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Charlotte, NC Passes a Non-Discrimination Ordinance but Fears Repeal

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The Charlotte City Council just passed an ordinance banning discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression in relation to public accommodations (i.e. bathrooms, restaurants, retail stores) and housing.

With a 7-4 vote, Charlotte City Council Members did what cities like Houston, Texas and Jacksonville, Florida have failed to accomplish. Starting in April, individuals won't face discrimination on account of their LGBT identity. In other words, no one will be refused service at a restaurant because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Although this measure is a step forward, many North Carolina politicians and citizens are actively protesting and hoping to overturn the decision. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is among those strongly protesting the recent vote. As reported by The Washington Post, Governor McCrory urged council members to desist:

"This action of allowing a person with male anatomy, for example, to use a female restroom or locker room will most likely cause immediate State legislative intervention which I would support as governor.”

The ongoing bathroom discussion which has dominated the conversation surrounding non-discrimination laws has made the road to legislative protections much more challenging. Buzzfeed has explored on the issue, which came to a head after the defeat of a non-discrimination ordinance in Houston, Texas: 

"[The] defeat can be attributed primarily to one ubiquitous, bumper-sticker-ready slogan: 'No men in women’s bathrooms.' Anti-LGBT activists ran that message with visceral TV and radio commercials that claimed Houston’s nondiscrimination law would lead to men sexually assaulting young girls in public restrooms. This attack has been raised by conservative opponents virtually everywhere laws like this have been debated in recent years."

Until individuals can recognize that discrimination of every type should be banned, it looks like we will be trapped in a neverending cycle of over-used arguments and repealed laws. 

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