Activists: Charlotte Council, Mecklenburg Commission need to stand against amendment

Today, MeckPAC, the Mecklenburg Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Political Action Committee, of which I am a member, released the following statement. It is, in part, a response to comments made this morning by Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James, as reported by The Charlotte Observer.

Charlotte City Council and Mecklenburg County Commission need to take stand against constitutional amendment
Local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group encourages elected officials to pass resolutions opposing Amendment One

Charlotte City Council

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — MeckPAC, the Mecklenburg Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Political Action Committee, is calling on the Charlotte City Council and Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners to take a strong stand against discrimination by passing resolutions opposing Amendment One, the anti-LGBT, anti-family and anti-business constitutional amendment slated for the May 8, 2012, primary ballot.

Mecklenburg County Commission

Amendment One would require that the state recognize opposite-sex marriage as the “only domestic legal union” in the state. Legal professionals and scholars have said the vague and overly-broad language of the amendment would ban marriage, civil unions and domestic partnership benefits for both unmarried same-sex couples and unmarried opposite-sex couples.

The amendment would also ban domestic partner benefits currently offered to public employees by local governments like Mecklenburg County. It is vitally important for the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners to defend their LGBT employees who depend on county domestic partner benefits in order to provide healthcare and other needs for their families and children. The amendment would also prevent governments like Charlotte, which has been debating domestic partner benefits, from extending such measures to employees in the future.

Several local elected leaders have spoken out personally against the amendment, including Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. Speaking at the Human Rights Campaign Carolina Gala on Saturday, Feb. 25, Foxx said: “When I go into the ballot box in May … I’m going to be voting against Amendment One.” Last fall, Mecklenburg County Commissioner and then-Chairman Jennifer Roberts signed on to a letter with six other municipal government leaders from across the state urging legislators not to place the amendment on the ballot, noting that the amendment would “threaten important protections for contributing North Carolina citizens, and will significantly harm the future of our state.”

On June 1, 2004, the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution in support of the then-proposed anti-LGBT constitutional amendment. At the time, local LGBT leaders called on the county to reverse its decision and David Moore, then-editor of QNotes, Charlotte’s local LGBT community newspaper, called the resolution a “shameful, embarrassing blot on the face of the Queen City” showing “contempt and prejudice sanctioned by the government.”

The 2004 resolution has never been reversed and remains just as shameful and embarrassing today as it did eight years ago.

MeckPAC calls on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners to reverse their 2004 position and, with the City of Charlotte, join with leaders like Mayor Foxx and Commissioner Roberts in passing a resolution opposing Amendment One and its many potential harms to North Carolina families and children, residents, citizens and businesses.

Similar resolutions and official statements opposing the anti-LGBT Amendment One have already been approved by the elected bodies of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham, Greensboro and Raleigh.

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2 Responses to “Activists: Charlotte Council, Mecklenburg Commission need to stand against amendment”
  1. John Michael says:

    Do me a favor and make a new post that includes this information, along with a template letter for each so that people can more easily contact the council & commission. Thanks!

    Mayor Anthony R. Foxx

    Mayor Pro Tem Patrick D. Cannon, At-Large

    Council Member Claire Green Fallon, At-Large

    Council Member David Howard, At-Large

    Council Member Beth Pickering, At-Large

    Council Member Patsy B. Kinsey, District 1
    704-336-3432 or 704-376-5367

    Council Member James E. Mitchell, Jr., District 2

    Council Member LaWana Mayfield, District 3

    Council Member Michael D. Barnes, District 4

    Council Member John N. Autry, District 5

    Council Member Andy Dulin, District 6

    Council Member Warren Cooksey, District 7

    Harold Cogdell, Jr., Chairman

    Jim Pendergraph, Vice Chairman

    Jennifer Roberts, At-Large

    Karen Bentley, District 1

    Vilma Leake, District 2

    George Dunlap, District 3

    Dumont Clark, District 4

    Neil Cooksey, District 5

    Bill James, District 6

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