Source: Editorial Board
In both the state House and Senate, North Carolina Republicans have cleared bills banning transgender youth from participating in sports. Passed on a party-line vote, 29-18, Senate Bill 631 follows its House counterpart that includes a ban on college sports, which passed days prior.
According to NC Newsline, the Senate bill will now move over to the House, with a reconciled final version of one of the bills possibly headed to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk in the coming days.
“Here we go again, waging culture wars on the backs of children,” stated Sen. Natalie Murdock (D-Durham) during the floor debate in the Senate. “This is an intentional distraction and does not solve the problems facing families in North Carolina every day.”
Along with state Democrats, Governor Roy Cooper has criticized the discriminatory bill, which would ban trans students from participating on the team consistent with their gender.
Equality NC’s Executive Director, Kendra R. Johnson, has called out the harmful measures, stating, “We are saddened, enraged and exhausted by the persistent attacks on our communities. We know that this does not represent our state and that this is not what North Carolinians want for the LGBTQ+ community. We have been down this road before with the passage of HB 2 in 2016, and we know that this sports ban will only hurt our economy. We also know that it will harm the mental and physical well-being of our kids by depriving them of the many benefits that sports have to offer. We stand in solidarity with the queer and trans kids who have borne the brunt of these targeted legislative attacks. We will keep fighting to build a state and a country where LGBTQ+ kids are safe and celebrated”.
National organizations such as The Human Rights Campaign have condemned state Republicans’ efforts to target and erase trans youth rights through the passage of House Bill 5741 and Senate Bill 631.
“North Carolina will never move past its reputation for anti-transgender discrimination if it continues these legislative attacks on the transgender community. Women’s sports face many real challenges, including chronic underfunding, unequal pay, lack of access and harassment and abuse of athletes. None of those challenges are addressed by attempts to prevent transgender children from playing school sports alongside their friends,” Cathryn Oakley, State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel, said in a statement. “Yet again, the General Assembly is choosing to discriminate rather than legislate on the real issues facing North Carolina. Yet again, it is going back to the well of discrimination to rile up an extremist base. The General Assembly seems to have learned nothing from the international condemnation that befell it in 2016.”
Read more at NC Newsline.