NC General Assembly overrides several vetoes, creating new state laws

NC House overrides Governor vetos of bills restricting trans youth healthcare, sports participation
Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 6:23 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina General Assembly voted Wednesday to override Governor Roy Cooper’s vetoes on several pieces of legislation, including two bills that opponents say targets transgender children. Wednesday’s votes mean these pieces of legislation will now become law.

The House and Senate voted to override Cooper’s veto of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which now bans transgender women from competing on women’s sports teams.

“We believe it’s important not only to create a level playing field for girls in sports, but also to protect them,” said Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the NC Values coalition. “It’s a safety issue.”

Fitzgerald says the law could help to level the playing field for women and girls across North Carolina.

“We have a place for biological males to play sports,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s on male sports teams. And while we respect them and we respect that they have issues with their gender, we think that it’s unfair to girls to allow them to play on girl’s sports teams.”

The General Assembly also voted to override Cooper’s veto of House Bill 808, which bans gender-affirming care for people under the age of 18 in most cases. Allison Scott with the Campaign for Southern Equality says this law unfairly targets transgender kids.

“I can’t say how much this feels like a personal attack,” said Scott. “I know I am not the person who’s being most harmed in this. It is trans kids. And it sends a clear message from our General Assembly, that LGBTQ people, and especially trans people, do not have the same rights as other North Carolinians.”

Scott says these pieces of legislation will make access to care more difficult for transgender people across the state.

“North Carolina is not about these kind of issues,” said Scott. “North Carolina is a state in the south that has been a shining light of progressive values and this is dragging us backwards and it’s using kids and harming our community.”

Both the House and Senate voted Wednesday to override Cooper’s veto of a piece of legislation called the Parents’ Bill of Rights. Therefore, the bill will also become law without Cooper’s approval.

Governor Roy Cooper issued a statement on the General Assembly’s votes to override his vetoes.

“The legislature finally comes back to pass legislation that discriminates, makes housing less safe, blocks FEMA disaster recovery funding, hurts the freedom to vote and damages our economy,” Cooper said. “Yet they still won’t pass a budget when teachers, school bus drivers and Medicaid Expansion for thousands of working people getting kicked off their health plans every week are desperately needed. These are the wrong priorities, especially when they should be working nights and weekends if necessary to get a budget passed by the end of the month.”