By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
June 23, 2023
Bills designed to expand parental rights and to protect children from transgender surgeries advanced in the N.C. Legislature this week and could become law by the end of the session. The Christian Action League supports both measures.
Parents’ Bill of Rights
Senate Bill 49, which passed the Senate earlier this year, won the approval of the House Education Committee on Wednesday. Labeled the Parents’ Bill of Rights, the legislation would ban curriculum on sexuality, sexual activity or gender identity in kindergarten through fourth grades in public schools and would require school employees to notify parents if their children ask to be called by different names or pronouns.
Similar to legislation proposed in 2022, the bill would require schools to make textbooks and other materials available for parental review at the schools and online. It would allow parents to withhold consent for participation in surveys about political beliefs and sexual behavior and allow them to find out what books their child checks out from the school’s library. It would also ensure parental access to a student’s healthcare record and ensure that they are informed about changes to their child’s physical or mental health and any healthcare services the child receives.
“The bill goes a long way to not only strengthen parental rights in North Carolina, but it also gives parents who are seeking solutions to these issues a pathway forward,” said Dr. Robert Luebke, director of the Center for Effective Education at the John Locke Foundation.
The Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said the bill is necessary because of recent instances around the country where parents’ rights have been curtailed, and their voices suppressed.
“The Parents’ Bill of Rights addresses this imbalance by ensuring parents have the final say in their children’s education, health and welfare,” Creech said. “The bill provides transparency and allows parents to participate more fully in their child’s progress and maturity.”
He acknowledged the state and schools have a role in ensuring that children are not harmed or neglected, but said that when these institutions keep parents in the dark about their child’s development, they undermine parental authority and potentially damage the sacredness of the parent-child relationship. Creech said the bill will help safeguard parents against having their decisions overruled by overzealous educators or administrators pushing their own agenda. He pointed to the Biblical truth that children belong to God and are entrusted to parents to raise and said Senate Bill 49 “empowers parents, strengthens families, and will make for a stronger, more resilient society.”
The bill passed the Senate in February on a party-line vote. It is now headed to the House Rules Committee.
Act to Prohibit Gender Transition Procedures for Minors
House Bill 808 would prohibit medical professionals from performing surgical gender transition procedures on anyone who is younger than 18. With some exceptions, it would also bar them from prescribing or dispensing puberty-blocking drugs or cross-sex hormones to minors. And violators of the law could have their licenses revoked. The measure passed the Senate Healthcare Committee on Wednesday and the Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
“House Bill 808 is necessary for protecting the well-being of young people,” the Rev. Creech told the Judiciary Committee. “Undergoing such procedures is a serious and irreversible decision that should only be made by mature individuals who understand better the implications of their choice. Minors lack the emotional, cognitive, and social maturity to understand the consequences of such procedures fully.”
He pointed out that by law, we do not permit minors, with or without parental permission, to do many things, including using tobacco, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, gambling or engaging in sex with an adult, all of which may negatively affect their health.
“Nevertheless, some would argue, even implore, children should be allowed to do something much more consequential – make the incredibly momentous decision to alter their gender surgically – an act which would unquestionably pose significant risks to their physical and mental health, including complications from the surgery, hormonal imbalance, and an increased risk of developing mental health issues such as depression and suicidal ideation throughout a lifetime,” Creech said.
He shared a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13:11 with lawmakers as an example of a Bible verse that undergirds the basic principle behind HB 808: “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. As a child, I couldn’t see things clearly, but when I became an adult, I began to see things with greater clarity.”
“Let’s let children be children, not miniature adults with full-sized problems,” Creech said.
Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth), co-chair of the Healthcare Committee, emailed Creech after the Judiciary hearing.
“I was so happy that you spoke. Thank you for your comments,” she wrote. “Thanks for all you do. Your remarks, as always, were spot on.”
Lawmakers also heard from Prisha Mosley, who described the severe and lasting injuries she suffered as a result of so-called “gender-affirming care” as a minor. Mosley, who lived in North Carolina from third grade through age 18, had surgery as a teenager.
“At 17, after meeting with me for a matter of minutes, a counselor told me that I was actually a boy and that changing my body to be more like a boy would fix my mental health issues,” Mosley said.
Earlier, she told the Healthcare Committee, “My doctors asked my parents if they would rather have a dead daughter or a living son.”
She said her parents were manipulated by those pushing for trans surgeries.
“And no parent has the right to sterilize their child even if they want to,” said Mosley, who supports the bill.
The measure, which passed the House in May with support from Republicans and two Democrats, must go before the Senate Rules and Operations Committee before a potential floor vote. If it becomes law, it would take effect in October.