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Council Debates Expansion Of Non-Discrimination Ordinance

By a 6-5 vote, the Charlotte City Council rejected an expansion of Charlotte's non-discrimination ordinance. WFAE's Tom Bullock and Gwendolyn Glenn  covered Monday's meeting and protests. Both will have stories on Morning Edition.

Update: 10:00 pm

Over 100 people have spoken at the meeting. Many are reiterating the opinions of others, that the ordinance could expose children -- specifically women and children -- to pedophiles. Those in favor of the ordinance have said in various ways that they want the city of Charlotte to move forward, and continue to be a progressive city.

Chris Sgro, the Executive Director of Equality North Carolina said, "Trans lives do matter and trans people are being killed. Discrimination is alive and well in the city of Charlotte. We have yet to hear a single, compelling argument as to why the council should not enact this ordinance."

Reverend B. Jackson-Little was opposed to the ordinance. "I can't choose to make my skin white. People can choose what they do below their waist line."

Update: 7:30pm

So far,  27 people have spoken in opposition of the ordinance. Many read passages from the Bible and concerned parents spoke about their children having to share public restrooms with transgender individuals, who they have equated with pedophiles. 

"Yes, one can say sexual harassment could happen anywhere, but it is much different where a woman is in a private setting where she is undressing," said opponent Kristy Star. 

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Credit Gwendolyn Glenn / WFAE
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WFAE
People gather to watch the meeting in the lobby because the hall is full to capacity.

Sam Spencer was the first person who supported the ordinance. 

"Our gender comes from the very place that makes us human...this fight belongs to all of us. Dignity and respect may not have come quickly enough for the thousands of people who have suffered violence for their gender identity and gender expression...Please pass these changes in full," said Smith.

  Update: 6:00 pm

Currently, there are 117 people signed up to speak at the City Council meeting. Each person is only allowed to voice their opinion for two minutes. The hall is filled to capacity and more people are in the overflow room.

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Credit Gwendolyn Glenn / WFAE
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WFAE
Protesters at the rally speak out against the non-discrimination ordinance.

   

At about 4:00 pm crowds gathered outside the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Government Center today to protest the local ordinance that would protect transgender individuals from discrimination. The protest was largely individuals against the ordinance, but there were also supporters who want LGBT rights to be protected.

WFAE's Tom Bullock reported on the ordinance earlier today:

First, it would make it illegal in Charlotte for taxi drivers, restaurants, or any commercial business from discriminating against customers who are gay, lesbian or transgendered. Seventeen states and more than 200 cities and counties across the country have enacted similar laws. 

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