City Council in Charlotte, NC – One of the Nation’s Largest – Passes LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance

By Adam Polaski • February 22, 2016 • 10:00 pm

Tonight in Charlotte, NC – after several hours of discussion and weeks of thoughtful conversation across the city – the Charlotte City Council voted to approve an ordinance that extends comprehensive non-discrimination protections in employment, housing, public accommodations, and more to LGBT people in the city. By protecting people from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Charlotte joins 200+ other cities and towns in the nation with similar ordinances, in addition to 17 states with full statewide protections.


Equality North Carolina, along with many other supporters of LGBT non-discrimination in Charlotte, have been working for months to pass this vital ordinance. Just today, local activists submitted thousands of petitions to the Charlotte City Council urging their support. Freedom for All Americans congratulates all involved on this huge win.

Freedom for All Americans Executive Director Matt McTighe said today:

“This is a tremendous step forward for Charlotte. Protections like those the Charlotte City Council passed tonight strengthen our local economies and make our communities better places to live, work and raise a family. This ordinance will make certain that the many businesses that call Charlotte home will have access to the best and brightest talent, and it will ensure everyone is treated equally under the law.”

When municipalities – especially large cities like Charlotte – embrace non-discrimination protections that cover the LGBT community, they set an example for other cities and towns in their state – and, more broadly, the nation. Hundreds of cities and towns over the past 40 years have voted to protect residents from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, because they know it’s the right thing to do and that no one should face discrimination because of who they are or who they love.

Earlier this week, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said that if Charlotte passed a non-discrimination ordinance, he would urge the NC General Assembly to take legislative action to block the ordinance. Such an action would be a gross violation of the important local control that municipalities are able to take. We stand with national and state partners in urging Gov. McCrory to allow the Charlotte ordinance to stand and do what it is designed to do – protect LGBT North Carolinians.

Votes like tonight’s in Charlotte contribute to the undeniable momentum surging forward toward a national law bringing LGBT non-discrimination protections to every state, and at the federal level. This year, we’ve seen oppositional lawmakers fight tooth-and-nail to codify discrimination – and that’s because they know that the American people want the country to stand on the right side of history, protecting everyone. Just last week, a new poll showed that 71 percent of Americans, including majorities in all 50 states and 30 major metropolitan areas, support protections for LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public places.

Learn more about the fight for non-discrimination in North Carolina.

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