Anti-Transgender Legislation Resonates On Day Of Remembrance

by | Nov 20, 2022 | Politics

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Persistent efforts by North Carolina’s legislature to restrict transgender lives cast a shadow over Callum Bradford as he grew up in Chapel Hill, following him through his journey of self-discovery, coming out and obtaining the gender-affirming health care the 16-year-old credits as lifesaving.After Republicans swept most state-level elections this month, Bradford and other trans and gender-nonconforming residents are bracing for the possibility of new or reintroduced legislation targeting LGBTQ people, and especially trans people, that could survive Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto if Republicans wrangle enough supporters.Advertisement“Before I came out, I was thinking about those laws, and I was like, I know I’m male, but do I really want to deal with this?” Bradford said. “Can’t I just go back to when I was innocent and untouched by hate?”Statehouse victories for Republicans around the country in this month’s midterm elections are resonating for trans people as they mark Sunday’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, an international observance honoring victims of anti-transgender violence and raising awareness of the threats trans people face.The reverberations are particularly intense in North Carolina, which provided the blueprint for the present wave of nationwide anti-trans legislation when, in 2016, legislators passed a bill to restrict transgender access to public restrooms and prevent municipalities from enacting new anti-discrimination ordinances.The resulting backlash hit North Carolina’s economy as sports tournaments, businesses and conventions cut ties, costing the state hundreds of millions in revenue before the policy was eventually rolled back in 2017 and settled in federal court in 2019.AdvertisementFor Bradford, who had not yet come out, it was the first of many bills that eroded his confidence and exposed him to the harsh reality for transgender youths, who have been primary political targets this year as the United States saw a record number of anti-trans bills — more than 145 introduced across 34 states, according to the Human Rights Campaign.Republicans gained a supermajority in the North Carolina Senate and fell one seat short of a supermajority in the House. The outcome narrowly preserves Cooper’s veto power if Democrats approach override votes as a united front.But GOP House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters Nov. 9 that he views House Republicans as having “a governing supermajority” because some moderate Democrats have voted with them in the past.While Moore said the party hasn’t solidified its priorities for the long session beginning in January, Senate leader Phil Berger is already reconsidering a “ Parents’ Bill of Rights,” which passed the Senate this year but didn’t get a vote in the House before the session ended.Touted by GOP senators as a toolkit to help parents oversee their children’s education and health care, the bill included provisions to bar instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in K-3 curricula and require schools to alert parents prior to any change in the name or pronoun used for their child. Cooper condemned the measure and likened it to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.Advertisement“As far as a Parental Bill of Rights, parents have made it clear that they are not happy with some of the things that are going on i …

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