By adding “sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, and familial status” to the list of protected characteristics in the City’s non-discrimination law, the City will require many businesses, non-profits, and public facilities to promote messages and ideas and take actions that are contrary to their religious beliefs about human sexuality—such as promoting marriage as something other than the union of one man and one woman.
This expansion of Charlotte’s nondiscrimination law would not only threaten the religious liberty of Christian business owners, but it will also threaten the safety of women and children in Charlotte’s public restrooms because it will require public restrooms to be open to use by persons of any sex. This means that any man claiming to identify as a woman would be allowed to use a public women’s restroom!
Everyone in North Carolina should be concerned about the possibility of this ordinance being passed by the Charlotte City Council. Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign are on a mission to get city councils around our state to enact these dangerous “SOGI” ordinances.
Last year Greensboro City Council to passed an ordinance on fair housing and now they are again attempting to set their sights on the Charlotte City Council. The Huamn Rights Campaign has poured lots of money into the MeckPac to support candidates for Mayor and City Council in an effort to once again voite on this LGBT Favoritism Law. If they are successful in Charlotte, it could set off a domino effect for city councils across the state.
In other cities across the country where these SOGI laws exist, Christian business owners have been harassed by lawsuits, forced to pay exorbitant fines, and some have even had to close their businesses.
In Idaho, wedding chapel owners and pastors Donald and Evelyn Knapp are in legal proceedings against their town, fighting the claim that by not performing same-sex weddings they have violated the town’s nondiscrimination policy.
In Washington, the owner of Arelene’s Flowers, Barronelle Stutzman, is fighting a lawsuit because she declined to provide a wedding bouquet for a same-sex couple. Barronelle has had a nine-year customer relationship with one of these men, but providing flowers for a same-sex wedding violated her religious beliefs. Even though Stutzman referred the couple to another flower shop where they were able to purchase a wedding bouquet, they are still suing her for violating Washington’s nondiscrimination law, which includes a SOGI provision.
The owners of an Oregon bakery who turned away a lesbian couple who sought a wedding cake were found to have violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries ruled that Aaron and Melissa Klein, who own Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, Oregon, will have to pay the lesbian couple $135,000, even though participating in the same-sex wedding violates the Klein’s religious beliefs.
The same is true for countless Christian florists, print shop owners, wedding venue operators, photographers, bakeries, and other businesses across the country in towns and states that have SOGI provisions in their nondiscrimination laws.
On the surface, SOGI ordinances may seem innocuous, but in reality they provide gay or transgendered people with a vehicle to sue and bully Christian business owners.
The potential impact on public restrooms by SOGI ordinances is equally concerning.
In Olympia, Washington, where the town has a SOGI provision, a man who identifies as a woman frequently uses the women’s showers and locker room at a local state college that shares its facilities with a children’s swim club. Despite frequent complaints about indecent exposure in front of girls as young as 6 years old, the nondiscrimination law prevents the college from banning this man from the women’s locker rooms.
Stories just like these could be on their way to Charlotte – and the rest of North Carolina – if we do not stop the Charlotte City Council from voting to pass this Nondiscrimination Ordinance next week.
We need your help urgently. Help us stop the Charlotte City Council from passing a SOGI ordinance:
Inform your network! Please forward this post to every friend, family member, and pastor that you know in Charlotte. It is crucial that we get the word out about this before Monday.
Attend the Rally! Starting at 5:00pm outside of the Charlotte City Council meeting. Please attend if you are able! Even if you don’t live in Charlotte, your presence at this rally could have a major impact on stopping SOGI ordinances from spreading across the state.
Use our hashtag on social media! #DontDoItCharlotte
Don’t Do It Charlotte Rally
Monday, February 22nd
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center
600 East Fourth Street, Charlotte
Sign the Petition to tell the Charlotte City Council to Vote No!
Rally Speakers Include:
NC Family Policy Council
Kingdom Christian Church
Concerned Women of America
NC State Director
Ask Dr Brown - Radio Host
FIRE School of Ministry President
St. Giles Evangelical Presbyterian Church
The Reconciled Church Movement
First Baptist Church
NC Values Coalition
This event is being coordinated by the NC Values Coalition and Susan B Anthony List
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