Press Release • May 26, 2022

Equality North Carolina Criticizes Continued Passage of 'Don't Say Gay' Bill

For immediate release

Shoshanna Carroll | Equality NC || 919-213-1451

Nate Fischer | Equality NC |

RALEIGH–Today, the Senate Healthcare Committee passed House Bill 755 (North Carolina's so-called 'Don't Say Gay' bill) out of committee and onto Rules, over the objections of legislators and community members speaking out about harms this bill will cause for healthcare providers, teachers, and, crucially, LGBTQ+ youth. This bill specifically attacks LGBTQ+ students and families, bans accurate curriculum, and puts a target on our already overburdened and under-resourced teachers. Coming on the heels of the horrific mass shooting in Uvalde, TX, our North Carolina GOP leaders are choosing to target the most vulnerable students in our classrooms rather than protect our children.

Kendra R. Johnson (she/her), Equality NC Executive Director, said this today:

"We are outraged that this bill continues to progress through the General Assembly. We are disappointed in the NC GOP's lack of transparency, and fast-tracking of such a harmful piece of legislation. House Bill 755 is an attack on LGBTQ+ youth, educators, and parents. We know that forced outing and erasure in the curriculum have severe impacts on queer and trans young people's safety, mental health and well-being, especially poor youth and youth of color. Over 60% of queer youth report living in unsafe housing, and this bill will place more children directly in harms way. We're heartbroken that this attack on queer youth may increase suicidality and leave life-long trauma for our children. How can members of the healthcare committee ignore these life or death consequences, and push forward a bill that will hurt children and young people?

This bill isn't just bad for students –it's a blow to our entire state. We know from the fallout of the dangerous bathroom ban, HB2, that our economy suffers when extremists pass legislation that excludes people from participating in our economy, tarnishes our state reputation, and prevents businesses from attracting or retaining talent in our state. We are still grappling with the financial impacts of COVID, and the challenges of rising rental prices, and inflation. This bill jeopardizes our children and our economy, while doing nothing to solve the real problems that families across the state face every day. I urge the General Assembly to reject this bill."

Shoshanna Carroll (she/her), Equality NC Communications Director, added:
"Equality NC staff continue to monitor the bill, and we are working to organize support for queer youth and parents impacted by this legislation. We are saddened that our politicians have ignored the lessons to be learned from other states where harmful bills have already proved devastating to young people, especially, over Memorial Day weekend when we remember those who have given their lives for our very freedom to live, speak and love as we uniquely are. We urge the NC legislature to follow the lead of parents, teachers, LGBTQ+ people, business leaders, and healthcare providers in rejecting this bill."

For additional information, or comment please contact Shoshanna Carroll. Continue to follow Equality North Carolina for the latest news and updates related to HB755 and ways you can get involved. To contact representatives about HB755 you can do so here.

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Equality North Carolina builds LGBTQ+ power through advocacy, education, and uplifting the stories of queer and trans North Carolinians in pursuit of racial and social justice.

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