Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Op-Ed New Charlotte Ordinance Prohibits ALL Sex-Specific Bathrooms and Showers inside of City Limits

All Men Now Have a Legal Right to Access Women’s Facilities and Vice Versa

This past Monday night, Charlotte City Councilmembers thumbed their noses at the Governor and state law by adopting an illegal and state-preempted ordinance which creates special rights for persons who “identify” or choose to “express” themselves as the opposite sex, including the right to access bathrooms and showers contrary to their biological sex.

But it’s even worse than I have outlined previously – and it’s even worse than has so far been reported in the press. Let me explain...

Numerous commenters at Monday’s City Council meeting expressed their valid concern that males can pose as transgenders to gain access to women’s and girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, etc. In reality, the amended ordinance, as adopted, outlaws sex-specific facilities completely.

In other words, just as it would be illegal for a business to discriminate by saying “whites only,” it is now illegal within Charlotte city limits to have “male only” or “female only” bathrooms, showers, etc.

Any biological man – regardless of whether he “identifies” or “expresses” himself as a man OR as a woman – now has the legal right under the City’s amended ordinance to access the most intimate of women’s facilities (and vice versa). Under the ordinance, Charlotte businesses may no longer offer or enforce sex-specific facilities and face penalties if they do.

Before the amendment, the public accommodations ordinance had two separate parts.

The first part prohibited denying anyone “the full and equal enjoyment of the ... facilities ... a place of public accommodation because of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

The second part prohibited discriminating on the basis of sex, but exempted “[r]estrooms, shower rooms, bathhouses, and similar facilities which are in their nature distinctly private.”

Adding the new categories of “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression” to the second part of the public accommodations ordinance would not have suited the objectives of radical activists to overhaul existing bathroom policy. Therefore, City Council eliminated the second part of the ordinance completely, including its bathroom and shower exemptions.

They moved “sex” to the first part and added the new classifications. So, the new language is just this:

“It shall be unlawful to deny any person the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or national origin.”

"This is a boneheaded blunder and a further embarrassment to Charlotte."

If “gender identity” and “gender expression” mean that a transgender must be allowed to use the bathroom and shower of choice, then “sex” means that ALL men must be permitted to use women’s facilities and vice versa. The City Attorney says that’s not what was intended, but it is what the language says.

This is a boneheaded blunder and a further embarrassment to Charlotte.

If you live in Charlotte, please ask your City Council representatives what they were thinking. If you don’t live in our city, be vigilant that your own city council does not create a national media circus for your hometown.

See the PowerPoint show for an easy-to-understand demonstration of the City Council’s blunder. Courts in State of Maine have already criticized a similar legal blunder in a recent ruling, found here.

A candidate for NC Senate, Dan Bishop currently serves as the elected representative for District 104 of the North Carolina General Assembly. For more information about Dan Bishop's background and key policy goals, visit To email the campaign, email This communication was paid for by Dan Bishop for Senate.

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