RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — On the first day of pride month, activists spoke in downtown Raleigh on Wednesday urging legislators to not pass House Bill 755, dubbed the “Parental Rights Bill,” often compared to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay Bill.”
Later that evening, just before 6 p.m., the bill passed in the state senate by a vote of 28-18.
The talk aimed at advocating against the bill was hosted by Equality North Carolina and other LGBTQ+ supportive groups.
The bill puts limits on what teachers can talk about inside of schools, including topics like sexual orientation or gender identity. Speakers said the bill is masked as a way to have parents more involved in their child’s education, but that the bill really puts students at risk and forces teachers to put them in harm’s way.
Instead of passing the bill, organizers said legislators need to work on making sure students have a welcoming space to spend their days.
“School is safe, where they’re asked to be creative, imaginative, and innovative. So why would we create our school environments to be places of surveillance, harm, and rejection?” Rebby Kern, with Equality NC, said.
Prior to the vote approving the bill, Equality NC leaders said if passed, they’ll continue to be a support system for all students and teachers throughout the state.