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New Republican Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills Are Bigotry Disguised As Concern

Seamlessly in lock-step with GOP-led legislatures across the country attacking the queer and trans community, North Carolina Republicans have filed six bills restricting gender-affirming care for trans youth and banning sports participation.

The first one, Senate Bill 639, would ban life-saving treatment for trans youth and targets healthcare and mental healthcare professionals for providing access to gender-affirming care. Senate Bill 560 would introduce new hurdles for youth seeking gender-affirming care; prompting new requirements for families, and healthcare providers. 

According to Cardinal & Pine, these requirements include telehealth visits for gender-affirming counseling and treatment, as well as mandates for new consent and waiting periods. Providers of gender-affirming care would also be barred from receiving public funds.

In addition to these two bills, Senate Bill 641, would give medical providers the right to discriminate in providing access to this crucial health care. 

Senate Bill 631 and House Bill 574, would ban transgender students from participating on a team consistent with their gender, while Senate Bill 636 makes a direct attack; preventing trans girls and intersex girls from participating in sports.

“Banning kids from playing sports because of who they are prevents them from having positive and formative experiences at school,” Kendra Johnson, executive director of Equality North Carolina, told Cardinal & Pine. “And preventing parents from making decisions on their child’s health care is harmful and life-threatening. These bills do nothing to address the real issues facing our youth, like gun violence in schools or the mental health crisis. Instead of working to make schools safe environments, our lawmakers are bullying queer and trans kids.”

If these harmful and discriminatory bills to deny medical care and sport participation passes, North Carolina would join a list of 20 states that ban transgender athletes from playing high school sports.

A GLSEN’s 2021 National School Climate survey found that 16.0% of LGBTQ+ students had been prevented from playing on a sports team that is consistent with their gender, with 11.3% of LGBTQ+ students sharing that school staff or coaches had prevented or discouraged them from playing sports because they identified as LGBTQ+.

According to the ACLU, more than 452 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced or filed in the nation. 

Last year, The Washington Post reported that 2022 marked the most legislation filed to restrict the lives of trans people than at any other point in the nation’s history, with trans youth being the most frequent target of Republican lawmakers.

“It seems North Carolina Republicans still have not learned their lesson from House Bill 2. Such bills don’t solve any actual problems, but they create plenty of them. They’re shameful and embarrassing. They potentially deprive our state of economic opportunities that are of real benefit to the people who live here already,” a recent editorial from The News & Observer states. “So, what do Republicans actually stand to gain by targeting the vulnerable? The answer is simple: political points.”

Amid the growing number of legislation aimed at trans youth participation in sports, President Joe Biden issued a proposal that would outright forbid bans on transgender athletes. According to Cardinal & Pine, the proposal would establish that “blanket bans,” such as those filed in the state, would violate Title IX, the landmark legislation that makes it illegal for any government-funded educational institution to discriminate against a person based on their sex.


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