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The NC Legislature just passed a trans sports ban

For Immediate Release

Nate Fischer | Equality NC | nate@equalitync.org

RALEIGH – The NC House just passed HB 574, a draconian trans sports ban, with no notice to the public. Because the bill had already passed the NC Senate, that means that this bill is heading to Governor Cooper’s desk.

This bill is dangerous and cruel. Playing sports has been shown to benefit LGBTQ+ youth mental health. Inclusive school policies lower suicide risk and increase feelings of safety at school for LGBTQ students. This bill makes all of our schools less safe for trans youth.

On the flipside, anti-trans athletic bans only increase existing mental health risks for trans youth and, despite opponents’ frequent claims, evidence shows that trans-inclusive policies do nothing to harm women’s and girls’ sports. In states with inclusive policies, high school girls’ participation in sports remained unchanged from 2011 to 2019. In states with exclusive policies, girls’ participation has decreased. If lawmakers actually wanted to protect women in athletics, they would adequately fund women’s sports and address the crisis of harassment and sexism facing women in athletics.

ENC Executive Director Kendra R. Johnson (she/her) said:

This legislation is harsh and discriminatory. As Representative Cervania pointed out in her remarks before the body, this bill could apply to as few as one student in our public school system. We don’t need bills designed to bully a tiny handful of young North Carolinians. Our legislature should focus on protecting all of our communities, not holding surprise votes on unfair legislation.

HB 547 is deeply harmful. We urge Gov. Cooper to veto this bill.

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Equality North Carolina builds LGBTQ+ power through advocacy, education, and uplifting the stories of queer and trans North Carolinians in pursuit of racial and social justice. www.equalitync.org

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