By: De’Ahn Huddleston
In Charlotte, N.C., the City Council vastly voted to repeal the non-discrimination ordinance of House Bill 2 (HB2) in December 2016.
HB2 eliminates anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It also legislates that, in government buildings, individuals may only use restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates.
In other words, the bill prevents people from using facilities in buildings that don’t correspond with the gender they were born with. If building officials try to prevent them from using these facilities, it will be legal for them to do so.
The City Council released a statement saying that they recognized the “ongoing negative economic impact” that HB2 caused in the city. Rather than focusing on the effect that the bill had on transgender people, the City Council noticed that the bill, if repealed, would let the community continue to thrive and uphold its “collective reputation.” It is said, that a full repeal of the bill will help to bring jobs, sports, and entertainment events back to the city: a full economic boost.
Then-Governor Pat McCrory, placed the blame on Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, for the discontinuation of Championship games in North Carolina that cost the city millions of dollars.
The non-discrimination ordinance, that was passed in February 2016, added marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to the list of protected characteristics in commercial non-discrimination.
Even though the addition of characteristics will add to the amount of transgender people being helped, McCrory and lawmakers have defended that bathrooms are able to provide privacy and safety by keeping men out of women’s restrooms. Opponents of the law, those who support transgender people and transgender people themselves, call it discriminatory.
Senior Kelim Clark said, “I don’t have a problem with transgenders having their own bathroom or using the same bathroom as me.”
The Federal Justice Department and transgender residents have sued the state over HB2. Much of the lawsuit has been delayed while the U.S. Supreme Court hears a separate case from Virginia on transgender restroom access.