By Rus Egner
Christian Action League
April 9, 2021
Will North Carolina succumb to extremist views on sex and gender or hold the line to protect religious freedom and the health and well-being of young people? Six recent bills – four that push the LGBTQ agenda and two that defend liberty and traditional values – are now before Tar Heel lawmakers.
“It is most unpopular today to speak of LGBTQ negatively, but these bills are nothing more than the unholy morality of Sodom, which was and remains a persistent thing,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “Just as their shameful sins became an open and aggressive force, which none dare interfere with, so today they press upon the door of society and demand a so-called constitutional right to indulge their passions. Moreover, whenever rights are extended to do what is exceedingly wrong, then the rights of the righteous become diminished – something these four bills do.”
Here’s a look at each measure:
Dubbed the “Equality for All Act,” House Bill 450 is touted as a way to “protect all North Carolinians against discrimination in all walks of life.” In truth, the sweeping eight-page measure would inject sexual orientation and gender identity specifically into laws regarding housing, employment, public accommodations, credit, insurance, education and jury service and generally into any state law dealing with discrimination. It would force schools – public, charter or private – to accommodate student whims regarding gender and generally silence expression of traditional beliefs about marriage, sex and what it means to be male and female.
While the bill would allow business owners to provide separate restrooms for men and women, it would give anyone claiming transgender status free access to either. To further end any hope of having privacy in locker rooms or bathrooms, another of the four bills, House Bill 451, would completely repeal House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.
Next on the list, House Bill 452 would outlaw conversion therapy and virtually any attempt to change an individual’s sexual orientation. Euphemistically labeled the “Mental Health Protection Act,” the measure would make it illegal for psychologists, counselors, social workers or therapists to do anything less than fully endorse expressions of same-sex attraction and a person’s attempts to change his or her gender.
Finally, House Bill 449, titled “Prohibit Defense Based on Sex or Gender,” would ban a legal defense used occasionally in cases in which defendants reacted violently to unwanted same-sex sexual advances.
Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition, said the four bills would “ostracize and marginalize people who hold decent and honorable beliefs about marriage, sex and gender.”
“People of faith should not be treated like second-class citizens, and that is exactly what these bills propose. They would override the fundamental right to exercise our religious beliefs and engage in free speech that our First Amendment guarantees. Disagreement is not discrimination, yet these bills target those whose views the LGBT groups don’t like rather than respecting a diversity of beliefs,” Fitzgerald said.
Two bills filed recently to counter the LGBT extremist push are focused on helping the state’s young people. One would preserve female athletics teams and the other would prevent doctors from prescribing dangerous drugs and performing unnecessary procedures on teens experiencing gender dysphoria.
Aptly named “Save Women’s Sports,” House Bill 358 would require North Carolina middle schools, high schools and universities to define teams as male/men’s/boys’, female/women’s/girls’ or co-ed and would ensure that players compete on the appropriate team based on biology. Its goal is to keep the playing field level for female athletes by ensuring that they aren’t forced to compete with biological males masquerading as females. (Learn more about the bill in this Christian Action League report.)
Interestingly, fewer males would be likely to claim transgender female status if Senate Bill 514 is passed. The “Youth Health Protection Act” would bar doctors from performing sterilization procedures and other surgeries such as a mastectomy on young people seeking to change their gender. The bill, which applies to anyone under 21, would also ban puberty blocking hormone therapies.
“This bill is an essential measure to protect the health, safety, and welfare of adolescents, teens, and young adults in North Carolina from chemical and surgical interventions that are destroying individual lives and families across our nation,” said NC Family President John L. Rustin. “Because 80 percent or more of teens who experience gender dysphoria eventually identify as their biological sex, the compassionate approach is to provide wise counsel and resist the cultural trend to rush into harmful hormone therapies and gender transition procedures.”
The bill would also protect the rights of parents to withhold their consent for such treatments, prevent the state from interfering with counselors’ giving advice consistent with their religious beliefs and ensure that state funds are not used to pay for gender transition procedures.
“State lawmakers who have introduced these bills, which are deemed anti-LGBTQ, have stuck out their necks in a big way for what’s right. They’re demonstrating a gallantry that is quickly becoming almost extinct,” the Rev. Creech said. “It’s really important we stand with them. They need to hear from us that we support their efforts of resistance to the rising tide of human wickedness. You can be sure they are already hearing from the other side. Our emails and phone calls to our own State Representatives and Senators in support of these measures help provide an umbrella of political protection over them.”
Sponsors of the Senate bill are Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell), Warren Daniel (R-Burke) and Norman Sanderson (R-Pamlico). Mark Brody (R-Union) introduced Save Women’s Sports along with Pat McElraft (R-Carteret), Diane Wheatley (R-Cumberland) and Jimmy Dixon (R-Duplin).