Charlotte has rejected a measure protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation.
City Council voted Monday night against expanding the city's nondiscrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity to a list of protected groups. It also would have prohibited discrimination based on someone's marital and familial status.
Before the vote, the council removed a section of the ordinance that would have allowed transgendered people to use the bathroom in which they feel most comfortable. That provision had been the focus of radio ads and thousands of phone messages in which ordinance opponents say letting biological males use women's bathrooms could endanger women and children.
Gay rights groups are condemning the vote, saying similar protections have been adopted by 200 local governments across the country.