Supporters Celebrate CLT Non Discrimination Change

CHARLOTTE NC,–Now, businesses open to the public, including their restrooms, must provide equal treatment and access to people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Supporters celebrated after a year of arguing members of the LGBT community should be protected.

“I am pleased that Charlotte has joined the over 250 cities and counties that have this kind of respect for LGBT inclusion and non discriminatin,” said Mayor Jennifer Roberts.

It was part of the newly elected mayor’s campaign promise after council denied the change last March.

“I stood up for non discrimination,” said Mayor Roberts.

They heard nearly three hours of public comments Monday.

“Charlotte wants to be known as a forward thinking city,” said David Greene.

My transgender brothers and sisters are treated horribly,” said Connie Vetter.

Still, Claire Fallon was one of the four council members who voted no.

“It was bullied. Alright?” said Fallon. “I won’t vote for anything that’s bullying.”

Fallon wanted to hear more from opponents. Some fear predators could use the change to prey on families in women’s bathrooms.

Others say business owners have rights to deny service based on religious beliefs.

“Those people were so frightened,” said Fallon. “You have to explain to them and educate them. You just can’t impose on them.”

“I don’t think anybody’s mind was going to be changed by being heard again or differently,” said Vi Lyles.

Governor McRory warned the state can over rule council’s decision.

Mayor Roberts says he has not heard from him yet.

“Their authority is higher than local authority in many instances,” said Mayor Roberts. “So, we will continue to work to again have these conversations and hope we can have productive dialogue.