RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WNCN) — North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore says a “Parents’ Bill of Rights” measure pushed by Senate Republicans recently may not get a final vote in his chamber before this year’s session ends in the next few weeks.
Moore told reporters on Wednesday the political dynamics make it difficult to override a likely veto of the measure by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
Cooper and LGBTQ activists have condemned the measure, which in part would bar instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in K-3 public school curriculum. Bill supporters say it would give parents tools to help them oversee their children’s education and health.
A bill announced on May 24 by North Carolina Republican leaders would put limitations on the discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity topics in certain state classrooms if signed into law.
The 10-page bill is part of a broader piece of legislation called the Parents’ Bill of Rights and calls for:
- The banning of LGBTQ+ topics in the curriculum for kindergarten-third grade classes
- Requiring parental notice when students from kindergarten through high school question their sexual identity in school
- Requiring parent notification if a student seeks to use a different pronoun or make use of counseling at the school
- Requiring parental consent in writing for a child to receive counseling services or non-emergency healthcare treatment
- Allowing parents to review records of what books and other materials their kids borrow from the library
Rev. Vance Haywood, senior pastor at St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church, has spoken out against the bill, saying similar bills pass across the country stigmatize LGBTQ youth.
“The House not taking it up is good for right now, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to be dealing with this again in six to 12 months,” said Rev. Haywood. “This is costing lives. That’s not an exaggeration. That’s what this is doing.”
The Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill earlier this year. Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said he still believes it’s worth passing even if Republicans can’t convince enough Democrats to override a veto by Gov. Cooper.
“They will do what they’re gonna do. I think the bill ought to pass,” Berger said. “It sends a strong message to parents around the state that the legislature understands their concern about being informed about what’s going on in the classroom, and that there’s certain things that are age-appropriate that should not be in the classroom.”
Republican legislative leaders are hoping enough in their party will win in this year’s election that they can regain their supermajority, making it easier to override Cooper.
“It doesn’t need to be a political football by anyone,” Moore said about the parental rights’ issue. “We’re feeling very bullish about next year and the supermajority, so it’s certainly the kind of issue we could take up in next year’s session.”