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Non-Discrimination Ordinance Debate Postponed


Originally scheduled for tonight’s Charlotte City Council meeting, the proposed Non-Discrimination Ordinance discussion has been rescheduled to March 2. The ordinance would add sexual orientation and gender identity, among other characteristics, to four city non-discrimination ordinances.

According to the Council-Manager memo, this change “will accommodate the significant number of speakers who have requested to address City Council on this issue”.  There are also several planned absences by Council members on February 23, making the schedule change for such a controversial issue make sense.

Council members are being flooded with voice mails and emails, thanks in part to the national attention this proposal is receiving.  Councilman Kenny Smith, for example, has received well over 2,000 emails and finds his voicemail box at capacity.   “The overwhelming sentiment is in opposition to the ordinance,” said Smith.

Among the national names getting involved are David and Jason Benham, brothers who lost their HGTV reality show as a result of public comments regarding homosexuality.  Their message was sent via the Family Research Council Action committee’s (FRCAction) email list.

One year ago, we lost our reality TV show for publicly expressing our beliefs and faith on some important matters — including what we believe the Bible says about sexual morality. Now this same type of threat is trying to come to Charlotte. We’re asking you to stand with us, contact the city council before the March 2nd vote, and help stop this.

We’ve teamed up with FRC Action to make sure you hear about this and know what you can do. There is a law that has been proposed right here by the city council that could have a significant impact on our families and businesses. The ordinance would grant special rights based on “sexual orientation”, “gender identity” or “gender expression.” This law would have some serious consequences.

One of which that causes us great concern is that it would allow a man who identifies himself as a woman to use the women’s bathroom. Government should never purposefully threaten the privacy and public safety of women and children.

The proposed law would also create new criteria determining which businesses are qualified to do business with Charlotte and who the city will enter into contracts with. This law would empower the government to discriminate against business owners based on their moral beliefs.

It isn’t the role of government to punish and burden family businesses because of their beliefs on sexual morality. Rather than take sides, the city council should be tolerant and respectful of different views.

You probably remember that last year the eyes of the nation watched in amazement as pastors in Houston had their sermons and private communications subpoenaed because they had challenged a similar law passed in the city.

We lost our reality TV show on HGTV because we publicly voiced what we believe the Bible teaches on sexual morality. We’ve experienced what can happen when leadership caves to a politically correct “special rights” mindset. However, we believe that on matters of faith we cannot stop speaking and standing for what is right. We encourage the Charlotte City Council to follow the examples of the officials in Idaho, Starkville, MS, Bloomsburg, PA, the people of Fayetteville, AR and others who have all reversed or voted down similar special rights ordinances after hearing from people like you about the dangers and intrusiveness of these laws.

By a vote of 7-4, the Charlotte City Council has decided to bring this proposed law before the public. This meeting will now take place Monday, March 2nd (it was previously scheduled for February 23rd), at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center where they plan to vote on it.

We are urging all of our friends in North Carolina to:

  1. Contact your elected member of the City Council from your district and the At Large members if you live in Charlotte and respectfully share your opposition.
  2. Attend a rally & press conference we will be holding prior to the Council’s meeting. The rally will be at 4pm, Monday March 2nd, in front of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St., in conjunction with our friends at the North Carolina Values Coalition. We’d love to see you there!
  3. Join us at the Council’s meeting immediately after the rally (6pm) as we express our concerns and opposition to the City Council before the proposed vote.
  4. Pray for this situation and the Council Members.

Please stand with us as we oppose this dangerous law. This will have a significant impact for years to come. It is important for our community that we protect the safety and privacy of our families, prevent any increase of regulatory government burdens on our businesses, and not punish North Carolinans for acting on faith.

Charlotte City Council contact information:

(At Large members: Michael Barnes, Claire Fallon, David Howard and Vi Lyles.)

Mayor Dan Clodfelter
Telephone: 704-336-2241

Mayor Pro Tem Michael D. Barnes
Telephone: 704-509-6141

Claire Green Fallon
Telephone: 704-336-6105

David Howard
Telephone: 704-336-4099

Vi Lyles
Telephone: 704-336-3431

Patsy B. Kinsey
Telephone: 704-336-3432

Al Austin
Telephone: 704-336-3185

LaWana Mayfield
Telephone: 704-336-3435

Gregory A. Phipps
Telephone: 704-336-3436

John N. Autry
Telephone: 704-336-2777

Kenny Smith
Telephone: 704-574-7241

Edmund H. Driggs
Telephone: 704-432-7077


David and Jason Benham

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