Charlotte, NC: Just Say NO to the RNC

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Background: Charlotte, NC served as the host city for the Democratic National Convention in 2012. They are now putting together a bid to host the RNC in 2020.

In February, 2016, The City of Charlotte passed a historic Ordinance, granting protections to its LGBTQ citizens. In response to this, the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) under the Supermajority control of the GOP, passed the infamous "bathroom bill" known as HB-2 in a direct attack against the LGBTQ citizens of Charlotte...and of North Carolina. The bill famously caused many performers to boycott the state, and many planned expansions to North Carolina by prominent businesses to cancel, notably Bruce Springsteen and PayPal, among others.

North Carolina's transgender citizens were demonized by the NCGOP, who did everything they could to conflate law-abiding transgender citizens with pedophiles, predators and perverts. HB-2 repealed ALL municipal-level civil rights in every municipality in North Carolina, even ones not directed at the LGBTQ community, and even those in cities like Raleigh, which had passed protections without incident in 2014.

Then-President Barack Obama, created guidance concerning transgender bathroom usage in schools, under Title IX, to be enforced by Loretta Lynch, then Attorney General of the US.

In response to this, the RNC Counsel's Office, under the guidance and direction of then RNC ChaIr (and later Trump Appointee as Chief of Staff) Reince Priebus - issued a memo concerning what they termed "Title IX Overreach" (see https://prod-cdn-static.gop.com/media/documents/Resolution_Title_IX%20_Overreach.pdf )

Meanwhile, the LGBTQ citizens of Charlotte, and of North Carolina, suffered under the unfair and discriminatory HB-2. HB-2 was "repealed" on March 31, 2017, under SB-142...a so-called compromise deal brokered by Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, and NCGOP leaders. It was done solely in order to save NC eligibility for NCAA championship games (The NCAA and the ACC had boycotted NC over HB-2)

Among other things, Charlotte had been pressured, in December 2016 to repeal its defunct, overridden Ordinance - which had already been invalidated by HB-2, under a deal which Charlotte complied, and the NCGOP failed to deliver a clean repeal. And SB-142 was no clean repeal, either...it placed the rights and lives of LGBTQ North Carolinians on hold for 44 months! Part of SB-142 was a "moratorium" against municipalities like Charlotte passing any rights protections of any kind for LGBTQ citizens, and placeing forever and in perpetuity any ability to make laws about bathrooms in the perview of the General Assembly.

Additionally, nothing in SB-142 prevents the General Assembly from re-enacting HB-2, and they even tried, but failed, five days later (see HB-562) - and nothing in SB-142 says the General Assembly cannot, at a later date, pass separate legislation to extend the existing Dec, 2020 end of the "moratorium" into perpetuity, forever denying LGBTQ North Carolinians their basic rights and dignity. In fact, as it now stands, there are municipalities like Charlotte, Raleigh, and Durham that wish to protect their LGBTQ citizens and cannot...and a local school board wishing to be more accomodating to transgender students will never be able to do so on their own. And North Carolina's GOP-Supermajority General Assembly refuses to protect the law-abiding LGBTQ citizens of North Carolina.

As a transgender citizen of North Carolina, and a previous candidate for the North Carolina General Assembly (who was gerrymandered out of running by 2000 feet), I call on Mayor Lyles, and Mayor Pro Tempore Eiselt, to cease any plans to host the 2020 RNC and to withdraw any bid that may have already been submitted.

Until the RNC vows to protect all law-abiding American LGBTQ citizens from discrimination and bigotry, Charlotte should be telling the RNC they are not welcome in the Queen City. Until the unfair and hateful provisions of SB-142 are fully and cleanly repealed, the City of Charlotte should not welcome the Republican National Convention, not in 2020, and not at any time.



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