The Charlotte City Council in North Carolina is set to vote on a non-discrimination ordinance on Feb. 22 that would expand legal protections to LGBT people, but the proposal is getting pushback from local and national religious leaders (video below).
Part of the proposed new rules would allow transgender people to choose the bathroom of their self-identified gender identity. The ordinance would also make sure that LGBT people will be served in public accommodations such as hotels, stores and restaurants.
Flip Benham, a local evangelist, waved a Bible and shouted at LGBT supporters as they delivered petitions in support of the ordinance to the city council, reports The Charlotte Observer.
Evangelist Franklin Graham wrote on Facebook on Feb. 22: "It’s really hard to believe that such a ludicrous law would even be seriously considered—and even harder to believe that at least 8 of 11 council members have said they would vote for it! Are people just not thinking clearly?"
"This law would allow pedophiles, perverts, and predators into women’s bathrooms. This is wicked and it’s filthy. To think that my granddaughters could go into a restroom and a man be in there exposing himself….what are we setting our children and grandchildren up for? There’s not a public restroom in Charlotte that would be safe!"
Republican Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina has warned two council members in an email:
“It is not only the citizens of Charlotte that will be impacted by changing basic restroom and locker room norms but also citizens from across our state and nation who visit and work in Charlotte. This shift in policy could also create major public safety issues by putting citizens in possible danger from deviant actions by individuals taking improper advantage of a bad policy.”
McCrory added, "Also, this action of allowing a person with male anatomy, for example, to use a female restroom or locker room will most likely cause immediate State legislative intervention which I would support as governor.”
Equality NC, a pro-gay group, responded with a statement via email: “With less than twenty-four hours from the expected passage of crucial non-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Charlotte, Governor McCrory’s choreographed exchange with Councilman Ed Driggs is disappointing as it is expected from a Governor that has consistently shown himself to be an adversary of North Carolina’s LGBT community."