By Peyton Majors
Christian Action League
August 18, 2023
The North Carolina legislature overrode the vetoes of Gov. Roy Cooper this week on a trio of bills that supporters within the Christian and conservative communities say protects the health and safety of children against a leftist ideology that has blurred the differences between girls and boys.
All three bills were passed largely along partisan lines, with Republicans voting in the affirmative and Democrats opposing them.
One bill, HB 808, would prohibit transgender surgery and treatments on children and teens under the age of 18. Specifically, it would make it “unlawful for any medical professional or mental health care professional or counselor” to perform surgeries that sterilize minors. That includes “castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, or penectomy.” Mastectomies, puberty blockers and hormones on minors also would be illegal.
“The laws of all states in the nation and certainly in North Carolina have long gone to extra steps to protect the interest of minors,” Rep. Hugh Blackwell (R) said in urging his colleagues to support an override. “This legislation is in that same spirit. Recognizing the serious and the potentially permanent effects of the procedures that this bill addresses, it simply says they need to wait until they’re 18 to make that kind of a decision.”
A second bill, HB 574, would prevent biological males from playing on female teams. The language of the bill says “athletic teams designated for females, women, or girls shall not be open to students of the male sex.” It is better known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. North Carolina is the 23rd state nationwide to prohibit biological males from playing on women’s teams and in female-only sports.
Last year, a high-speed volleyball spike by a transgender-identifying Highlands School player injured a female player for Hiwasee Dam High School. The Highlands School player is a biological male who identifies as female.
Rep. Jennifer Balkcom (R) said the bill would “help to ensure fairness and safety for North Carolina girls and young women athletes in middle school and college.”
The third bill, SB 49, is a wide-sweeping piece of legislation that declares that “parental involvement and empowerment is fundamental to the successful education of all students.” It prohibits instruction on “gender identity, sexual activity, or sexuality” in the curriculum for grades kindergarten through fourth grade. Further, it prevents school officials from changing a student’s name or pronoun — in “school records or by school personnel” — without first notifying the parents.
“This legislation codifies the rights of parents and guardians in having the right to direct their child’s education, moral, and religious training,” said Rep. Brian Biggs (R), a bill supporter. “… It allows parents to be notified of matters of a student’s physical and mental health.”
“I think we have to thank Tami Fitzgerald and the North Carolina Values Coalition for doing the heavy lifting on this legislation. The Christian Action League, the North Carolina Family Policy Council, as well as many others supported the legislation and contributed their own efforts to helping get it over the goal line,” said Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “Most of all, we are indebted to the legislative sponsors of these bills who courageously fought for their passage. If you get right down to brass tacks, they are the ones who make it happen and we thank God for them.”