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North Carolina Senate approves 'Parents' Bill of Rights' along party lines, with GOP supermajority

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan and Kyle Ingram, The News & Observer on

Published in News & Features

RALEIGH, N.C. — Using their new supermajority in the state Senate for the first time Tuesday, North Carolina Republicans pushed along party lines to restrict what schools teach and how they can treat LGBTQ students.

Senate Bill 49, called the ""Parents’ Bill of Rights" but criticized as targeting LGBTQ youth, bans curriculum on gender identity, sexual activity or sexuality in kindergarten through fourth grades. It also requires teachers to potentially out LGBTQ students if they change their pronouns.

In debate before SB 49 passed on a 29-18 vote, the only out LGBTQ senator said the bill “does harm.”

The measure also requires schools to make textbooks and other materials available for parental review at the schools and online.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is highly likely to veto the bill if it is approved by the state House and reaches his desk, but Republicans are also likely to attempt to override his veto. The 2022 elections gave the GOP enough votes to override vetoes on their own in the Senate but left them one vote short in the House.

Republican state Sen. Amy Galey of Alamance County said as the bill moved through committees that support or opposition to the bill show different “worldviews” of speakers.


“Parents are the primary decision-makers with respect to their minor children, not their school, or even the children themselves,” Galey said on the Senate floor during the debate.

LGBTQ senator

State Sen. Lisa Grafstein, a Raleigh Democrat, said that “consequences matter” more than the intent of the bill. She said that as far as she knows, she is the only LGBTQ state senator and that when she came out in the 1980s, she “genuinely believed that something was wrong with me.”

She said her high school drama teacher wrote, “Dare to be different,” in her yearbook, and “that small gesture has really stuck with me all these years” because it was what she needed to hear.


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