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An Open Letter From Charlotte, North Carolina’s First Openly Gay Councilmember About I-1552
Posted on May 17, 2017

I have to warn you: I-1552 would be dangerous for Washington. Very dangerous.

As the first openly gay City Councilmember in Charlotte, North Carolina, I can attest to this firsthand: Last year, our state lawmakers shamefully passed HB2, a “bathroom bill” nearly identical to I-1552. It was the first law in the nation to prohibit transgender people from using public restrooms consistent with the gender they live every day.

The devastating impact on NC was swift: National boycotts and billions of dollars in lost revenue. LGBT protections in cities like Charlotte were stripped away. And now, in the eyes of the world, the state I love is too often seen as the epicenter of anti-LGBT discrimination.

So when I heard that the same forces behind HB2 were gathering signatures to put a similar, discriminatory initiative on the ballot this November in Washington, I couldn’t stand by quietly. I knew I needed to warn you of what we’ve endured in North Carolina—and I knew I needed to work alongside you to defeat I-1552.

“Our lawmakers introduced HB2 one morning last March and it was signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory that night. We hardly had any time to read the bill much less to stop it. But there are still six weeks until opponents of equality submit signatures to put I-1552 on the ballot. You can still stop this heinous measure in Washington.” –LaWana Mayfield, Charlotte, NC City Council

Our lawmakers introduced HB2 one morning last March and it was signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory that night. We hardly had any time to read the bill much less to stop it. But there are still six weeks until opponents of equality submit signatures to put I-1552 on the ballot. You can still stop this heinous measure in Washington.

I beg you, please remember the lessons we’ve learned in North Carolina: Opponents of equality are determined. The stakes are high. If I-1552 passes, Washington will experience the same financial losses and devastation that North Carolina is suffering from each and every day.

Don’t let Washington become the next North Carolina. You can help out right now by chipping in $5 to Washington Won’t Discriminate—that way, they can run the strongest possible campaign to defeat I-1552 once and for all.

In solidarity,

LaWana Mayfield
Charlotte City Councilmember