Tonight, TurnOut! Charlotte, a partnership of the HRC, Equality North Carolina, and MeckPAC, hailed the leadership and vision of the Charlotte City Council for voting to advance city-wide non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, in public accommodations, vehicles for hire, and in government contracting. The ordinance passed by a vote of 7 to 4 with the strong support of newly-elected Mayor Jennifer Roberts, who has been a leading voice for the ordinance in her campaign and since she’s taken office.
“The City Council’s vote today sends a clear message that discrimination has no place in Charlotte,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “Everyone, regardless of who they are, should have the legal right to feel safe in their community, and we commend the City Council for standing with us on the side of fairness and equality in the Queen City.”
"As North Carolina's oldest and largest LGBT advocacy organization, Equality North Carolina is pleased to see Charlotte's elected leaders take a step in the right direction on non-discrimination," said Crystal Richardson, Director of Advocacy for Equality NC. "We are proud to stand with Mayor Roberts and members of the Charlotte City Council in this victory for equality. This ordinance guarantees equal protection under the law for all, regardless of who they are or who they love."
"Today’s vote is a reminder that a majority of American’s support nondiscrimination,” said MeckPAC Chair Jamie Hildreth. “And that all should be treated with dignity, respect and equality. MeckPAC thanks our Turnout! Charlotte partners, Mayor Roberts and City Council for ensuring that LGBT residents can feel safe and at home in Charlotte."
Prior to tonight’s vote, Charlotte remained one of the largest cities in the country without a law explicitly protecting LGBT residents and visitors from discrimination. Last month, Mayor Roberts hosted a two-hour long public forum in partnership with the Charlotte Community Relations Committee and the Community Building Initiative, that was intended to bring together all interested parties for a discussion on non-discrimination protections, before reviving the ordinance that failed by a 6 to 5 vote last year.
TurnOut! Charlotte recently reconvened, in coalition with the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce and the Mecklenburg County LGBT Democrats, to spearhead efforts to pass these crucial, fully-inclusive protections, and amplify the voices of pro-equality Charlotteans. Last November, TurnOut! Charlotte successfully helped elect a pro-equality majority to the the Charlotte City Council, a move which cleared the way for today’s victory.
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