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News stories from and about the Charlotte region's LGBTQ community.

Mecklenburg Commissioners Approve Resolution Backing Equality for LGBTQ Community

Ian Taylor
Mecklenburg County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution that calls for members of the LGBTQ community to be treated with “dignity and respect.” Charlotte City Council, meanwhile, is discussing expanding its nondiscrimination ordinance.

Mecklenburg County commissioners Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution that calls for members of the LGBTQ community to be treated with “dignity and respect.”

The nonbinding resolution says that discrimination will not be tolerated in places such as hotels, restaurants and retail stores.

“I personally have never been excluded or harassed because of the person I love or how I view myself or describe myself,” said Commissioner Leigh Altman. “The same should be true for all of us. There is nothing radical or threatening about the Golden Rule.”

The vote comes as several municipalities in the Triangle have passed new nondiscrimination ordinances designed to give legal protections to gay, lesbian and transgender individuals. The Charlotte City Council is also discussing expanding its nondiscrimination ordinance.

In 2016, Charlotte gave legal protections to the LGBTQ community. Then the General Assembly passed House Bill 2, which nullified Charlotte’s ordinance.

House Bill 2 also required people to use the bathrooms in government-owned buildings that matched the sex on their birth certificate. That law was repealed and replaced with House Bill 142, which placed a moratorium in cities and towns from passing new nondiscrimination ordinances.

HB 142 expired at the end of last year. But a prohibition of new bathroom regulations continues.

The county’s action is only a resolution and has no legal weight behind it. Commissioners said they want to pass their own ordinance soon.

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Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.