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With the nation's highest court set to hear arguments next month over the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans, legislation is advancing in several states that critics say gives businesses license to deny services to gays and lesbians on religious grounds.
More than a dozen states this year are considering measures aimed at preventing government from infringing on people's religious beliefs. Supporters say the proposals mirror decades-old protections in federal law, while opponents say they're a license for state-endorsed discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
In North Carolina, Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake) defends a similar bill he filed -- one he's been considering for years.
“Can a state or local government order a citizen to do things to which they have sincerely held religious objections?” Stam said. “And the answer is, ‘No, unless there's a compelling state reason to do so’.”
One man in uptown Charlotte said businesses should have the right.
"They need their religious, their beliefs served just as well as the person who's' saying I want to do what I want to do."
Others in Charlotte said it would open the door to discrimination.
"If I was Muslim, and I wanted to go work somewhere, and they told me I couldn't work there because I was Muslim, just because their religious beliefs went against that, that's not OK," Kahari Robbs said.
The law is similar to an ordinance rejected in Charlotte earlier this month.
The ordinance would have made it illegal for cab companies, city contractors and businesses to deny jobs or services to the LGBT community.
It was amended to remove allowing transgendered people from using the bathrooms they choose but city leaders still struck it down in a 6 to 5 vote.
The AP contributed to this story.Fri, 27 Mar 2015 22:29:50 -0400
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is investigating a homicide that happened Friday night on Pauline Lane in north Charlotte.
A dispute led to the double shooting, police said.
A victim was taken to the hospital after being shot in the abdomen, but he died, police said.
Two other people were injured at the scene, one of them shot and the other with a foot injury from jumping out of a second-floor window. The injuries were minor.
Police are not looking for any additional suspects.
Watch Eyewitness News and return to www.wsoctv.com for updates on this developing story.
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A female husky in northeastern Union County was confirmed to have rabies, health officials said Friday.
The Division of Public Health and Union County Sheriff’s Office staff are looking for people who might have been in contact with the rabid dog.
The dog was in the area of Mullis Newsome and New Salem roads.
The brown and white dog showed neurological symptoms consistent with rabies and died the next day.
“Any person who may have come in contact with this dog between March 8 and March 26 should call their doctor immediately. They may also call the Communicable Disease line of the Division of Public Health at 704-296-4874 for an exposure evaluation,” said Phillip Tarte, public health director for the Union County Department of Human Services.
Resident with a concern about their pet’s exposure to this dog or exposure to other rabid animals in the area should call their veterinarian immediately or The Animal Control Division of the Union County Sheriffs’ Department at 704-283-2308.
Union County Division of Public Health makes the following recommendations to the general public: