This afternoon in Uptown Charlotte, over one hundred local mothers, business owners, community leaders, students, and victims of sexual assault assembled for a press conference in front of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Complex Building to urge Governor Pat McCrory and the General Assembly to call for a Special Session to overturn Charlotte’s new bathroom ordinance.
Charlotte resident Eliana Smith, former victim of sexual assault, shared today,“Over the past several weeks after Charlotte passed their harmful bathroom ordinance, I have woken up with anxiety and fear that I may encounter a man in the bathroom, and just the thought of this sends chills over my body. Simply seeing a man in a place that is supposed to be a private and safe space inflicts incredible reminders of the emotional trauma I experienced as a young girl.”
The right to privacy is particularly important for women who have suffered sexual abuse and trauma. For these women, the mere presence of a male in what should be a private and safe space can trigger severe psychological and emotional harm. Women should not be forced to undress or shower in the presence of men. This violates their right to privacy.
On March 3rd, NC Speaker Tim Moore released a statement, “We believe it prudent to consider immediate action because the Charlotte City Council decided to make its ordinance effective prior to the convening of our short session. We understand that special sessions have a cost, but the North Carolina House is unwilling to put a price tag on public safety.”
Lt. Governor Dan Forest, the elected official with the constitutional power to call the North Carolina Senate back for a special session, has also come forward indicating his willingness to do so, as well as Senate Leader Phil Berger.
The speakers at today’s Uptown Charlotte press conference included:
David Benham, Benham Companies
Eliana Smith, Charlotte Wife and Mother
Thomas Delinger, Charlotte Business owner
Nathan Chandler, student
Donica Hudson, Charlotte Citizen
Mark Pedosuik, Charlotte Business Owner
Ethan Metzger, student
Jack Brosch, Charlotte Business Owner
Heather Garofalo, Charlotte Business Owner & Mom
Mark Harris, senior pastor at First Baptist Church Charlotte
Beginning on April 1st, any man, including registered sex offenders, can freely use any bathroom, lockerroom, or public shower they desire. Any businesses that objects can be fined or jailed.
If you would like to see this new ordinance repealed, you can call 919-814-2000, or visit keepNCsafe.org