N.C. lawmakers convene early over LGBT ordinance
    March 22 2016 by Seth Brown, BR Content Editor

    North Carolina lawmakers were called into a special session today (March 22) to address the controversial non-discrimination ordinance passed last month in Charlotte. House Speaker Tim Moore and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest made the announcement yesterday, just hours after a coalition of Christian political advocates urged lawmakers to overturn the LGBT policy at a press conference in downtown Raleigh.
     
    The North Carolina General Assembly was set to reconvene April 25, but the disputed ordinance is scheduled to take effect April 1.

     
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    BR photo by Seth Brown
    Chloe Jefferson, a high school junior at Greeneville Christian Academy, said, “I have a right to privacy and wish to not be exposed to young males changing and showering beside me.”

    The sexual orientation and gender identity law potentially allows sexual predators to visit the bathrooms or locker rooms of their choice, endangering women and children. It would also place Christian business owners and others who oppose the practice in danger of legal consequences for not opening gendered bathrooms to self-identifying, transgender individuals.
     
    Moore and Forest said in a joint statement, “We aim to repeal this ordinance before it goes into effect to provide for the privacy and protection of the women and children of our state.”
     
    Details about potential legislation have not been released.
     
    Gov. Pat McCrory signaled that swift action by the state legislature was expected shortly after the ordinance passed. Yet, he avoided calling a special session due to concerns about legislative overreach, according to The News & Observer.
     
    State lawmakers could potentially overturn all or part of the ordinance, allow N.C. voters to decide in a referendum or prevent other municipalities across the state from enacting similar ordinances in the future.
     
    “I don’t believe there’s reason for concern,” Moore said. “This bill is drawn as narrowly as possible to deal with the issues at hand.”
     
    Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the N.C. Values Coalition, celebrated the announcement of a special legislative session.

     
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    BR photo by Seth Brown
    Kami Mueller, spokeswoman for the N.C. Values Coalition read a letter on behalf of Guilford County Sherriff B.J. Barnes.

    “We applaud their leadership in calling for a special session to overturn Charlotte’s unconstitutional bathroom ordinance,” she said in a press release, “and we look forward to Gov. McCrory staying true to his word to take ‘immediate action’ by signing the common sense legislation that is likely to pass through the special session this week.”
     
    The coalition that gathered March 21 outside the old Capitol building included representatives from churches, schools and law enforcement offices. With a group of students from Greeneville Christian Academy behind the podium, and stacked boxes filled with thousands of petitions from N.C. residents in front, the speakers urged lawmakers to overturn the LGBT ordinance.
     
    Mark Creech, director of the Christian Action League, said his organization is “tied into thousands of churches across this state,” and he implored lawmakers “to deal with this urgent matter before this ordinance can become effective on April 1.”
     
    Chloe Jefferson, a high school junior at Greeneville Christian Academy, expressed sympathy for transgender individuals but feared for her safety and privacy if the ordinance were to take effect.
     
    “I sympathize with those who are working through difficult personal issues – I imagine it’s very confusing,” Jefferson said. “But being a teenage girl is really confusing too. I have a right to privacy and wish to not be exposed to young males changing and showering beside me.”
     
    Kami Mueller, spokeswoman for the N.C. Values Coalition read a letter on behalf of Guilford County Sherriff B.J. Barnes.
     
    “An ordinance such as the one proposed by Charlotte presents a problem for law enforcement to enforce since it requires us to make a judgment call on whether the person is truly desiring to identify with the sex opposite that assigned him at birth or is a sex offender taking advantage of a weak ordinance,” the letter said. “The desires of a handful of people who are struggling with their sexual identity should not cause the majority of people to compromise their safety and privacy in public bathrooms, showers and locker rooms. And, it should not place law enforcement personnel in the uncertain position of enforcing a law based on feelings, not facts.”
     
    (EDITOR’S NOTE – Seth Brown is content editor and writer for the Biblical Recorder.)
     

    Related Stories:

    Charlotte council passes LGBT ordinance, expects state overruling
    Charlotte ordinance bad for everyone
    Christian political advocates target 2016 legislative sessions

    3/22/2016 10:35:43 AM by Seth Brown, BR Content Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Charlotte ordinance, LGBT, politics




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