NC speaker: Parents’ bill with LGBTQ limits might be shelved
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina “Parents’ Bill of Rights” measure pushed by Senate Republicans but condemned by LGBTQ activists and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper may not get a final vote in the House before this year’s session ends soon, Speaker Tim Moore said on Wednesday.
The measure was billed by GOP senators as a collection of tools designed to help parents oversee their children’s education and health, and to seek redress when their requests of teachers and administrators aren’t met. Critics have focused on provisions that would bar instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in K-3 public school curricula and would require schools to contact parents about changes in their children’s health and services provided to them.
The bill passed the Senate on a nearly party-line vote two weeks ago, and moved to the Republican-controlled House, where only one affirmative vote would be needed to send it to Cooper, whose veto is likely. Cooper has linked the measure to a new Florida law that opponents labeled the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Moore told reporters Wednesday that GOP leaders have not decided whether to vote on the measure before the annual work session ends — likely around July 1 — with the “political dynamics being what they are.” Republicans would need support from a handful of Democrats for a successful override.
“We’ve counted the votes and right now as it is we don’t see a pathway necessarily to (the bill) becoming law because we don’t have enough Democratic members who have indicated that they would join in on a likely veto override,” Moore said. He said he is hopeful that Republicans will win enough seats in November to make the House GOP majority veto-proof starting in early 2023.
As for the bill’s content, Moore said there are already some laws on the books that may address concerns of legislators about the discussion of sex-related topics in early grades. Comprehensive health education that includes reproductive health topics begins in middle school, for example.
“I want to make sure that we’re very careful and methodical on this,” Moore said. “It doesn’t need to be a political fight.”