Urgent Action Alert: Charlotte City Council to Vote on Egregious Anti-Discrimination Policy that Threatens Religious Liberty and Provides for Transgender Rights to Public Restrooms
By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
February 13, 2015
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Christian organizations and clergy across North Carolina are warning about a proposed anti-discrimination ordinance to be voted on by the Charlotte City Council, February 23rd. The dangerous ordinance would require businesses that do work for the city and any “public accommodation” must abide by a non-discrimination policy which includes “marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression.”
A “public accommodation” refers to restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, public schools, public gymnasiums, private schools, and day care centers. It essentially means any establishment serving the public.
Tami Fitzgerald of the North Carolina Values Coalition cautions, “The proposed ordinance in Charlotte would force every business that provides its services to the public and every business that contracts with the City of Charlotte to have this policy even if adopting one would violate their freedom of conscience and religion.”
“Ordinances of this nature are promoted by various pro-gay rights organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and Equality N.C.,” said Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “They are a serious danger to religious liberty. Their supporters will argue such policies do nothing to diminish religious freedom. But their idea of religious freedom is that you can believe whatever you want, you can worship in private or in your church whatever way you choose, but you can’t practice the tenants of your faith in public except in those ways authorized by the state. This is a clear violation of the principle articulated by the founders in the First Amendment.”
The ordinance would also apply to the city’s public restrooms. Dave Kistler of the North Carolina Pastor’s Network, explained, saying, “In other words, an individual claiming a sexual identity different than that which they were born would be allowed, by law, to use the restroom of the opposite gender. Obviously, this is more than dangerous and must be stopped.” Fitzgerald said this is why these ordinances are commonly referred to as “bathroom ordinances.” “By passing this ordinance, the Charlotte City Council will put women and children in danger,” she said.
Councilmember Ed Driggs (R) argues that he feels the proposed ordinance could put children in danger too. He says it could be used as a “cover” for sexual predators to go in a bathroom opposite of their gender and stalk little girls. “A lot of people worry that you might provide cover for bad actors,” said Driggs. He added that his statements were not aimed “toward people with legitimate gender identity issues.”
Councilmember Michael Barnes (D) also raised concerns, saying, “If I send one of my daughters into a public bathroom, and I see a man going into that bathroom, I am going to have some concern.”
Laws of this nature are similar to the one that forced Christian owners, Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, to close their business in 2013 because they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. They argued they could not comply with the request because of their religious objections to same-sex marriage. But the Gresham, Oregon couple were found guilty of discrimination and ordered to pay a fine of $150,000 to the lesbian couple.
In an email alert sent out on Thursday of this week, Dr. Mark Harris, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Charlotte noted the proposed “Bathroom Bill” is also like the one pushed through by the lesbian Mayor of Houston and the City Council. The measure caused such an uproar that the Mayor called for the sermon transcripts of several key pastors in the City to be subpoenaed, because of their opposition to the City Council’s actions. “Now, the same agenda comes to our own Charlotte, N.C.” said Dr. Harris.
Fitzgerald says it’s critical this proposed policy be stopped in Charlotte. Its proponents are planning to take it to every major city in the Tar Heel state.
Take Christian Action:
- Share the link to this story with friends and family members on your email list.
- Plan to attend the rally to promote biblical values that will take place at 4:30 p.m. on February 23rd in the courtyard outside Charlotte City Hall. David and Jason Benham will be featured guests.
- Contact the Charlotte City Council members listed below. Graciously inform them of your objections to this egregious proposed policy.
Mayor Dan Clodfelter
Mayor Pro Tem Michael D. Barnes
Claire Green Fallon
Patsy B. Kinsey
Gregory A. Phipps
John N. Autry
Edmund H. Driggs