NCGOP pushing anti-trans legislation as Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, known for his anti-LGBTQ rants, gets set to announce run for governor

NCGOP pushing anti-trans legislation as Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, known for his anti-LGBTQ rants, gets set to announce run for governor

In last week’s memo, we highlighted six bills introduced by North Carolina Republicans that targeted transgender youth. Just a week later, state Republicans have fast-tracked these bills, and may now pass in both chambers of the legislature.

Here is a brief look back at each bill put forward by Republicans and what they will do if they become law:

  • Senate Bill 631 and its House companion bill, HB 574, ban trans students from participating on an athletic team that aligns with their gender.
  • Senate Bill 636 bans trans and intersex youth from participating in athletics at the middle and high school level.
  • Senate Bill 560 restricts gender-affirming care for minors and introduces unnecessary requirements for youth, families, and health care providers.
  • Senate Bill 639 outlaws life-saving treatment for trans youth by making it illegal for health professionals to provide gender-affirming care.
  • Senate Bill 641 allows medical providers to discriminate in providing health care to trans youth.

There has always been an extremist element of the Republican Party, but it really wasn’t until the Donald Trump presidency that they were emboldened to push forth targeted, discriminatory policies and rhetoric. Through the revival of HB2-like legislation, erasing gun safety laws, targeting educators, and spewing hateful anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, the North Carolina Republican Party appears to be at the forefront of this divisive movement in America. 

North Carolina’s very own Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who has made national headlines for his discriminatory rhetoric, is expected to announce that he’s running for governor in 2024 at an event on Saturday. The timing of these bills fit in well with Robinson’s announcement, as state Republican leadership has made him the de facto party leader when they tasked him with giving the rebuttal to Gov. Roy Cooper’s State of the State speech in March.

  • Robinson has had a long history of demonizing the LGBTQ+ community, with his recent appearance on a podcast being the latest example of the Republican leader spewing hateful comments. During the podcast, Robinson called transgender people “demonic,” the “Antichrist” and said they are “[d]ragging…kids down into the pit of hell.”
  • In a November 2021 sermon at a Winston-Salem church, Robinson compared the gay community to “what the cows leave behind,” and “maggots” and “flies”. A month before that sermon, also in a church, Robinson called all LGBTQ North Carolinians “filth.”

Disgusting rhetoric like this is seemingly what it now takes to get ahead in Republican politics. State Republican leaders have yet to call out Robinson’s hateful comments towards North Carolinians, despite advocates, fellow lawmakers and the White House condemning the discriminatory remarks.

Instead of prioritizing the interests and rights of North Carolinians, state Republicans are passing targeted legislation that aim to erase the freedoms of LGBTQ North Carolinians. 

NC Health News has reported that right-wing extremists across the country have filed more anti-trans legislation so far in 2023 than at any other point in the history of the United States. Just under 500 bills (497) have been filed in 49 states so far in 2023 – that’s 2.8x more anti-trans legislation through April of this year than in all of 2022. 

During the Senate Rules Committee hearing yesterday, Karen Ziglar with Democracy Out Loud spelled it out:

“I’m a member of the LGBTQ community, and I understand that gay people and trans people make many folks uncomfortable. We are the minority. I find it really interesting for Senator Perry to say that the majority of people support this bill. Of course, they do. This has been tested, and one particular party is running this because it’s a way for you to get votes. You’re also running a governor candidate, probably in the next election, who has called my community lower than maggots. This is a direct quote, and he’s gone all over the state talking about how filthy we are. We are human beings, and many of us are here today and our allies because we are really wanting our youth to get a chance to grow up.”

These most recent anti-trans bills filed by North Carolina Republicans are playing a part in making 2023 a historical year in which vulnerable communities are being targeted by extremist politics.

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Patrick Zarcone

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