Protesters call for Legislature to hold session on LGBT ordinance

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The battle over Charlotte’s new LGBT ordinance continues to generate tension and pressure on state lawmakers.

A group of about 50 protesters gathered Friday afternoon outside the Government Center to call on the governor and legislators to hold a special session to strike down the ordinance.

“We sure hope the governor and General Assembly will do what is right,” said protester David Benham.

“I have serious concerns and anxiety about men being in the bathroom with me or with my children,” Eliana Smith said.

The call for a special session comes just two weeks before the city’s ordinance takes effect April 1.

Gov. Pat McCrory has offered little indication he’s willing to use his authority to call for a special session.

While in Charlotte on Friday, he declined to answer questions about the issue from Eyewitness News.

North Carolina Rep. Tim Moore, the speaker of the House, told us he still supports taking the issue up as soon as possible.

“We could absolutely do a special session and my preference would be to have a special session this coming week,” he said.

Senate leaders say they’re still trying to decide how much of the Charlotte non-discrimination ordinance they want to tackle. The most controversial portion would allow transgender men and women to use bathrooms of the gender they identify with. Opponents said it would put women and children at risk of men taking advantage of the provision.

Supporters said it offers appropriate choices to transgender men and women. Republican lawmakers who control both the NC House and Senate say they have the votes to overturn the Charlotte ordinance.

Matt Hirschy, an advocate for the LGBT community say he recognizes opponents of the ordinance may have the upper hand but “at the end of the day we’re going to fight tooth and nail as long as we can.”

Sources said if a special session is to be called a decision will likely be made by early next week.

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