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GLSEN Calls on NC Governor to Veto HB 2

 Media Contact:
Kari Hudnell
Media Relations Manager
press@glsen.org
646-388-6575

 GLSEN Calls on North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to Veto Harmful HB 2

NEW YORK (March 23, 2016) – GLSEN is calling on North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to veto HB 2, which was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in a special session today. The sweepingly discriminatory bill would override local nondiscrimination ordinances statewide, including one recently passed in Charlotte, and prevent local labor laws from setting minimum wages, employee benefits and certain work conditions, making it the most extreme legislation of its kind in the country.

The bill would also require transgender and gender nonconforming students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender assigned at birth, even if that conflicts with their gender identity. If Gov. McCrory signs the bill, North Carolina would become the first state to enact such a law after South Dakota’s governor vetoed similar schools-related legislation earlier this month and Tennessee’s House Education Committee halted the progress of a similar schools-related bill yesterday. GLSEN’s Director of Public Policy, Nathan Smith, said:

“Rather than addressing the needs of North Carolinians, the General Assembly has wasted taxpayers’ money to call an ‘emergency’ session to pass a bill that endangers the safety and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students – already disproportionately the victims of discrimination, harassment and bullying in our schools – and the educators who support them. In my home state of North Carolina, more than three in 10 LGBT students were physically harassed based on their sexual orientation and nearly two in 10 based on the way they expressed their gender. Just over half of LGBT students in North Carolina could identify six or more supportive educators, a number likely to go down should the state ban employment protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  

“In addition to setting the wrong kind of precedent and rolling civil rights protections back half a century, HB 2 puts North Carolina in violation of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination in schools on the basis of sex and gender identity. The bill could jeopardize the federal funding received by North Carolina schools and places the state at significant risk of litigation. Our schools need to be supported in their efforts to create positive climates for all students, not left dealing with the fallout of the discriminatory actions of the legislature. We call on Gov. McCrory to stand in support of the students and educators of North Carolina and veto this appalling bill.”

The latest edition of GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey found that LGBT students who experienced discrimination and bullying and harassment at school were more than three times as likely to have missed school in the past month as those who did not, had lower GPAs than their peers, and had lower self-esteem and higher levels of depression. GLSEN has created model laws and policies for schools, districts and states to ensure LGBT students are safe and affirmed at school, including a model district policy for accommodating transgender and gender nonconforming students that complies with Title IX.  

 

About GLSEN

GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.

 

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