The Rev. Franklin Graham criticized Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and city council members who voted to pass a controversial ordinance that would allow transgender residents to use either a men's or women's bathroom, depending on the gender with which they identify.
"Shame on Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and the city council members" for passing the ordinance, Graham wrote Tuesday, after the vote on the measure, which also says businesses can't discriminate against gay, lesbian or transgender customers and applies to places of public accommodation, such as bars, restaurants, stores as well as taxis.
"It's not over though," added Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. "North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has been clear that this is a bad policy and said if the city passed it, immediate legislative action would likely be taken by the state. I hope they will take swift action to strike down this dangerous ordinance or bring it to a referendum for voters to decide."
Gov. McCrory said Sunday the bathroom provision would likely cause "immediate" action by legislators, according to The Charlotte Observer.
If the ordinance were put to a vote in Charlotte, "I'm sure it would be overwhelmingly defeated by Democrats and Republicans alike," Graham wrote, praising council members Ed Driggs, Claire Fallon, Greg Phipps and Kenny Smith who voted "No."
"It's really hard to believe that such a ludicrous law would even be seriously considered — and even harder to believe that at least 8 of 11 council members have said they would vote for it!" Graham wrote in another Facebook post before the vote.
"Are people just not thinking clearly? This law would allow pedophiles, perverts, and predators into women's bathrooms. This is wicked and it's filthy. To think that my granddaughters could go into a restroom and a man be in there exposing himself … what are we setting our children and grandchildren up for? There's not a public restroom in Charlotte that would be safe!"
Graham added that Charlotte's mayor and the supporting City Council members have perhaps "succumbed to the pressures from depraved sexual activists and are willing to put women and girls at risk like this."
He said it is important that Christians get involved in the political process across the country by running for office and by voting. "What a difference it could make if we had more city council members and mayors who were willing to stand up for morality and biblical principles for our cities and communities. Less than 10 percent of voters turned out for the last Charlotte mayoral election — that's just a shame, and look what's happening as a result."