Overturning Charlotte Ordinance Could Cost City Business

Some members of the General Assembly want to see protections for Charlotte's transgender residents overturned, which could make it much harder to attract companies like PayPal to the QC.

CHARLOTTE, NC —    The Governor and the Mayor were working together today to announce PayPal is bringing 400 new jobs to Charlotte, but there is a battle brewing between city and state over Charlotte’s recently updated non-discrimination ordinance.

Some members of the General Assembly want to see protections for Charlotte’s transgender residents overturned, which could make it much harder to attract companies like PayPal to the QC.

Charlotte is competing to attract industry on a global scale.

The city council recently passed protective measures allowing transgender residents to use the bathroom of their choice. That sends a clear message; all are welcome in the queen city.

“This is why computer software engineering, and big data, and 21st century technology is coming to Charlotte,” says Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts. “Because Charlotte is a progressive city that’s welcoming, inclusive and focused on innovation.”

Not everyone agrees.

Opponents are calling for the state legislature and the governor to call a special session of the general assembly to overturn the ordinance.

“I think people are looking at the legal aspects right now,” says North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. “Because the implementation of the Charlotte ordinance is April 1. That’s drawing some concern at this point in time about allowing men into women’s restroom and locker room facilities.”

“It’s not going to be possible to police an ordinance that’s based on feelings and not facts,” says Tami Fitzgerald with North Carolina Values Coalition. “So if this ordinance is not overturned by the General Assembly, and if the Governor does not call a special session to do that, then we’re putting every woman, and every child, in this city at risk.”

A special session of the General Assembly would cost taxpayers $42,000 per day.

Supporters of the ordinance say striking it down could cost the city hundreds of millions as a potential deal-breaker for companies considering Charlotte.

“These companies are fully supportive of the idea of transgender people being able to go to the restroom that’s appropriate for them based upon their gender identity,” says LGBT activist Paige Dula. “And if the big companies don’t have a problem with it, why should the government?”

Governor McCrory says the decision on whether or not to hold a special session will be made in the next few days. The next regular session for the North Carolina General Assembly is scheduled to start Monday, April 25th.