Last year the Charlotte, North Carolina City Council voted against a proposed, non-discrimination ordinance based on “marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.” Since then, new elections have brought pro-LGBTQ representatives to the city’s chambers and the new City Council is set to take the measure up again, yet this month.
These non-discrimination ordinances (sometimes called “Bathroom Laws” or LGBT Favoritism Laws, by opponents) are being pushed in many locales across the nation. Sounding very tolerant and helpful, they seek to regulate “public accommodations laws, the vehicles for hire ordinances, and the ordinances governing businesses that contract with a city.” When studied further, diligent observers notice these laws give enforcement control over these public matters to a non-elected Human Relations Committee. In so doing, the Committee will require many businesses to provide their “goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations” to promote messages or ideas (speech) that are contrary to their religious and conscience beliefs about human sexual behavior.
If passed, these proposed ordinances will lead to men being given legal access to women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, businesses being sued for declining to participate in same-sex weddings, and undoubtedly, widespread discrimination against people of faith. Furthermore, if citizens object, they will be subject to fines. Our government will be reaching into private business, churches and all places of accommodation, increasing the costs of doing business and discouraging businesses from starting up or locating in these cities.
Business and Faith leaders, along with concerned citizens of Charlotte, have identified at least four ways these “non-discrimination” laws actually discriminate and negatively impact their city:
- Puts children and women in danger and violates their sense of privacy and security.
- Creates undue regulatory burdens on private businesses and unnecessarily exposes them to lawsuits and liability by requiring them to promote messages or ideas that are contrary to their religious beliefs.
- Requires the City of Charlotte to engage in impermissible discrimination on the basis of religion when it chooses businesses with which to contract and do business.
- Violates Article II, Section 24 (j) of the Constitution of the State of North Carolina, by creating a local non-discrimination ordinance regulating labor and trade.