CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s largest city has passed a law allowing transgender people to choose public bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity, which the governor had called a threat to public safety and warned that the General Assembly may step in.
The Charlotte City Council voted 7-4 Monday to expand protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, making it the latest frontier in a national debate on how businesses treat gay, lesbian and transgender customers. One of the revisions to the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance allows people to choose restrooms corresponding to the gender with which they identify.
“I’m pleased that Charlotte has sent a signal that we will treat people with dignity and respect, even when we disagree,” Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said moments after the vote.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory — a former mayor of Charlotte, one of the 20 largest cities in the U.S. according to census figures — said in an email Sunday that changing the policy on restrooms could “create major public safety issues.”
“Also, this action of allowing a person with male anatomy, for example, to use a female restroom or locker room will most likely cause immediate State legislative intervention which I would support as governor,” he wrote in the email to two Council members.
Roberts said she hadn’t heard from McCrory as of late Monday night.