North Carolina’s very own version of the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill has been shelved, as Republicans would need three Democrats to vote for the discriminatory measure to override a likely veto, and the support isn’t there.
The piece of legislation, House Bill 755, would erase LGBTQ+ voices from school curriculum, put a target on educators, and require mandatory reporting to parents if a student, regardless of grade, begins to question their sexual identity in school.
For weeks, North Carolina parents, educators and students have protested the bill that blatantly targets LGBTQ+ students.
“It does not honor that many of our students come from diverse families or that our teachers come from diverse families, and that teachers should be able to help our students recognize the humanity in one another, to treat each other with dignity and respect,” stated Tamika Walker Kelly, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators in an interview with The Charlotte Post.
Activists have cited that the mandatory reporting for school employees to “out” LGBTQ+ students to their parents could put many students’ lives at risk.
“Forced outing and erasure in the curriculum have severe impacts on queer and trans young people’s safety, mental health and well-being, especially poor youth and youth of color,” stated Kendra R. Johnson, Executive Director of Equality NC in a press release. “Over 60% of queer youth report living in unsafe housing, and this bill will place more children directly in harm’s way.”
Across the nation, state Republican lawmakers, including in North Carolina, have proposed more than 300 bills that would limit the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans this year – with hundreds specifically targeting transgender youth.