Photo Credit: Kreg Steppe

At the Charlotte City Council meeting held Monday, June 14, talk centered around the lack of affordable housing and possible solutions to ease the crisis, as well as a budget passage.

But there was no mention of the city’s adoption of an enforceable nondiscrimination ordinance, other than it was tabled until the August 9 meeting. 

For the LGBTQ community in Charlotte that raises a very simple, but pertinent question: why?  

At the moment, no one seems to know the answer. Mayor Vi Lyles has been mum on the topic even though she has the authority to bring the council together to pass such an ordinance and there is already language for one on the table. 

Councilmembers Tariq Bokhari (R) and Larken Egleston (D) spoke on WCNC anchorman Ben Thompson’s “Flashpoint” podcast last week. Bokhari is remiss that his socially progressive viewpoint on the issue, and opinions of other Republicans on the Council, are not being taken into consideration on LGBTQ issues, he is insistent that Republicans are completely on board, and are, in fact, working on their version of an ordinance. 

Egleston insists the Council is “committed to passing an ordinance and that there are no excuses for the slow timeline. We are going to bring it up in August.” 

Fast forward to today on Ben Thompson’s latest “Flashpoint” segment of WCNC and Bokhari says his proposal would include “broader and more inclusive protections than the current Democratic proposal. It would include protections for accommodations, employment , housing, and it would also extend protections based on a person’s natural hairstyle.” 

According to Chad Turner, president of the Carolinas LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, “Equality North Carolina and the LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce were provided copies of the proposal and the Chamber reviewed Bokhari’s proposal, and it covers everything we would like to see in a proposal and then some.” 

He also stated that it addresses the gap the Federal Title 7 law does not. “Title 7 protects residents that work for an employer that has 16 or more employees. Tariq Bokhari’s plan will [also] cover those who work for an employer that has 15 or less employees.”

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