Bill clarifies public restroom questions

By Brent Jackson - Contributing columnist

Good afternoon,

I want to wish everyone a happy Easter weekend. I hope you are able to spend the holiday with family, friends, and loved ones. It is important to remember that we are celebrating Christ’s resurrection, and his dying for our sins. We all sin, but through Christ, our sins can be forgiven. I hope we can all reflect on His example and learn to forgive those who have wronged us and love our enemies as Christ did.

As many of you have probably heard, yesterday, the General Assembly came back to Raleigh for a special legislative session to handle the gender identity ordinance that the Charlotte City Council passed a few weeks ago. The ordinance would have gone into effect April 1 of this year, and allows people to choose whatever restroom they use based on their gender identity, not their biological sex. The ordinance was intended to accommodate transgender people who are biologically one sex but identify as the other sex. However, this ordinance violated North Carolina’s existing trespass law, indecent exposure law, and building codes. Not only was the ordinance inconstant with state law, the city of Charlotte, or any municipality for that matter, does not have the authority to enact such an ordinance.

The bill we passed yesterday established a statewide standard dictating that people should use the restroom or locker room labeled for their biological sex, which is defined as the sex on their birth certificate, when in schools, public buildings, and other areas of public accommodation. This closes a loophole created by the ordinance which would have allowed for a man to enter a women’s restroom and claim immunity to criminal acts. It is important to remember that just because a person is transgender does not mean that they are a pedophile or that they seek to harm anyone, but Charlotte’s ordinance would have allowed pedophiles or sex offenders to go unpunished.

The bill establishes a uniform statewide anti-discrimination policy on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, biological sex or handicap, which is stronger than federal law. The bill also takes steps to prevent future situations like Charlotte’s overreaching ordinance by creating statewide consistency for laws related to employment and public accommodations. Please let my office know if you have any questions pertaining to this bill.

Again, I wish everyone a happy and safe Easter.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist you in any way possible.

Brent Jackson is a N.C. senator representing District 10, which includes Sampson, Duplin and Johnston counties.

By Brent Jackson

Contributing columnist

Brent Jackson is a N.C. senator representing District 10, which includes Sampson, Duplin and Johnston counties.

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