North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed three anti-LGBTQ bills on Wednesday. The measures would ban gender-affirming care for minors, restrict transgender participation in school sports and limit the ways sexuality and gender are discussed in public schools.
While the vetoes are a roadblock for anti-LGBTQ lawmakers in the state, they have little power as the state’s House and Senate hold veto-proof Republican majorities.
Cooper, a Democrat, denounced all three bills in a press release as “a triple threat of political culture wars using government to invade the rights and responsibilities of parents and doctors, hurting vulnerable children and damaging our state’s reputation and economy … ” House Bill 574, titled the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” would ban trans girls and women from playing on girls and women’s middle school, high school and college sports teams. “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,” Cooper said of the bill. “Republican governors in other states have vetoed similar bills because they hurt their states’ reputation and economy and because they are neither fair nor needed.” Republican governors — Eric Holcomb of Indiana, Spencer Cox of Utah and Doug Burgum of North Dakota — have previously vetoed bills that would ban trans people from participating in team sports that align with their gender.
Senate Bill 49, or the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” would require public school staff to tell parents if a student asks to use a different name or set of pronouns.