State Representative Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) today warned Mayor Jennifer Roberts and the Charlotte City Council to avoid an embarrassing and “costly legal error” in adopting a radical revision to the City’s public accommodations ordinance to create special rights for “gender identity” and “gender expression.”
In his letter to Roberts and the Council, Bishop explains how the poorly researched proposal – which includes a mandate for businesses to grant men and boys access to women’s and girls’ restrooms (and vice versa) – does not pass legal muster and will be dead on arrival in state court because it contravenes state law in multiple ways.
Bishop further points out that Charlotte taxpayers are likely to foot ALL of the legal bills involved in the inevitable court challenge that results from the Council’s adventurism, particularly if it is found to have abused its discretion by ignoring the legal warnings contained in the letter.
And Bishop warns of “a danger [the City Council] may not have considered – that the collateral result of exceeding your authority here may be to invalidate the existing public accommodations ordinance, which has for almost 50 years expressed the community’s consensus against discrimination…”
The letter makes a number of points, fully backed up by legal research, including:
• Charlotte and other cities have only the powers granted to them by the State of North Carolina, and the State has never delegated any city the power to create its own special classes of citizens or to confer special status or privileges.
• Cities’ “licensing and police powers” are limited and cannot be used to impose comprehensive or “officious and inappropriate” regulation on businesses.
• The radical transgender proposal infringes on citizens’ fundamental rights.
• The bathroom special-access provisions are preempted by the North Carolina Building Code and North Carolina’s criminal indecent exposure statute.
“I strongly encourage the City to get focused legal counsel, abandon this unworkable overreach, and tend to the matters of local concern that desperately need its attention, including rising crime, roads and congestion, and incessant local tax increases,” said Bishop.