By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
February 26, 2016
CHARLOTTE – Monday, the Charlotte City Council, voted 7-4 for a new ordinance that both the Speaker of the North Carolina House and the Governor have vowed to overturn.
The new regulation, set to go into effect April 1 (April Fools’ Day), adds “sexual orientation,” “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the City’s non-discrimination law. In essence, the ordinance permits an individual, regardless of his or her biological anatomy, to use any restroom, locker room or changing room, with whichever gender he or she identifies. Similar ordinances have also been used in other cities around the country to punish bakers, florists, photographers, innkeepers, wedding venues, etc. for simply exercising their First Amendment right to practice their faith by not participating in same-sex ceremonies.
The “Don’t Do It Charlotte” coalition worked feverishly to urge council members to reject the proposed ordinance, presenting them with a petition of nearly 22,000 signatures. Their campaign ran radio and social media advertisements and resulted in more than 250,000 emails being sent to the Mayor and City Council in opposition to the measure. Plus the group held a rally with nearly 1000 people protesting in inclement weather.
During the rally, as many as 14 experts warned the City Council of the dire consequences the ordinance posed.
“Don’t Do It Charlotte” placards could be seen most prominently in the chamber where the City Council heard over two and half hours of public testimony from 140 citizens on the meeting floor. But all to no avail.
In a statement released by “Don’t Do It Charlotte” on Wednesday, Mayor Jennifer Roberts and 7 members of the Charlotte City Council defied the public outcry and adopted “the ordinance that favors a small radical minority who are dedicated to imposing their sexual deviance on all of us.”
Dr. Mark Harris, the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church, Charlotte, said that though the City Council approved the measure, the fight is far from over.
“We are united together as citizens, faith leaders, business owners, mothers, and fathers, to let the Charlotte City Council know that their voice will not be the last one standing…we will not lose…it will be the women and children of this city that you have willingly and knowingly placed in harm’s way. We will not stop until they are protected and safe once more,” said Harris.
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg), who previously vowed to fight the proposed ordinance, now says the measure approved by the City Council on Monday is even worse than the one he spoke out against earlier. Bishop argued that because of the way the ordinance is worded, “[a]ny biological man – regardless of whether he ‘identifies’ or ‘expresses’ himself as a man or as a woman – now has the legal right under the City’s amended ordinance to access the most intimate of women’s facilities (and vice versa). Under the ordinance, Charlotte businesses may no longer enforce sex-specific facilities and face penalties if they do.”
“This is a boneheaded blunder and a further embarrassment to Charlotte,” said Bishop.
Speaker of the North Carolina House, Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) also expressed his concerns and released a statement on Tuesday that read:
“The Charlotte City Council has gone against all common sense and has created a major public safety issue by opening up all bathrooms and changing rooms to the general public. This ordinance is impossible to regulate as intended, and creates undue regulatory burdens on private businesses.”
Speaker Moore vowed that legislative intervention will be sought to “correct this radical course.”
North Carolina Governor, Pat McCrory, a former Mayor of Charlotte, promised in numerous media reports that he would seek a legislative overturn of the ordinance.
In an interview with Charlotte’s WBTV News, the Governor said, “I just think this is a rather extreme measure taken, and not conducive with the standards and expectations that people have in North Carolina or the city of Charlotte, for that matter.”
The Governor further called the ordinance an overreach by local government.
“I am thankful to God for the resistance to this outrageous act of Charlotte’s City Council. It shows that if you acquiesce to the alternate reality of the gay lobby, everybody has to change reality to live with them. That’s not only foolish, but exceedingly dangerous,” said Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League.
“I trust lawmakers will follow through with their intentions to overturn this injustice. But I hope they’re not just concerned with the provocative bathroom part of the ordinance. They need also to be just as resolute in nullifying that section that forces a wedding vendor to cater an LGBT event, even if it’s against their religious beliefs. To make people do these things to keep their business is not only an infringement on their religious liberty, but a form of involuntary servitude,” added Dr. Creech.
Council members, Ed Driggs, Claire Green Fallon, Gregg Phipps, and Kenny Smith voted against the ordinance.