CHARLOTTE – Tonight the Charlotte City Council voted to expand the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance to prohibit discrimination in public accommodations based on familial status, marital status, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression. Among other things, the ordinance means that businesses open to the public – including public restrooms, taxi services, hotels and other public lodging – must provide equal treatment and access to people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
“With this vote, North Carolina’s largest city has affirmed that all people deserve to be treated fairly and protected by the law,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “When a business decides to open its doors to the public, it should be open to everyone on the same terms. We applaud Charlotte’s council members for making their city more safe, welcoming, and inclusive, and we urge municipal leaders across the state to follow their example. Charlotte has full authority to enact this ordinance, and we hope the General Assembly will respect this local government’s decision to protect its residents and visitors from discrimination.”