Press Release • April 19, 2023

Equality North Carolina Condemns Advancement of Anti-Trans Sports Legislation

For Immediate Release

Alainna Liloia | Equality NC |

RALEIGH – Today, the North Carolina House passed HB 574, a trans sports ban preventing trans youth from playing the sport that matches their gender. The full Senate will be discussing the companion bill SB 631 tomorrow.

It is enraging to watch legislators target trans youth time and time again, from multiple bills banning access to life-saving healthcare and participation in sports to the "Don't Say Gay" bill subjecting trans students to forced outing. Queer and trans youth already face discrimination at school and struggle with their mental health as a result. Yet, legislators continue to create laws and policies that will only worsen their existing challenges.

Trans sports bans prevent trans youth from living their lives like other kids and take away their chance to have formative experiences in school and in sports. These bans do nothing to benefit girls' or women's sports or to address the real issues facing women and girl athletes, like sexism and a lack of resources.

We know that schools across the nation already have policies in place to both protect trans kids and ensure a level playing field, and those policies are working. Legislators are responding to a problem that does not exist for the sake of scoring political points.

Like all kids, trans kids just want to play sports with their peers. They do not deserve to have their identities called into question by legislators who should be protecting them, or to be made the center of a political debate. They deserve to be kids.

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

We are once again enraged by the actions of our legislators, who continue to make bullying trans kids the centerpiece of their political agenda. Ignoring the many voices who spoke out against HB 574, our lawmakers have moved forward with a bill that does not represent us or our communities. Alongside a slew of other harmful legislation, this bill is a step backwards. And it is a step back down the route of HB 2, which we already saw devastate our state's economy in 2016. Our legislators need to let queer and trans kids be kids, in sports, at school, and in every other facet of their lives.

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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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