North Carolina governor Roy Cooper has vetoed three harmful anti-LGBTQ+ bills.
Over the last few years, Republican lawmakers have ruthlessly targeted the rights of trans individuals.
From numerous ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bills to the array of anti-trans bans regarding sports and gender-affirming care, the hate towards the community has taken over the political landscape.
Fortunately some political figures – like North Carolina governor Roy Cooper – have used their power to fight back against the rise of anti-trans rhetoric and legislation.
On 6 July, the Democrat official announced his veto of three hateful laws – House Bill 574 (Fairness in Women’s Sports Act), Senate Bill 49 (Parents’ Bill of Rights), House Bill 808 (Gender Transition/Minors).
Under HB 574, trans girls and women would be barred from playing in middle school, high school and college sports.
Senate Bill 49 would require teachers and educational professionals to essentially out trans or non-binary students by reporting any pronoun requests to their parents.
Lastly, HB 808 would ban healthcare providers and medical professionals from providing gender-affirming care to trans youth.
“For campaign purposes only, Republicans are serving up a triple threat of political culture wars using government to invade the rights and responsibilities of parents and doctors, hurting vulnerable children and damaging our state’s reputation and economy like they did with the harmful bathroom bill,” he said in a statement.
“Instead of scheming for the next election, Republicans should get to work investing in our public schools and teachers, lowering the cost of living and creating more stability for middle-class families.”
In addition to his blanket statement, Cooper individually condemned the aforementioned bills.
“We don’t need politicians inflaming their political culture wars by making broad, uninformed decisions about an extremely small number of vulnerable children that are already handled by a robust system that relies on parents, schools and sports organizations,” the 66-year-old said regarding HB 574.
Cooper echoed similar sentiments for SB 49, describing the bill as one that “hampers the important and sometimes lifesaving role of educators.”
Lastly, he slammed HB 808 for trying to order “doctors to stop following approved medical protocols sets a troubling precedent and is dangerous for vulnerable youth and their mental health.”
Shortly after the news was announced, an array of LGBTQ+ organisations released statements praising Governor Cooper for fighting back against the LGBTQ+ hate – including the ACLU of North Carolina and the Human Rights Campaign.
“Trans youth deserve to have the same rights as their cisgender peers. The ACLU is currently tracking 491 anti-LGBTQ bills across the country, and North Carolina has already passed three of them,” said Senior Policy Counsel of the ACLU of NC, Liz Barber.
“Legislators are using their power to bully an already vulnerable community, and Governor Cooper has taken an important step by vetoing these bills.”
Human Rights Campaign Legislative Counsel Courtnay Avant echoed similar sentiments, writing: “The Human Rights Campaign applauds Governor Cooper for standing up for equality, even when it would be easier to stand back and do nothing.”
Unfortunately, Cooper’s veto will most likely be overridden by the state’s Republican lawmakers due to them holding the majority in the Senate and House.