This is not a blog. These are my notes and personal comments from Charlotte’s LGBT non-discrimination ordinance, which finally passed after being rejected last year.
I want to admit that I was critical of the liberals who refused to pass this the first time around due to the fact that trans protections were stripped from it. My mindset, and the mindset of a lot of others in my community was that we should take what we can get, because are a liberal city in a conservative state, and it doesn’t take long for the balance of power to shift. The balance did indeed shift, but it shifted in our favor and we were able to protect all members of our community because of this holdout. Congratulations, Charlotte.
Also, this is a very, VERY long post. It’s also repetitive (Jesus, but my kids!, this is confusing I don’t understand what is gender? Followed by more Jesus.) I took exceptional comments from both people I disagree with and people who eloquently represented progress. My added notes are personal, basically what went through my mind when I heard each comment but with less profanity (yes, this is less profanity).
Basically, this isn’t going to be some completely mind-busting, funny, or life-changing post. It’s meeting notes. But if you decide to read on, just remember, you could be watching the ACTUAL four hour meeting. Speaking from experience, notes are better.
“Good evening. I’m reverend Nate Atwood, pastor of St. Charles Presbyterian Church here in Charlotte. Moderator of the….. Something… and as such I’ve had the responsibility for 115,000 eternal souls. The first rule of leading is that you do not waste your leadership capital. We learned from Governor McCrory that the state legislature will almost certainly overturn this ordinance if you pass it tonight. In other words, once again, this city council, and you, Mrs. Mayor, have divided this city and raised the passions and anger of many on both sides and pitted the good people of this region against one another. And after all that it appears that you will accomplish nothing. I agree wholeheartedly with those who oppose this ordinance on principle, but I choose to speak to your failed leadership as a council. Had I (?) the hundreds of churches I have led, and yet produced nothing the people I served would have had my scalp and deservedly so. Your stewardship of your trust is abysmal. Save what leadership capital you have left and say no before those in Raleigh appropriately take you to the woodshed.” You don’t sound like the leader of anything but some annoying cult. Gov. McCrory can say whatever he wants, but the city has jurisdiction here. (small government and all) Also, considering you actively lie for a living it’s not appropriate for you to talk about ‘stewardship of trust’.
“We voted you in because we knew you would support this ordinance.” (which is true. Charlotte was a hornet’s nest the last time this issue came up, and it wasn’t just our basketball team.)
“I’m a very loving person but I don’t have to share a bathroom with you or take a shower with you in order to show that.” So find another fucking bathroom if someone’s making you uncomfortable. If there was another cis woman in there that you didn’t like, you would either wait or find another place to do your business. You still have that as an option.
Transwoman talks about going into the men’s room and being told that she’s in the wrong bathroom. “I only want to be treated equally.”
“Religion is a belief, which means it’s a choice.”
“Transgender people, like my girlfriend who you just heard, and queer people, just like me, should not have to endure people raging at them. We don’t want special protections. Only the same protections.” They spoke one after the other and they’re the cutest couple.
“Everyone has equal access to a facility that corresponds with their biological gender.” And we’ve always had the freedom to marry someone of the opposite sex. And we’ve always had the opportunity to use water fountains that were used by other people of the same race, etc. “Male and female were created distinctly to fulfill vital roles in our society.” That’s not actually a thing. Gender roles are failing and for good reason.
“Mayor Roberts, since you want us to love our neighbor, I’m gonna love you enough to say that you need to repent from your sins and turn to Jesus.” Loud cheers from the crowd I haven’t found any place where Mayor Roberts talks about faith, so I can’t speak to whether she has any or not, but a lot of Christians hold the same political views as she does.
“It’s a bad thing because of men like Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby and men who hide cameras in heating ducts and sex traffickers, peeping toms, upskirt.com, all these… men assault women. They’re famous for it and women need a place to go use the restroom without worrying about men.” The speaker is, in fact, a man, who apparently doesn’t think trans women need a place where they’re also safe from those bad scary man.
Mathew 18 (which doesn’t have anything to do with law.)
“What messages are you sending my generation? You are abandoning objective truth in order to protect subjective feelings.” If Jesus, as described in the bible, was real, he deserved to get the shit kicked out of him. Oops, sorry, did I hurt your feelings, because that’s actually true.
It’s annoying how many kids are there here whose parents pushed them to the front with a script.
