Dialogue On Contentious Issue? Actors To Portray LGBT Arguments At City Meeting
There will be no meeting of the Charlotte City Council tonight. But the city will host a meeting about one of the most contentious issues in Charlotte, expanding the local non-discrimination ordinance to include protections for LGBT individuals. Last March, the Charlotte City Council voted down this expansion after a contentious meeting. There were protesters outside, and passionate speakers inside (you can find our coverage of the meeting here.)
The views for and against the expansion will be heard again tonight. Or should I say, portrayed? By actors.
"There are going to be four vignettes," says Willie Ratchford, the executive director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Outreach Committee. "One will be a business person who is in support of the ordinance. The other will be a business person who does not support the ordinance. Then we will have a young, transgendered person. Then we will have a parent who is against the ordinance because of fears of their child being in the bathroom and possibly being accosted."
Of course, that last part is the most contentious in the debate. The ordinance would let transgender people use the bathroom of their choice. The source material for these portrayals will be speeches made before the council last year. Ratchford says the city went with actors in order to create a safe space for each particular view. City Attorney Bob Hageman will also speak. He will tell the audience what the ordinance would and would not do.
The meeting is tonight at 6:30 in the Palmer building on 7th Street.