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Mar 3, 2016

Equality NC Responds to Berger’s Call on Attorney General Cooper to Take Action against Charlotte Ordinance

Raleigh, N.C. — Today, Equality NC, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy group is disheartened by the continued use of misinformation and fear mongering during Senator Berger’s press conference. Unfortunately, it comes to little surprise taking into account the speakers’ (Buck Newton, Dan Bishop and Phil Berger) track record of attacks against the LGBT community.

Chris Sgro, Executive Director of Equality NC said, “Today’s press conference was just another ploy to use the LGBT community as a pawn in their political games. Calling on Attorney General, Roy Cooper, to take action against the ordinance was merely an attempt to gain crass political points at the cost of countless members of the LGBT community statewide. Assault, and being a peeping tom in public accommodations is already illegal and will remain illegal under the ordinance. Furthermore, threatening a special session at the cost of taxpayers is both irresponsible and unnecessary.”

During the press conference, multiple references were made that the city of Charlotte does not have authority to pass an ordinance of this kind. This is simply false information, since the Charlotte City Attorney Robert Hagemann has done a thorough review of the lawfulness of the ordinance before it was ultimately passed.

Sgro said, “Equality NC is expressing concern that the state’s political leadership continues to focus all its time and energy on creating legislation to usurp local control from town and cities. These resources would be better spent to support our teachers, to make education a priority in this state again.”

Ordinances, like the one passed in Charlotte, protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all persons to be free from arbitrary discrimination. We simply cannot abandon these crucial protections because a small group of extremists in Raleigh are using the LGBT community as political leverage. These protections have proven to be safe and equitable public policy adopted by 17 states and more than 200 local governments across the country with no ill effect, including in Bessemer City, Greensboro, Raleigh and Winston-Salem, and in South Carolina’s Columbia, Charleston, and Myrtle Beach.

“Lawmakers should not be busy with taking away crucial protections and rights of their constituents with so many other critical issues facing the state such as economic development. infrastructure, and education.”, said Sgro.

ABOUT EQUALITY NC: Equality NC is a statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians. For more information, please visit w​ww.equalitync.org

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