Mecklenburg Co. Commissioners Will Consider Resolution on LGBTQ Protections

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Tuesday night, Mecklenburg County Commissioners will weigh-in on a push for protections for the LGBTQ community.

It comes after the end of a nearly four year ban on new local non-discrimination ordinances.

“You have to take a stand,” says Commissioner Susan Rodriguez-McDowell.

Rodriguez-McDowell hopes she and her fellow commissioners will send a message on Tuesday night.

They’ll consider a resolution encouraging businesses and local cities to pass non-discrimination policies protecting the LGBTQ community.

“We have to all be counted as far where we stand on the inherent dignity of all people,” she says.

The resolution is only a symbolic move, because commissioners aren’t sure they can legally pass an ordinance themselves, so they are asking the cities and towns in Mecklenburg County to act.

“Our community has been waiting many decades for this,” says Matt Comer, with Charlotte Pride.

He says many people may be surprised to learn how few protections there are right now.

“It is currently legal at this moment for LGBTQ people to be kicked out of restaurants, to be denied lodging at hotels,” Comer explains.

But it was part of Charlotte’s 2016 ordinance that led to uproar.

A provision allowing people to use the bathroom matching their gender identity led state lawmakers to pass House Bill 2, which led to more than $3 billion in economic losses in North Carolina.

“What frustrates me about the memory people have of 2016 is they call it the ‘bathroom bill,'” says former Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts

Roberts says focus got lost on the bathroom issue.

“It distracts people from the real, current serious issue of people being turned away and not being provided service and not being treated equally, legally and other,” Roberts says.

Read the Non Discrimination Resolution Here