North Carolina legislators have voted to override Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, a law that bans transgender girls and women from joining women’s sports in middle schools, high schools, and colleges.
The House of Representatives voted 74-45 to reverse Cooper’s veto of HB 574, the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.” It was later followed by a successful override in the state Senate.
The new law requires teams at all public and some private schools to designate teams based on sex. It also disallows schools from participating in mixed-sex activities. Furthermore, athletes who want to compete in women's sports must have a birth certificate that, “unambiguously designates the individual as female for purposes of sex-separated sports.”
In addition, the General Assembly also voted to reverse Cooper’s veto of HB 808, which would not allow medical professionals to provide hormone therapy, puberty-blocking drugs or gender-transition procedures to anyone under 18. They also overturned the governor’s veto of SB 49, also known as the “Parent’s Bill of Rights,” which requires teachers to notify parents when students question or express a different gender identity than what is on their records.
These bills all took effect immediately after the overrides.
Cooper condemned the legislature’s decision in a statement, saying the bills discriminate, “makes housing less safe, blocks FEMA disaster recovery funding, hurts the freedom to vote and damages our economy.”
Riley Gaines, a women’s sports advocate, responded positively to the news, sharing a clip of Republican Speaker of the North Carolina House Tim Moore announcing the passage of HB 574.
“Fantastic news!” she wrote.
With the passage of the bill, North Carolina became the 22nd state to restrict medical care for transgender minors.
The passage of the bill was met with some controversy. Democratic state Rep. Sarah Crawford said that by passing the bill, the legislature was violating the oaths they took, adding that it “damages our economy.”
On the other hand, Republican state Sen. Vickie Sawyer said America “must move to protect women and women’s sports,” defending her argument with examples of women who were defeated by transwomen in athletic events.
Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy celebrated the passage of the bill back in April, saying, “Today is a great day for America, for fairness, for families, and most importantly, for female athletes.”
However, President Biden said he would veto the bill, claiming it “targets people for who they are and therefore is discriminatory.” The White House also said that schools, coaches, and athletic associations are already putting rules in place to fairly incorporate transathletes based on “sports, grade levels, and levels of competition.”
Fantastic news! NC house and senate has now officially overridden the veto of Gov Cooper of HB 574, the Fairness in Women's Sports Act.
The bill is now law in North Carolina! It passed with bipartisan support pic.twitter.com/4SLZxmcskW
— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) August 16, 2023