North Carolina's Newest Anti-Trans Bill Targets Youths, Criminalizes Doctors

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday April 7, 2021

North Carolina state Sen. Ralph Hise
North Carolina state Sen. Ralph Hise  (Source:Screencap/Foundation for Government Accountability/Youtube)

A trio of North Carolina state lawmakers have introduced a measure that would deny gender affirmation treatment for trans youths under the age of 21 and criminalize doctors who provide them such treatments, NBC News reports.

The bill was written by state Sen. Ralph Hise. Its other two supporters are state Sens. Warren Daniel and Norman Sanderson. The bill is not expected to pass, but it falls in line with a coordinated multi-state effort by anti-LGBTQ organizations seeking to target trans youth.

Lawmakers in 17 states "have introduced measures targeting healthcare for transgender youth amid a campaign encouraged by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Heritage Foundation and other groups aligned with the Republican Party," the Associated Press reported last week.

NBC News notes that the North Carolina bill stands out even in this blizzard of anti-trans legislation in that it "would classify adults between the ages of 18 and 21 as minors under the 'Youth Health Protection Act.' "

The story went on to add: "The measure bars doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery," and provides penalties of medical license revocation and fines of $1,000.

The same bill could provide cover to providers of so-called "conversion therapy" for minors, as it "would not allow the state or any licensing boards to punish people who provide therapy that is consistent with their conscience or religious beliefs."

It is unclear whether that language was intended to counter a bill introduced last week by Democratic state lawmakers that sought to ban so-called "conversion therapy" on minors.

Perhaps more alarming to advocates of trans rights and child safety, however, is a stipulation in the bill that requires state workers (such as educators) "to immediately notify parents in writing if their child displays 'gender nonconformity' or expresses a desire to be treated in a way that is incompatible with the gender they were assigned at birth," the NBC article says.

A similar bill was passed on April 6 by Arkansas state lawmakers, who overrode a veto from Gov. Asa Hutchins, NBC News reported in a separate article. That measure bans gender affirmation treatment for trans individuals under the age of 18.

The bill was too extreme for Hutchins, who had previously signed measures into law that ban transgender students from participating in girls' sports and permit health care professionals to refuse to treat patients based on religious or moral objections. Hutchins had expressed concern that the bill "went too far in interfering with parents and physicians," NBC News noted.

"He said he would have signed the bill had it focused only on gender-confirming surgery, which isn't performed on minors in the state," the report added.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Comments on Facebook