The Charlotte City Council voted 7-4 to expand the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance to include people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Mayor Jennifer Roberts, who supported the measure, gaveled in the vote Monday evening after three hours of public comment.
The city, North Carolina’s largest, is the first in the state to institute such protections for the LGBT community. The bill protects the LGBT community in Charlotte from discrimination in public accommodations, and allows trans people to use restrooms where they feel most comfortable. A similar bill failed to pass last year by one vote.
The ordinance is opposed by the Republican Governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, as well as a number of state legislators. Other opponents have latched on to a widely-debunked argument that such legislation would open the door to men using women’s bathrooms. State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-King’s Mountain) told The Charlotte Observer that the state legislature would work to overrule the portions of the bill related to trans people’s use of bathrooms, changing, and locker facilities.