The Charlotte Clergy Coalition For Justice Finds HB142 Unjust

The book of Genesis teaches that"B'tzelem Elohim -  in the image of God, human beings were created."  Yet once again, a full year after North Carolina became nationally known for its discriminatory nature, our State has created unjust legislation that fails to acknowledge the dignity and equality of all human beings and provide protections for them.

HB2 purposefully and intentionally limited rights and protections for North Carolinians, in particular, LGBTQ people.  HB142 does little to nothing to remedy that. Calling HB142 a “successful compromise” ignores the harms that HB2 wrought and glosses over the reality that HB142 puts North Carolinians LGBTQ people and other minorities, in a worse place than before Charlotte passed its 2016 non-discrimination ordinance. Before the Charlotte ordinance there were no explicit protections in place but there were also no limitations on cities and towns passing local anti discrimination policies (like many cities and towns around the country). Under HB142, there are no protections and cities are prohibited from passing any type of anti discrimination measures. 

What HB2 did away with and what HB142 prevents from happening until 2020 is passage of local measures that would prohibit businesses in Charlotte from discriminating against gay, lesbian or transgender customers. Race, religion, age and gender are otherwise protected "classes." But LGBTQ people aren't and are thus left vulnerable and outside of legal protection. So, if a business -- or taxi for example -- refused to serve an LGBT customer, there is no legal recourse. 

While efforts by elected officials to find common ground should be applauded, HB142 does not go far enough.  It prevents local municipalities from expanding protections for marginalized communities until 2020.   How many years must one wait for justice? Is the goal justice or does the number of years reflect the political cycle of the current Governor?

The prophet Amos cried out, "Thus says God: For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes. They trample on the heads of the poor as on the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed."

Our state legislature has exchanged justice for business and basketball.  This is not who we should be.  This is not the path we should walk as a state.  It is worker protections, trans rights and the freedom of municipalities to expand justice today.  Who will it be tomorrow?

May righteousness return as we demand that our legislators return to the table to create laws that protect all North Carolinians from discrimination. 

Repeal HB2 in its entirety.  The nation and God are watching.
 

Sincerely Yours,

The Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice

A Statement of Grief

After many days, we, as a coalition of faithful leaders, break our collective silence. The past week has revealed the deep divisions within our country and profound pain, uncertainty, and grief many are feeling.

We needed a time to address our respective congregational struggles. Many of us serve houses of faith that have members affiliated with both parties. We are responding to the tension created by the fact that a segment of our community is mourning and fearful while another segment is hopeful and optimistic. We recognize the privilege of living in a democracy and affirm the rights of all to vote their conscience. What we oppose is any public official who uses their position to promote violence, hatred, or expression of ill will towards another. We are devastated by the racial divisions we have witnessed and the harsh rhetoric of hatred we have heard.

We live in a country where we are blessed with the freedom to choose our leaders. Donald Trump is the president-elect. Our task now is to provide space for the varied ways some will express their pain and others will express their optimism. We will continue to hold on to hope, and to work for justice. We must work harder and smarter and with conviction to be the best human beings and the best country we can be.

We are deeply grieved by the news that the KKK is planning a celebration parade in North Carolina on December 3rd. It is reminiscent of days gone by when many brothers and sisters lost their lives fighting for justice. We will respond and, in doing so, are not protesting the President-elect Donald Trump but we are protesting the foundation of hatred and bigotry on which the KKK stands and their claims of fulfilling God's will through their work. We will not stand idly by and allow them to speak for any house of faith and promote anti-gay sentiments, anti-multicultural sentiments, separatism, or supremacy. Our unity gives us the strength to work for change. We will continue to fight for fair housing, equal protections and justice for LGBTQ people, educational equity, the environment, and love. We invite you to stand with us and to fight with us for equality, equity, opportunity, freedom, and peace.

We are further grieved by the news that on Monday one of our transgender sisters, Ralayzia Taylor, was attacked by hatchet-armed hate mongers, who used gay slurs. There were three people arrested in connection with this crime, and we fully support justice being served. We cannot tolerate this hatred and are outraged by any crime against humanity. We stand with Ralayzia today.


Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice

 

CCCJ Statement on One Charlotte NC

The Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice (CCCJ), NAACP Charlotte-Mecklenburg Branch, and Charlotte Uprising have not agreed to sponsor, endorse, or participate in the One Charlotte NC event planned for November 6, 2016.

Questions for CCCJ can be directed to either co-chair Rev. Amantha Barbee or Rev. Chrissy Williamson at charlotteclergygathering@gmail.com.

Questions for NAACP should be directed to cmacknaacp@gmail.com, and questions for Charlotte Uprising should be directed to charlotteuprising@gmail.com.