“First I’m here to honor my lord and savior Jesus Christ…” This is the point where we can stop taking you seriously. “I’m not a homophobe, I’m a theophobe. I fear god.” Um… what’s it called when you fear people who are afraid of something that makes them act erratically? Oh yeah, sanity.
“It’s not what the business community of Charlotte wants. It’s not what the people of Charlotte want.” I work at a small business in Charlotte. The first time I went there I was offered a job because the owner happened to be hiring and I happened to be looking for employment. I was with my two fathers and I was texting a cute girl from my high school about how much I loved the city because there was so much diversity that I couldn’t find in a shitty Ohio high school where I spent my winters. My boss knew my parents were gay. He knew that I was bisexual. And you know what, he paid me above the minimum wage and created a great (and safe) work environment for me and my coworkers.
“The way the spirits of darkness actually work is they manipulate good to look like bad and bad to look like good. That’s how they pervert things. Understand that you may be under the influence of demonic forces.” Or you could be. I mean, there’s no way to know. Maybe the speaker is being controlled by demons who hate trans people. Oh my god, the world is a lie!
“You’re being pushed around by political correctness and the voices of a very loud, few people.” Preachers are liars. Stopping me from saying that is political correctness run amok. See how mutual respect works? Just because I believe something doesn’t mean it has to be said every time I get a platform. If preachers ever (unanimously) become a problem, I will have good reason to point out that what they spend their lives doing is tricking other people, oftentimes harming them in the process. Until then, I can say, “This preacher/ this church/ this denomination is hurting people and here’s what they need to work on to stop it”
“My church will be unable to serve the homeless because of this ordinance.” Does your church already serve the homeless or do they just give them food in exchange for listening to your lies? Because those are different things. Also, if your church doesn’t have a bathroom then there’s no need to build one just because of this ordinance (although that might already be in violation of some building code) and if your church does have a bathroom, then congratulations, you can now stop standing outside of said bathroom pantsing everyone who wants to use it to make sure that their genitals are appropriate.
“This ordinance will be used to silence those who disagree with the agenda, thus take-“ alarm “Vote no.” So kudos for not going over time. That’s seriously an important thing that not a lot of people understand, but you had a minute and you could’ve said something good and you wasted it so shame on you for that.
“The scripture tells us that people are so wicked and desire to sin so much, that they will create new ways of sinning. You are helping them do that.” Or they could just be letting people piss peacefully.
“I stand before you representing the 68 clergy members who are members of the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice.” Refuses to quote the bible, quotes the constitution instead. This. This is what we should expect from clergy when they offer their voices in government. As citizens, they can have opinions and can voice those, but when they base them in faith and not fact we have a problem.
“Good evening. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak. I’m 25 and identify as a lesbian woman. Growing up in a very conservative and traditional country like India, where being gay is basically a criminal offense, I was never given the opportunity of freedom to be completely myself, which is why years ago I just said, “well, I’m just going to go and find a better life for myself” and I came to the United States which is the land of freedom and opportunity. Sorry, I’m a little nervous. It wasn’t easy for me to come here and make a life when I’ve faced a lot of discrimination and rejection from people. Ultimately I was able to overcome all of that and finally find happiness and I’ve just noticed that if you give people a chance they don’t discriminate against you, it’s the best thing ever. I’m sorry, I know I’m not saying anything scripted. All I just want to say is that it is my personal plea to please extend anti-discrimination law to people like me.” Speakers were limited to one minute. This is important, because what you have to understand is that if this woman was able to tell her life story to the council and mayor in front of a room divided between supporters and protesters, she was about to do that. She didn’t have a script, she just wanted to talk and be listened to. She came to the US because we were a lot closer to liberty than her home country was. Respect.
Trans woman gets up to speak and 4 years into her transition and it’s very obvious that she does not belong in the men’s room.
“I do not support this change because it conflicts with my faith.” And? So what?
