By Tony Perkins
Eighty-one percent of Americans think the government should let people live and work by their faith — and it probably felt like most of them were in yesterday’s Charlotte City Council meeting. Hundreds of people packed out the small space in a heated debate over the city’s special sexual orientation/gender identity (SOGI) ordinance. In unprecedented numbers, more than 120 signed up to speak at the meeting before the members voted on a measure that would strip the First Amendment rights of anyone with a biblical view of sexuality.
“I will not be silenced,” one mom fumed. “A man’s right to choose the lady’s room is ridiculous, and it’s dangerous.” After hours of testimony — a record, reporters said — the council dropped the language that would open up restrooms, locker rooms, and showers to people regardless of their biological sex. “All over the world, there are restrooms for men and restrooms for women,” said one Republican council member. “It does not place an unreasonable burden on them, and it does not stigmatize them.”
In the end, though, even carving out the most objectionable provision couldn’t save the bill. Forty thousand emails, a few rallies, and several alerts later, members voted 6-5 to kill the bill — handing the Left another crushing defeat in its bid to silence and punish conservatives for their views.
Of course, this all started because a member of the radical Human Rights Campaign flew to Charlotte and gave an emotional presentation about using these measures to end discrimination — a strategy that has played out in cities all across America. Unfortunately for HRC, a growing number of citizens are speaking out against these anti-faith measures disguised as “tolerance.” Kenny Smith, a Republican on the council, saw right through the Left’s game. “(This is an agenda to) impose the progressive Left’s new morality on our citizens,” he warned.
Our good friends and Charlotte residents, David and Jason Benham, helped lead the defense, along with Rev. Franklin Graham, FRC’s pastors’ network, and the FRC Action team. “What’s going to end up happening (under this bill),” David explained from personal experience, “is our religious liberties are going to come under attack. Not only do Christians need to stand up for what’s right, but America needs to protect our children and our children’s children.”
At the meeting, homosexual activists insisted this was a matter of life and death for the LGBT community. The reality is, these efforts are a matter of livelihood and the death of freedom for Christians across America. Bakers, fire chiefs, policeman, lobbyists, teachers, wedding planners — they’re all being forced by the government to check their beliefs at the workplace door under measures exactly like this one. Fortunately, the American people are starting to catch on to the Left’s march and demanding leaders send these SOGI ordinances where they belong: to the trash bin. Our thanks to everyone in Charlotte who stood on principle and sent a powerful message to the Left — not in our town!
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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