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Charlotte City Council Doesn't Vote On Repealing LGBT Protections

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Michael Tomsic
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People hold signs as the crowd starts to fill in before the city council meeting.

Supporters of LGBT protections in Charlotte showed their appreciation for something the city council did not do Monday night. They clapped loudly for city leaders who said they wouldn’t walk back their nondiscrimination ordinance as part of a deal with state leaders in Raleigh.

Democratic Mayor Jennifer Roberts walked into a surprise as she entered the council chambers.

Most of the crowd clapped and some yelled thank you. She and some council members announced earlier in the day they wouldn’t consider repealing LGBT protections they approved in February. Those protections include allowing transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity.

Republican lawmakers called a special session to nullify those protections with House bill 2. But after major sports events pulled out of North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory and top lawmakers said recently they’d repeal their law if Charlotte repealed its ordinance first.

Charlotte resident Dianna Ward says that offer makes no sense because it would reset to a point when LGBT people didn’t have protections.

“Businesses are leaving here, tournaments are pulling out because we have people that come here expecting protections,” she says. “Transgender people, LGBT people, that come to town, and need to know that they have rights when they come here.”

“If everybody does what was recommended and you leave those people without rights,” Ward argues that won’t convince businesses or tournaments to come back.

Some business leaders and Republican lawmakers disagree. They say a reset has to be the first step.