Mecklenburg Co. Commission Unanimously Passes Resolution Supporting LGBTQ Protections

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Mecklenburg County leaders are encouraging local cities to pass protections for the LGBTQ community.

Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution in support of new non-discrimination ordinances.

“We must learn about each other’s stories, we must listen to how people came to be who they are. This is a soul issue. We must stop dehumanizing others,” said Commissioner Susan Rodriguez-McDowell, during Tuesday night’s meeting.

It’s mostly a symbolic move, since commissioners aren’t sure if they can legally pass an ordinance themselves.

“We human beings struggle with empathy. We struggle to put aside our story and see the burdens of another person,” said Commissioner Leigh Altman.

The renewed push for new non-discrimination ordinances comes after the end of a nearly four year ban on them.

That was part of a compromise after Charlotte’s 2016 ordinance led to a major 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.

Debate during a public forum before Tuesday night’s County Commission vote focused on the bathroom issue, but commissioners made clear that isn’t included in this resolution.

“There is nothing in this resolution that indicates who can or cannot use the bathroom,” Commission Chair George Dunlap said during the meeting.

Now attention shifts to Charlotte city leaders are ae expected to take up the issue in coming months.

Mayor Vi Lyles released the following statement to WCCB Charlotte:

“The City of Charlotte is committed to creating a safe, diverse and equitable community for all of our residents and visitors. I believe this is necessary for any city like ours. This is an important topic that deserves our support and, as we see from other cities and counties, collaboration within communities is important. We will be meeting with LGBTQ+ community leaders and others in our community to discuss our specific ordinance language to ensure that everyone is protected and welcomed in our city. We recognize this is an important issue and one City Council will be taking up in the coming months.”

Read the full County Commission ordinance below:

Read the Non Discrimination Resolution Here