The Republican-led North Carolina
General Assembly has approved two bills that target the LGBTQ
One bill (H808) prohibits
gender-affirming care for transgender minors, while the other (S49)
bans discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in grades
K-4. The bill, dubbed “Don't Say Gay” by its critics, also forces
teachers to out students to their parents.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBTQ rights advocate, is calling on Governor Roy
Cooper, a Democrat, to veto the bills.
“Like all kids, transgender youth
deserve the best quality medical care that ensures they can live
their healthiest lives, including age-appropriate gender-affirming
care,” Sarah Warbelow, vice president of legal at HRC, said in a
statement. “Like all kids, they deserve to be treated with dignity
and respect. Distressingly, extremist North Carolina lawmakers don’t
care about the facts or the tremendous harm H808 will cause, they
care only about advancing their anti-LGBTQ+ crusade. We urge Gov.
Cooper to hear the voices of transgender kids, their families, and
medical experts and veto this legislation.”
According to HRC, 229 out of almost 560
anti-LGBTQ bills filed nationwide this year target the rights of
transgender people, and more than half of those bills would prevent
transgender youth from accessing medically-necessary health care.
“[It is] the highest number of bills
targeting transgender people in a single year to date,” the group
As a gubernatorial candidate in 2016,
Cooper vowed to repeal a contentious anti-LGBTQ law (House Bill 2)
signed by his GOP predecessor, Pat McCrory. Once in office, Cooper
has been pivotal in slowly dismantling the law and its negative
effects from a corporate boycott of the state.
With veto-proof majorities in the House
and Senate, Republicans have introduced a dozen anti-LGBTQ bills this
year and appear prepared to defend them. North Carolina voters next
year will decide on a new governor as Cooper cannot seek a third
consecutive term in office. The leading GOP candidate, Mark Robinson,
the current Lieutenant Governor, is a vocal opponent of LGBTQ rights
and is polling slightly ahead of Democrat Josh Stein, the state's
current Attorney General.