The Republican governor of North Carolina threatened the Charlotte City Council with “immediate State legislative intervention,” if they pass a law providing protections for the LGBT community.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Gov. Pat McCrory told two Republican members of the council that he feared the proposed protections would adversely affect citizens of the entire state if passed.
Responding to a request for an opinion on the proposed law from Charlotte Council Member Ed Driggs (R), McCrory warned about language that would allow transgender residents to use either a men’s or a women’s bathroom.
“It is not only the citizens of Charlotte that will be impacted by changing basic restroom and locker room norms but also citizens from across our state and nation who visit and work in Charlotte,” McCrory stated in an email. “This shift in policy could also create major public safety issues by putting citizens in possible danger from deviant actions by individuals taking improper advantage of a bad policy.”
‘This action of allowing a person with male anatomy, for example, to use a female restroom or locker room will most likely cause immediate State legislative intervention which I would support as governor,” the governor added.
The governor also stated that, as a former mayor, he normally chooses to stay out of city issues, but that in this case he fears the proposed city ordinance “has major statewide ramifications.”
According Council Member Al Austin (D), who supports the ordinance, he’s not concerned with the governor’s threats issued from the state capital.
“We are trying to show the world that Charlotte is an inclusive place,” he said. “We can’t control what Raleigh thinks and what Raleigh does.”
Supporters of the new law claim it will give LGBT residents additional legal protections in public accommodation, including bars, hotels, stores and restaurants. It would also permit transgender residents to use either a men’s or women’s restroom.
The city of Charlotte already has an anti-discrimination ordinance, however it does not forbid discrimination against gay, lesbian or transgender people.