Governor joins Amicus Brief against transgender bathrooms lawsuit and calls for more action on underage drinking
By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
December 3, 2015
RALEIGH – Governor Pat McCrory announced two moves on Tuesday directed at protecting North Carolina’s children.
In keeping with his promise, McCrory announced that he has signed on, in his capacity as governor, to an amicus brief filed by the state of South Carolina in the case of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board. McCrory had officially asked the state’s Attorney General, Roy Cooper to join the brief on behalf of the state, saying that if Cooper wouldn’t he would. Cooper was unwilling to do so.
The case, filed in Virginia, involves a transgender female who identifies as a male and is suing the local school board to force the school system to allow the student to use male locker rooms and restrooms. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of Virginia are behind the suit, and the Obama administration has filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting it.
McCrory said, “This attempt to centralize gender identity policies in schools at the federal level is another example of Washington encroaching on the local decision-making of the teachers and parents who know their students best. The privacy and well-being of our students is paramount. Our local school districts and parents are best equipped to make decisions based on their own unique student populations.”
The Virginia policy seeks to address the transgender issue by offering options like a single-stall and unisex restrooms.
Governors McCrory and Paul LePage of Maine have joined the states of Mississippi, West Virginia, and Arizona on the South Carolina amicus brief.
A decision that favors the ACLU and the Obama Administration in the matter before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals would be binding on all North Carolina school districts, removing any flexibility in dealing with transgender issues, says the Governor’s office.
Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition, said, “Governor McCrory showed great leadership on behalf of North Carolina this week. Attorney General Cooper had one job: to legally represent North Carolina on behalf of his constituents. In the midst of his failure to do just that, our Governor stepped up to the plate to help protect children from being federally forced to share bathrooms and locker rooms with members of the opposite sex that identify as transgender.”
“I agree with my colleague and friend, Tami Fitzgerald,” said Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “But I am still concerned that we are fighting with our faces toward the sun, our state will remain vulnerable to groups like the ACLU and the nation’s runaway federal court system until our leadership inserts itself between the people and their tyranny. That will require our Governor and our state’s leadership, to reject and refuse to recognize these erroneous rulings by the federal courts. For those who say this will create a constitutional crisis, I argue that we already have one.”
Governor Commemorates First Year of Underage Drinking Program with a Call to Action
Also on Tuesday, Governor McCrory commemorated the first anniversary of Talk It Out, the state’s program fighting the problem of underage drinking in North Carolina.
According to the website, talkitoutnc.org, the vast majority of North Carolina’s youth — 94% — say underage drinking is a problem. More than half think it’s a serious issue. But the bad news is less than half of North Carolina parents share that view.
Thus the name for the program – one that aims at getting parents to talk to their children about underage drinking.
Governor McCrory praised Jim Gardner and the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABC) for strategically approaching the underage drinking issue on three fronts – through awareness with the Talk It Out campaign, through enforcement, and through training.
“We’re going to get tougher on underage drinking,” said the Governor. “We’ve got to tackle this issue at the kitchen table and at the point of sale by making parents and those who serve alcohol aware of the dangers and the consequences of underage drinking.”
Flanked by ABC Commission Chairman Jim Gardner; Dr. Wilkie (Bill) Wilson, Director of DukeLEARN at Duke University; and Kelly Langston, President of the North Carolina Parent Teacher Association, the Governor also gave a call to action.
He requested a report on the impact of alcohol on the adolescent brain from researchers within the UNC system, Duke, Wake Forest and others. The researchers are to give their report to the Governor, the ABC Commission, as well as the Governor’s Substance Abuse and Underage Drinking Prevention and Treatment Task Force by the end of January.
The Governor argued the report would arm parents and other citizens concerned with minimizing the harms of underage drinking with a “wealth of knowledge.”
Dr. Creech said he especially appreciated the Governor’s stand on the issue of underage drinking and his efforts to protect the lives of our state’s children.
“The question of underage drinking is not a minor one,” said Dr. Creech. “More teens die from alcohol use than all the other drugs combined. And one young person dies every week in our state because of it.”