The following statement was released by Charlotte Pride ‘s Communications Manager Liz Schob following Raleigh politicians’ introduction of SB49 on Tuesday, January 31:
February 1, 2023
Charlotte Pride condemns these continued attacks against our community. LGBTQ+ young people deserve a school environment free of shame and stigmatization. This bill, just like North Carolina’s copycat of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law from last year, would only serve to further marginalize our youth and make it even more difficult for them to access affirming spaces. Queer and trans youth are already vulnerable, and the impact of this bill could have life-threatening consequences.
If passed, North Carolina’s “Parents’ Bill of Rights” would require forcibly outing transgender and gender-nonconforming youth, prohibit even mentioning the existence of the LGBTQ+ community in the classroom, and impose burdensome requirements on already overworked and underpaid teachers and staff. Every child has the right to a school that is safe and welcoming for all. This bill would send a message that LGBTQ+ youth are unsafe and unwelcome in our schools.
This country celebrates freedom of speech and ideas, yet this bill is nothing more than censorship. LGBTQ+ people exist. We’re here. LGBTQ+ youth are in our schools. And they are owed the rights and protection of every other student in the classroom.
To the LGBTQ+ youth, families, teachers, and staff across our state: Never be ashamed of you who you are. Charlotte Pride stands with you now and always.