Concerned Citizens Hold KeepNCSafe Rally
Say Charlotte’s Bathroom Ordinance Impossible to Police and Bad for Schools
RALEIGH, NC— On the south side of the Capitol Building, students clad in their school uniforms, school administrators, law enforcement professionals, and policy experts gathered in opposition to Charlotte’s unconstitutional bathroom ordinance. Together, as a KeepNCSafe coalition, they called upon Governor McCrory and the General Assembly to take immediate action through a special session to rectify Charlotte’s bathroom ordinance before it takes effect on April 1st.
Chloe Jefferson, a junior at Greenville Christian Academy presented the concerns that she and many other girls have with the concept of defying common sense by allowing boys in the girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms. She expressed a fear for her safety and privacy should an ordinance like the Charlotte Ordinance be enacted in Greenville. Chloe shared, “Every students’ privacy and safety matter. Girls like me should never be forced to undress or shower in the presence of boys. I sympathize with those who are working through difficult personal issues—I imagine it’s very confusing. But being a teenage girl is really confusing too. I have a right to privacy and wish to not be exposed to young males changing and showering beside me. I think everyone has the freedom to believe in what they want, but the government shouldn’t change laws that jeopardize the safety and privacy of students.”
Following Chloe Jefferson’s remarks, a statement by B.J. Barnes, Guilford County Sheriff, was read. Sheriff Barnes said, “An ordinance such as the one proposed by Charlotte presents a problem for law enforcement to enforce since it requires us to make a judgement call on whether the person is truly desiring to identify with the sex opposite that assigned him at birth or is a sex offender taking advantage of a weak ordinance. It also places an additional stress on parents who must consider whether their children are being exposed to unwanted influences anytime they go into the restroom. The desires of a handful of people who are struggling with their sexual identity should not cause the majority of people to compromise their safety and privacy in public bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms. And, it should not place law enforcement personnel in the uncertain position of enforcing a law based on feelings, not facts.” (Statement can also be found here: http://dontdoitcharlotte.com/wp-content/uploads/BJ-Barnes-Statement.pdf)
The inability to enforce Charlotte’s bathroom ordinance is of great concern to law enforcement officials across the state. The fact of the matter is, there is no objective, clear, enforceable way to police an ordinance of this nature. This is of heightened concern when evidence shows that bathrooms are one of the most prevalent places in which sexual assault and rape occur. The only sensible, objective, and enforceable policy is one that ensures single sex access to areas where people engage in private activities.
Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Diocese of Raleigh and Bishop Peter J. Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte also put forth a joint statement opposing Charlotte’s harmful bathroom ordinance, “The city ordinance also does not protect the rights of religious institutions, such as churches, Catholic schools, and charities. In a country founded on liberty and freedom, how can religious institutions be coerced into abiding by an ordinance that violates the very teachings they hold regarding sexuality and human dignity? Other cities may follow Charlotte. As the Catholic Bishops with jurisdiction over the State of North Carolina, we stand against this ordinance and encourage the state legislature and the governor to show courage by passing a law that protects individuals and religious institutions.” Their full statement can be viewed here: http://dontdoitcharlotte.com/wp-content/uploads/Catholic-Bishops-Statement.pdf.
The speakers at the KeepNCSafe press conference today included:
John Rustin, President, North Carolina Family Policy Council
Mike Lopez, Administrator, Greenville Christian Academy
Chloe Jefferson, Student
Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director, North Carolina Values Coalition
Catholic Bishops Burbidge and Jugis (statement read by Kellie Fiedorek of Alliance Defending Freedom)
John Amanchukwu, Executive Director, Upper Room Christian Academy
Mark Weatherford, Headmaster, Vandalia Christian School
Mark Creech, Christian Action League
Dr. Ron Baity, Return America
Sheriff B.J. Barnes, Guilford County Sheriff (statement read by Kami Mueller)
Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition, said, “Ultimately, this is common sense— no men should be allowed in women’s bathrooms. Charlotte’s bathroom ordinance is unconstitutional, and will likely be the first domino for other cities to follow suit, should a special session not be called to take immediate action. Every North Carolinian has the right to peacefully live and work in accordance to what they believe without being punished by the government.”