About a dozen religious leaders, business owners and political activists gathered Thursday morning at the General Assembly to call on state lawmakers not to overturn Charlotte’s new anti-discrimination ordinance.
Among other anti-discrimination rules in the ordinance, Charlotte will allow transgender people to use bathrooms of the gender with which they identify, starting April 1.
Erica Lachowitz, a transgender woman from Charlotte, said the ordinance makes her feel validated and safer.
“I’m a mother, and I live this way every day of my life,” she said. “I have no understanding of how to be any different.”
Equality NC organized the rally. Charlotte City Council member John Autry, pastor Nancy Petty of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, and North Carolina ACLU director Sarah Preston spoke. So did business owners Jamie Fiocco of Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill and Rusty Sutton of The Green Monkey in Raleigh.
Denyse Brown, a Republican from Apex, said her party’s leaders should let the issue go.
“There are so many other things they should be focused on,” Brown said. “The economy. Helping small businesses. Getting rid of Common Core.”
She then motioned to Lachowitz.
“I don’t see what the fuss is,” Brown said. “If she was in the bathroom with me, I wouldn’t think twice about it.”
Doran: 919-836-2858; Twitter: @will_doran