriums. And it does this all across the state.
This legislation imposes new restrictions on schools and universities that puts public education at risk of violating federal law and jeopardizing federal funding.
And strangely, this legislation prohibits local governments from setting minimum or living wage – which we never even had the authorization to do.
This legislation threatens to undermine the economic growth and prosperity of Charlotte and North Carolina.
Discrimination is never right and discrimination is not good for business. This is a bad bill for the Tarheel State.
The General Assembly is on the wrong side of progress…it is on the wrong side of history.
These are not the values of Charlotte and they are not the values of the business community of Charlotte and North Carolina.
I urge the governor to veto this bill. Thank you."