The proposed ordinance up for a Monday night vote by Charlotte City Council would amend various sections of the city code to extend nondiscrimination language to five new characteristics, including sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Tim Funk
If the amendments pass, said City Attorney Bob Hagemann, taxi drivers could not refuse to take gay, lesbian and transgender passengers; businesses offering goods and services to the public could not discriminate against such persons; and companies could be barred from doing business with the city for two years if they discriminate against vendors or subcontractors who are gay.
Flashpoint on bathrooms
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The proposed change to the city’s public accommodations ordinance would also permit transgender persons to use the bathroom they feel most comfortable using.
What each side says
Supporters say it’s time a big city such as Charlotte extended civil rights protections to its gay, lesbian and transgender residents. Opponents say businesses could be asked to violate their religious objections to homosexuality and that women and children could be at risk if biological males used women’s bathrooms.