On Tuesday, the day after Charlotte City Council’s 6-5 vote to defeat a proposed nondiscrimination ordinance, opponents reacted with gratitude and supporters with disappointment and anger.
Conservative faith and business leaders who rallied against the proposal said the matter is now settled. But the LGBT community and its allies said they have no plans to give up in their campaign to add local protections for gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people.
Opponents: Ordinance defeat avoids religious discrimination
▪ “We are very pleased with the Charlotte City Council’s decision to reject the ordinance which proposed burdens on religious small business owners and would have endangered our communities. Now that this ordinance has been stopped in North Carolina’s largest city we hope other cities are emboldened to continue to boldly stand for religious liberty across North Carolina.” – Don’t Do It Charlotte coalition.
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▪ “I was really grateful for the way it turned out. I feel like Charlotte is a very tolerant city. This (push for an ordinance) was more of a solution looking for a problem.” – The Rev. Mark Harris, pastor of First Baptist Church of Charlotte.
▪ “The Charlotte City Council made the right decision (Monday). … A big thank you to the council members who stood against this proposition. Charlotteans need to take note of those who supported and voted for this dangerous ordinance and make sure they are defeated in the next election.” – Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Supporters condemn council, vow to fight on for ordinance
▪ “For the second time in our city’s history, Charlotte City Council has shown it does not have the courage or the conviction to stand for fairness and equality. More than two decades ago, council members shamelessly rejected similar public accommodations protections. In repeating that sad legacy on Monday, council chose to listen to the divisive, prejudiced rhetoric of out-of-town special interests who have been behind recent attacks on the rights of LGBT people across the state and across the country.” – Charlotte Non-Discrimination Ordinance Coalition.
▪ “I’m disappointed, of course. At the same time, it’s hard to imagine that those who opposed (the proposed ordinance) represent the aspirations or even the values of our city. Ultimately it’s going to pass. I know that the soul of our city will prevail.” – The Rev. Robin Tanner, pastor of Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church and a member of the Clergy for Equality Coalition.
▪ “It was disappointing to hear all the rhetoric (about the so-called bathroom issue). I hadn’t expected it to be so vitriolic. I found it very hurtful. (Now) I guess we step back and lick our wounds. The coalition will regroup and see what our next steps are in trying to get this ordinance. Because we’re not giving up.” – Paige Dula of Genderlines, a support group for transgender people.