RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - Senator Bill Rabon of Brunswick County has been appointed to a group of Republican lawmakers to address what leaders call "a problem" with a recent ordinance passed by Charlotte City Council, that allows transgender individuals to use bathrooms corresponding to their sexual identity.
A news release from Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger's office called the ordinance "radical", "allowing men to share public bathrooms and locker rooms with young girls and women."
Sen. Berger appointed Sen. Rabon to a group of senators that will work with the House on legislation to address the issue. According to the release, Sen. Shirley Randleman (R-Wilkes) is the chair of the group, which will also include Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Wake), Sen. David Curtis (R-Lincoln), Sen. Buck Newton (R-Wilson), Sen. Ron Rabin (R-Harnett), Sen. Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg), Sen. Norm Sanderson (R-Pamlico) and Sen. Jeff Tarte (R-Mecklenburg).
"Frankly I'm surprised the business community in Charlotte has been standing by watching this unfold," Sen. Rabon said "The big issue has to do with the restrooms. If it were my business, I'm not so sure that I would welcome this ordinance. The issue is men, women and children using the restroom at the same time. It's a safety issue."
House Speaker Tim Moore said in a statement last week, he had received requests from more than three-fifths of House members to call a special session of the General Assembly to take up the ordinance. It will take effect in Charlotte on April 1, 2016. The General Assembly's "short session" is scheduled to begin April 25. Sen. Rabon would not say if he thinks a special session of the General Assembly should be called.
"That's up to the Governor, if he feels it should be called," Sen. Rabon said. "We think it a serious enough issue to start working toward addressing it. We'll see what the outcome is."