GREENSBORO, NC – The City of Greensboro council adopted an official resolution opposing house bill 2, also known as the bathroom bill, during Tuesday night’s meeting.
Council members approved a resolution opposing HB2 because it “removes local control over matters governing the welfare of residents.”
In short- the resolution is an official statement to the state government- saying it does not support HB2.
it doesn't actually change anything locally because state law still trumps Greensboro's stance.
The resolution states “The City of Greensboro is a community dedicated to the principles of equality, nondiscrimination and full inclusion and engagement by any resident in the civil rights , benefits and privelgedes of all resident.”
The city council passed an anti-discrimination ordinance in 2015. Although Governor McCrory and his staff adamantly said this law does not affect city policies, there is conflict between the law and city policy.
During the meeting, the council reaffirmed its support for “protecting and advancing rights and equitable treatment of all residents.”
Well before the resolution could ever been considered, Councilman Tony Wilkins and Mayor Nancy Vaughan were at odds over the resolution being on the agenda in the first place. Wilkins questioned why the anti-HB2 resolution was on the agenda without going through the committee first. Wilkins said it is unethical for the mayor to place an item on the agenda without consent of committee agenda.
In all, 15 speakers from both sides of the argument commented on the resolution being considered.
Drew Wofford, owner of Chemistry nightclub, a LGBTQ bar in Greensboro said, “A transgender person is not a man going into a female’s locker room. It’s a person born with the wrong sex. This bill is hurting my business and it’s hurting business in North Carolina.”
Tia Smith, a trans woman said, “If they are coming for us, how much longer before they start coming for other minority groups, like women or people of color."
Some audience members held pamphlets reading “all of us or none of us” and “shut down HB2”
Representative Pricey Harrison, who has been outspoken against the bill, sat in the audience during the meeting.
Representative John Blust, who voted for the bill, said "Charlotte has no right to do what they did. "
Many audience members erupted in anger when Blust added, "I have a daughter. My daughter should not have to change in a locker room with someone of the male anatomy."
At least two other male members of the audience agreed with Blust, and said they too, had daughters and did not want them to be sexually assaulted.
Blust admitted the bill was rushed, having been reviewed and singed into law in one day, and said he hoped they had more time to go more in depth to the bill.
Council member, Sharon Hightower called the bill the worst discrimination policy in the country and condemned the law for it's minimum wage policy.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, "To bring in wages and to bring in housing and to bring in employment was an overreach on this bill. These were things this council voted on unanimously. We wanted anti-discrimination policies for all."
The resolution passed by a vote of 8-1. Wilkins was the only council member to vote against the resolution.