North Carolina Senate Revives Attacks on LGBTQ+ North Carolinians, This Time By Passing “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” Bill Even More Egregious Than Florida’s

by HRC Staff

In Attempt To Follow Florida’s Dangerous Legislation, North Carolina’s Anti-Equality Legislators Rush To Pass Discriminatory Bills; The Senate Doubles Down on State’s International Reputation for Attacks on LGBTQ+ people

RALEIGH – Today, The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — condemned the North Carolina State Senate for passing H.B. 755, a “Don’t Say Gay or Trans Bill” that is even more egregious than the law that recently passed in Florida. If signed into law, the bill would not only prohibit any instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten to third grade, but could force school staff to disclose a student’s LGBTQ+ identity to their families. Critically, the bill would allow parents unfettered access and control over the most personal aspects of their child’s life, including what books they are checking out of the school library and how they are addressed in the classroom.

Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley issued the following statement in reaction the vote:

“Today, the North Carolina Senate resumed their attacks against the LGBTQ+ community, this time with a bill that emulates and exceeds Florida’s recent “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law. North Carolina will never be able to move past its reputation as a discriminatory place for LGBTQ+ people if the General Assembly continues its attacks. Teachers are experts in delivering age-appropriate lessons - it is literally what they are trained and licensed to do - and marrying censorship and surveillance with a cause of action serves to help only litigators - certainly not teachers, students, or parents. North Carolinians know that discrimination is wrong, and that students deserve better.”

Across the country, anti-equality politicians are working to pass bills to discriminate against and disrupt the lives of transgender people. 2022 has seen more anti-LGBTQ legislation introduced than ever before and is on track to set a record number of specifically anti-transgender bills filed as well. Generally, these bills aim to remove every social support that transgender youth have, by separating them from their coaches, teammates, doctors, therapists, parents, teachers and school counselors, as well as controlling the books they read, the curriculum they learn, or even the identity they express at school. That discrimination takes a toll: according to data from the Trevor Project, 42% of LGBTQ+ youth nationwide seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth. The nation’s leading child health and welfare groups representing more than 7 million youth-serving professionals and more than 1,000 child welfare organizations released an open letter calling for lawmakers in states across the country to oppose dozens of bills that target LGBTQ+ people, and transgender youth in particular. Analyses conducted in the aftermath of previous divisive anti-transgender bills projected that the North Carolina bathroom bill passed in 2016 could have cost the state $3.76 billion over 10 years.

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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