North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, vetoed three anti-LGBTQ+ bills yesterday in defiance of veto-proof Republican majorities in the state legislature.
Cooper announced he vetoed HB 574 (Fairness in Women’s Sports Act), which requires the use of biological sex at birth to determine participation in middle and high school and college athletics in the state. He also vetoed SB 49 (Parents’ Bill of Rights), which requires parental notification for the use of nonbinary pronouns and other information regarding transgender and nonbinary students among other acts. The final bill, HB 808 (Gender Transition/Minors), bans gender-affirming medical care for minors.
“We don’t need politicians inflaming their political culture wars by making broad, uninformed decisions about an extremely small number of vulnerable children that are already handled by a robust system that relies on parents, schools, and sports organizations,” Roy said in a statement announcing the vetoes.
Cooper described SB 49 as a “Don’t Say Gay” piece of legislation that “hampers the important and sometimes lifesaving role of educators as trusted advisors when students have nowhere else to turn.”
He also had choice words for HB 808, saying “A doctor’s office is no place for politicians, and North Carolina should continue to let parents and medical professionals make decisions about the best way to offer gender care for their children” and that “ordering doctors to stop following approved medical protocols sets a troubling precedent and is dangerous for vulnerable youth and their mental health.”
Local activists applauded Roy’s vetoes.
“Trans youth deserve to have the same rights as their cisgender peers. The ACLU is currently tracking 491 anti-LGBTQ bills across the country, and North Carolina has already passed three of them,” Liz Barber, senior policy council of the ACLU of North Carolina, said in a statement applauding Cooper’s vetoes. “Legislators are using their power to bully an already vulnerable community, and Governor Cooper has taken an important step by vetoing these bills. We must continue to stand up for trans youth in our state.”
Despite Cooper’s vetoes, the bills now go back to the legislature for expected overrides by Republicans.