ICYMI: North Carolina Senate Passes Don’t Say Gay or Trans Bill; Human Rights Campaign Urges House to Reject Discriminatory Bill

by HRC Staff

"These Legislators Are Further Stigmatizing and Isolating Kids that Just Want to Fit in With Their Peers"

Raleigh, North Carolina – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — condemned the North Carolina Senate for passing SB 49 on Tuesday, which is their version of “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” legislation.

The bill is a discriminatory attack against the LGBTQ+ community that bans discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-4.

Human Rights Campaign Legislative Counsel Courtnay Avant released the following statement:

“All students -- no matter their background, sexual orientation, or gender identity -- deserve to feel safe and welcomed in schools, libraries, and bookshops alike. But extremist politicians in the North Carolina Senate are using the levers of government to dictate to children, their parents, and educators what they can read, what they can learn, what they can say, and who they can be. These legislators are further stigmatizing and isolating kids that just want to fit in with their peers. We call on the North Carolina House of Representatives to recognize that this bill is part of a coordinated national effort against the LGBTQ+ community and to prevent it from advancing further.”

In a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ+ groups, which deployed vintage discriminatory tropes, politicians in state houses across the country introduced a record 315 discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ bills in 2022. The majority of the discriminatory bills targeted the transgender and non-binary community, with the majority targeting children receiving the brunt of discriminatory legislation. Anti-transgender legislation took several forms, including bills aimed to prevent transgender youth from playing school sports consistent with their gender identity and bills to prevent transgender and non-binary youth from receiving life-saving, medically-necessary gender-affirming healthcare. A study by the Trevor Project found that 94% of LGBTQ+ youth reported that recent politics negatively impacted their mental health. In addition, 45% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in recent years, but LGBTQ+ youth who have at least one accepting adult in their life were 40% less likely to attempt suicide.

Nearly 1 in 5 of any type of hate crime is now motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bias and the last two years have been the deadliest for transgender people, especially Black transgender women, we have seen since HRC began tracking fatal violence against the community.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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