“I quoted the North Carolina state constitution as it related to god’s word in the public square. I want you to think, when you look at that, of the hundreds of millions of Americans and the blood they shed from the beginning of our country up to now, for, to withhold biblical values. Even Queen Charlotte said in a letter to her brother, ‘being queen of sovereign England is nothing compared to being a Christian.’ I’m not here to bash anybody. I consider homosexuality a sin, just like lying, stealing, and cheating. That’s what the bible says.” First of all, that section of the state constitution has been struck down, making it null and void, making your argument legally indefensible. Secondly, the, “I’m not here to bash anybody” immediately being followed by 1. Bashing gay people, and 2. Bashing soldiers in assuming that they literally died to take away the rights of their fellow Americans, and 3. Bashing gay soldiers who not only died but died in the closet because of ridiculous policies makes you a liar, (and if your opinion of liars is as bad as your opinion of gay people maybe you shouldn’t be out in public). ((And yes I want to point out that I have as much respect for soldiers as I do for plumbers. They do a job most of us don’t particularly want and in that regard it’s appreciated until they do something awful.))
“The question I have is, why is it (The non-discrimination ordinance) coming back to Charlotte? It was dealt with last year and brought back. The question would be why? Why would we bring back something that could be a Trojan horse?” It came back because there’s been an election since the last time the issue came up. In fact, this was one issue that a few council members ran on. Charlotte wanted this when they voted in this council.
This is where I started watching live before. Still love that woman and her use of the word “bejeezers”
“Their president, Chad Turner, one of his aliases, his name is Chad Eugene Sevearance, of the LGBT Chamber of commerce, is a convicted sex offender.” This is unfortunately true. It doesn’t have anything to do with the matter at hand, but it’s true.
“I’m a proud member of the LGBT community here in Charlotte and I love calling the Queen City home.” Yes. This.
“Methinks, ya’ll have been drinking too much kool-aid. This ordinance is a non-starter. You’re all thinking of passing an ordinance that might benefit, what, a handful of people or two? And alienating 5 to 700,000 people.” Wrong! Not every cis person is ‘alienated’ by other people pissing.
The Benhams turned out. Remember them? One of them assaulted a teenage girl the last time they came to a meeting about this.
“We as a faith community know and understand well our duty to love our LGBT neighbors and continue to do that, do our best, flawed as it may be, to show kindness to them. However it will always be with tough love, that speaks the truth that the bible clearly condemns LGBT lifestyles. Tough love means they should not get any special treatment allowing them to live outside of societal norms at the expense of other’s freedoms. Tough love means speaking the inconvenient truth that we don’t get to be who we want to be, we must be who god made us to be. It is god’s word that warns us that our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked, and that following our hearts are a dangerous and destructive thing.” So… let me get this straight. We need to be who god made us. God made us dangerous and destructive. But, when we are, by your definition, anyway, dangerous and destructive, that’s wrong?
“This is not a bathroom bill. This is a bill that is gonna promote perversion in our land.” “Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is lord.” I guess I’ll be the exception. Fuck your weak ass god.
Very loudly and with interesting hand motions: “Homosexuality is sin. There’s no such thing as transgender. These people are confused and they need the help that only Jesus Christ can give them to set them free from their perversion and their lust. Vote no! You’ve aligned yourself with wickedness. Something funny’s going on here. Bob.” Yeah Bob! Something funny’s going on. This isn’t my church! What do you mean it’s Monday and this is a council meeting not a jack off to Jesus meeting? Oh. Sorry, wrong room. (I could take this guy seriously but… actually no I can’t.)
A guy is now, identifying as “gender royal” (actually that sounds like a fetish involving kissing someone’s feet.) And he keeps yelling even though his time is up and they’ve called the next speaker. Mayor responds with, “Are you (next speaker)?”
“I’d like to make five quick points. One, there’s never been an actual case of sexual discrimination in Charlotte, ever. So think about that. Ever. And two, to push forth an agenda in such a deeply religious area as Charlotte where not a single mainstream religion be it Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islam, or Judaism supports homosexuality will only lead to discrimination and divisiveness, which will not promote a unified city. And three, forcing people to (?) to a standard they morally object to is destructive to one’s conscience and to our community. This ordinance will only breed resistance and hatred. I’m asking for you to vote for what will best unify our city at large. Four, the HRC doesn’t represent everyone in the homosexual community. I have homosexual friends who have told me that they do not like what these activist groups are doing because they feel they’re creating an issue and making matters worse for them, not better. Finally, five, I fear we’re making a decision that will enrage many and compromise the safety of some, all for the sake of (?) the angst of a few.” First of all, sex discrimination includes not just LGBT but discrimination based on birth assigned gender as well, so even if he discounted the many counts of discrimination based on orientation and identification, that first statement is bullshit. Second, Hinduism and Buddhism actually DO support homosexuality, as does most of the Jewish community in Charlotte and as do some major denominations of Christianity, and that doesn’t include Christians that are in evil denominations and reject that part of the doctrine. Three, I was forced to subject myself to a morally abhorrent standard for about a decade while I was a Christian and briefly after I escaped the faith. That was wrong, yes, but you also don’t have to have a sex change or piss next to a trans person. If you’re uncomfortable, go somewhere else. Five, yup. People will be pissed. And then they will move on with their lives. Quit whining.
