Press Release • January 31, 2023

Equality NC Denounces NC's Own "Don't Say Gay" Bill

For Immediate Release

Alainna Liloia | Equality NC |

RALEIGH – Today, members of the North Carolina State Senate filed SB 49.

SB 49 is a redux of last year's House Bill 755. Just like HB 755, it targets educators, healthcare professionals, and LGBTQ+ youth and families.The bill would cause serious harm to LGBTQ+ students, making them vulnerable to forced outing and erasure in school curriculum. Like all students, LGBTQ+ students are entitled to learn and thrive in a safe environment and deserve protection and support from their schools. Policies like this NC version of "Don't Say Gay'' would force schools to violate that most basic trust.

Some major impacts of the policy include:

  • An undue burden placed on already overworked and under-resourced educators: SB 49 imposes onerous requirements for documentation on teachers, for even the most simple and uncontroversial lessons.
  • Mandatory notification for parents of changes in student names or pronouns: This provision of the bill functionally mandates outing for transgender young people, putting them at risk of abuse or neglect.
  • Banning accurate and inclusive curriculum on gender and sexuality from grades K-4: The bill requires the removal of all instruction on gender identity and sexuality from school curriculum, claiming it is not "age appropriate."

ENC Executive Director Kendra R. Johnson (she/her) said:

The filing of another "Don't Say Gay'' bill by North Carolina's Senate is a dangerous threat to LGBTQ+ youth that targets educators and students. Erasure from school curriculum and forced outing negatively impacts the health and mental well-being of queer and trans students and results in life-threatening consequences. All students deserve to feel safe in the classroom and to have their identities celebrated, not erased. The bill comes in the context of a stream of anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced across the country, with over 124 already introduced as the 2023 legislative session begins. We urge lawmakers to take a stand against this discriminatory legislation, which will cause disproportionate harm to the most vulnerable in our communities.

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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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