1 of 2 | North Carolina lawmakers voted Wednesday to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's vetoes on six bills, including a ban on gender-affirming care for minors, restrictions on gender identity discussions in school, as well as a ban on transgender athletes in women's or girls' sports. Photo courtesy of ncstatecapitol
Aug. 17 (UPI) -- North Carolina's Republican supermajority voted Wednesday to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of three bills that target transgender youth, enacting them into law.
The new laws in North Carolina ban gender-affirming care for minors, restrict how gender identity can be discussed in schools and ban transgender athletes from competing on girls' sports teams.
"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," Gov. Cooper said in a statement Wednesday in response to the veto overrides.
Earlier this year, Democratic North Carolina state Rep. Tricia Cotham sealed the GOP's veto-proof supermajority in the state as she announced she would switch party affiliations.
North Carolina lawmakers in the state House and Senate voted for six overrides Wednesday that will also expand access to charter schools and block new home building energy regulations.
"NC House of Representatives overrides six more vetoes," North Carolina's House Speaker Tim Moore wrote Wednesday in a post on X.
Last month, Cooper vetoed the bills with the warning that "Republicans are serving up a triple threat of political culture wars."
The governor's veto of House Bill 808, which bans medical professionals in North Carolina from administering puberty blockers, hormones and surgeries to transgender minors, was overridden in the House with a vote of 74 to 45. The Senate later voted 27 to 18 to override.
Cooper's veto of House Bill 574, which bans transgender women and girls in middle school, high school and college from competing on female sports teams, was overridden Wednesday to become law.
"This is just a mean-spirited bill," state Democratic Rep. Marcia Morey, a former Olympic swimmer, said Wednesday on the House floor. "We're not talking about world-class athletes."
"HB 574 is a rational, common-sense bill that requires biological men to compete against biological men, not biological women, in high school and collegiate sports in NC," bill sponsor Rep. Erin Paré argued last week. "We need to fight for fairness in women's sports, no question."
The governor's veto of a third bill, called the Parents' Bill of Rights, which bans kindergarten through fourth grade teachers from providing classroom instruction on gender identity or sexuality, was also overridden to become law.
Senate Bill 49 "enumerates the rights of parents to direct the upbringing, education, healthcare and mental health of their minor children," the bill states.
North Carolina's House Speaker Tim Moore called Wednesday's overrides "huge wins for North Carolina women, parents and families."
"While Gov. Cooper has tried to stand between parents and their kids, today the NC House will continue to affirm parent's rights, protect female athletes and advocate for the health and safety of our children."