Extremist Republican lawmakers in the NCGA are fast-tracking an aggressive slate of anti-trans legislation, including bills restricting healthcare access for trans youth.
The North Carolina House of Representatives has voted to approve HB574, a bill that restricts transgender students in middle school, high school, and higher education institutions from participating in school sports. The bill bans transgender girls and young women from playing on female sports teams and bans transgender boys and young men from playing on male sports teams. The Senate companion bill is likely to be discussed on the Senate floor on Thursday, April 20.
This bill is part of a broad slate of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that has been introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly. These include two bills restricting trans youth from accessing gender-affirming healthcare, a broad bill that amounts to an anti-LGBTQ+ “license to discriminate” in healthcare, discriminatory youth policy legislation that forces teachers to “out” LGBTQ+ students, and a bill banning drag performances.
Nationally, more than 400 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced this legislative session, in an unprecedented wave of political attacks on the LGBTQ community – particularly transgender youth.
Allison Scott, Director of Impact and Innovation at the Campaign for Southern Equality (she/her pronouns), said: “Rather than listening to the people of NC, far-right lawmakers at the NCGA are taking marching orders from an infamous national ‘hate group’ and bullying transgender children. These legislators know that transgender youth have played sports consistent with their gender identity in NC for a long time, hurting no one – and that they’re totally manufacturing this supposed ‘issue.’ This legislation won’t solve any actual problems, but it will create a flood of them, stigmatizing a small number of students and targeting them for exclusion and other-ing.”
“To every trans young person reading the news about these new bills in North Carolina, please know that you are loved and supported and there is an entire community fighting alongside you.”
Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality (she/her pronouns), addressed the surge of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in recent days. She said: “LGBTQ people live in every town across our state, and the majority of North Carolinians support LGBTQ equality. What’s happening at the General Assembly right now couldn’t be more misguided: After ramming through dozens of anti-LGBTQ+ bills in states across the country this session, national anti-LGBTQ forces now turn their attention to our state. In NC we’ve been on the right track when it comes to LGBTQ+ equality, and we have all been better for it. We need all hands on deck in NC to protect LGBTQ+ equality and defeat discrimination. And we need to send an unwavering message to LGBTQ youth – which is that we love them and will fight for their rights.”
Supporters of LGBTQ+ equality can take action at www.NCisReady.org. The NC is Ready coalition is a partnership between Equality NC and the Campaign for Southern Equality.
Based in Asheville, NC, the Campaign for Southern Equality promotes full LGBTQ equality across the South.