“Today I asked my four-year-old about what we’re here tonight for. I said ‘is it okay for a man to walk into a woman’s bathroom’ and my four-year-old answered, shockingly, ‘no’. Why did my four-year-old say that? Because the law of god is written on his heart.” Or you’ve managed not to teach your four-year-old much about morality, which is okay. He’s only four. He’ll grow up and learn to read more than one book.
“And we know homosexuality definitely lends in a direction of pedophilia. It’s a perversion. It’s a departure from what is known to be right for people. It’s… there’s something wrong with it. It was categorized as a mental illness a generation ago.” See, a generation ago, people believed a bunch of REALLY dumb shit that we’ve since learned is completely wrong. You know, things like ‘homosexuality is a moral issue’ or ‘homosexuality leads to pedophilia’.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the council, you know I speak the truth when I say that any commissioner who votes ‘yes’ is ignoring reason and common sense and your own inner sense of right and wrong. You know this is true. And god will hold you accountable. Jesus said insert one of Jesus’s slightly less than dick-ish quotes.” Because everyone secretly believes exactly what you believe, obviously, and if they say that they don’t believe said irrational thing then they must be lying for the devil.
“It’s disgusting. It should only be done in private. It will lead to sexual assault and deviance. Those are all things that have been said about a woman breastfeeding in public. The woman who was breastfeeding in the room that I was waiting in felt none of that. She was comfortable. She was accepted as an individual and we honored her right to care for her child. We have to honor every individual.” Yes. I really, really like this guy’s point. We’ve learned to get through situations that make us uncomfortable and to afford other people the right to make us uncomfortable. That’s part of living in a world with other people.
“My dad taught me that women and children deserve our protection, and this new law certainly won’t do that.” This is why chivalry is a problem in every aspect of culture that it affects, but that’s a separate issue.
“Here’s what Jesus said.” Jesus isn’t a resident of Charlotte. His opinion doesn’t carry a lot of weight in my hometown and if he wanted to express it then he should’ve come to the meeting himself while he was busy ignoring all those kids with cancer.
“This is not about discrimination. This is a gateway ordinance. It’s pushing its way into schools, businesses, and the private lives of everyone. It will lead to the persecution of those in Charlotte that disagree with the homosexual agenda. That’s not fear-mongering. It’s happening in every city that passes craziness like this. This is not about protection. If it were you’d be trying to protect the ones most at risk. You need to be protecting children.” “This is not about hatred. This is about telling the truth. God created them, male and female. Sexual immorality of any kind is wrong. Homosexuality is wrong. I didn’t say it; god did, and each of you will be accountable to him for your decision this evening.” Sorry, we already have an immoral agenda that’s attempting to push its way into our schools and private lives. That’s called religion. Also, sexual immorality is wrong. Fortunately, there’s only one kind of sexual immorality, and that’s called lack of consent. And wiping your hands of what you supposedly believe and attributing it instead to a malevolent creature that no one’s ever seen of heard from does not make your argument seem reliable.
“Father, I pray that every person in this room get the fear of the lord. Pilot was playing around with the son of god. And you’re playing around with the son of god. When Pilot was sitting on the judgment seat, there came a messenger to him, from his wife, said, ‘don’t have anything to do with this righteous man’ and Pilot knew he was righteous. And I’m saying to you tonight don’t have anything to do with this ungodly wickedness that’s put before you. And you know it’s wicked. It’s not just the bathroom portion. It’s the whole thing. It’s wicked and it’s (the alarm went off and he kinda grunted) and it’s putrid.” See, when someone stands up at a government meeting and starts out with, “father I pray” it’s more than likely going to be entertaining. I missed whatever reference he was talking about, either due to forgetfulness or a weird pronunciation, but he took more pauses than Obama and started yelling around the word “ungodly”. Also, if you have to fear something you worship then maybe it doesn’t deserve your praise. Just a thought.
At this point council moved on to their comments and votes.