RALEIGH, North Carolina (LifeSiteNews) — The North Carolina Legislature voted on Wednesday to override the vetoes of Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper on three different bills protecting minors and athletes from the dangers presented by transgender ideology.
Cooper had vetoed all three bills last month, setting up a veto override showdown with the Republican-led legislature.
The first bill forbids “gender-transitioning” surgical or chemical procedures from being administered to anyone under age 18. The second excludes males from middle and high school as well as collegiate sports’ teams meant specifically for women and girls. The third prohibits LGBT material in school curricula and requires that parents be notified if their children begin identifying as the opposite sex.
House Bill 808 prohibits all medical professionals in the state from administering hormone therapy, including puberty blockers and surgical gender-transition procedures — with limited exceptions — under penalty of doctors even having their medical license revoked, though those minors who began such treatment before August 1 may continue with their parents’ consent.
The GOP supermajority in the North Carolina House voted 74-45, with the Senate following later with 27 “yes” votes for the overturn and 18 “no.” This made The Tar Heel State the 22nd in the union to pass legislation banning life-altering gender transition procedures on minors, a law that went into effect immediately.
Also overturned by state lawmakers was Cooper’s veto of House Bill 574, known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which prevents gender-confused males who identify as females from competing in female sports programs. The new law states that a “student’s sex shall be recognized based solely on the student’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth” also stipulating that “students of the male sex” cannot play on female sports teams, though it does not address gender-confused girls playing on boys’ teams.
“Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field. Allowing males to compete in girls’ sports destroys fair competition and women’s athletic opportunities,” NC Values executive director Tami Fitzgerald explained in a statement after the vote. “Bodies play sports, not identities, and this bill ensures North Carolina girls and women won’t be benched in their own sports and can train confidently knowing they have a safe and level playing field.”
State lawmakers also voted Wednesday to overturn Cooper’s veto of a third bill referred to as the Parents’ Bill of Rights, which prohibits teachers providing classroom instruction about sexuality or gender identity to students from kindergarten through fourth grade. It also requires that parents be notified, “[p]rior to any changes in the name or pronoun used for a student in school records or by school personnel.”
Republican state Senator Amy Galey, a sponsor of the bill, said, “Democrats want to keep North Carolina’s education system shielded from parental accountability. They want to use our schools to advance their partisan, political agenda instead of working to improve student outcomes. The Parents’ Bill of Rights fights back against those efforts. It increases accessibility to what’s being taught in our schools, notifies parents of the well-being of their children, and keeps school curriculum focused on core subjects.”
Gov. Cooper responded, saying, “These are the wrong priorities, especially when they should be working nights and weekends if necessary to get a budget passed by the end of the month.”
Evidence shows that “affirming” confusion about one’s biological sex carries severe harms, especially when such affirmation takes the form of physically transformative procedures on impressionable children who cannot fully grasp the long-term ramifications of the decisions being pushed on them.
Studies find that more than 80% of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence and that even full “reassignment” surgery often fails to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide — and may even exacerbate it, including by reinforcing their confusion and neglecting the actual root causes of their mental strife.
Many oft-ignored “detransitioners,” individuals who attempted to live under a different “gender identity” before embracing their sex, attest to the physical and mental harm of reinforcing gender confusion, as well as to the bias and negligence of the medical establishment on the subject.
The danger of keeping parents in the dark about such situations is grimly illustrated in the story of Yaeli Martinez, a 19-year-old to whom “gender transitioning” was touted as a possible cure for her depression in high school, supported by a high school counselor who withheld what she was going through from her mother. The troubled girl killed herself after trying to live as a man for three years.
Meanwhile, mandatory inclusion of gender-confused individuals in opposite-sex sports is promoted by the left as a matter of “inclusivity,” but critics note that indulging “transgender” athletes undermines the original rational basis for having sex-specific athletics in the first place, thereby depriving female athletes of recognition and professional or academic opportunities.
There have been numerous high-profile examples in recent years of men winning women’s competitions, and research affirms that physiology gives males distinct athletic advantages that cannot be fully negated by hormone suppression.
In a 2019 paper published by the Journal of Medical Ethics, New Zealand researchers found that “healthy young men [do] not lose significant muscle mass (or power) when their circulating testosterone levels were reduced to (below International Olympic Committee guidelines) for 20 weeks,” and “indirect effects of testosterone” on factors such as bone structure, lung volume, and heart size “will not be altered by hormone therapy;” therefore, “the advantage to transwomen [biological men] afforded by the [International Olympic Committee] guidelines is an intolerable unfairness.”
In May, three days after Cooper vetoed a bill banning most abortions after 12 weeks’ gestation — to much fanfare at a pro-abortion rally — the Republican supermajority in the legislature overrode the veto immediately, enacting the bill into law.