Updated 6:30 a.m. as of Aug. 18 to include comment from Elon University Athletic Director Jennifer Strawley, as well as reflect attempted communication with state sen. Amy Galey and Elon University Director of the Gender and LGBTQIA Center.
The North Carolina House and Senate voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a trio of bills targeting the state’s LGBTQ+ communities Aug. 16. These bills will restrict transgender students from participating in school sports, gender affirming healthcare for minors and classroom instruction surrounding gender identity and sexuality.
Republican lawmakers in North Carolina hold supermajorities in both the House and the Senate in the General Assembly, giving them the ability to override vetoes made by Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper.
Republican State Sen. Amy Galey, who represents Alamance and Randolph Counties in District 25, voted in favor of all three bills. Galey was also a cosponsor on Senate Bill 49.
Galey did not respond to Elon News Network’s immediate request to comment.
Starting with the 2023-24 academic year, transgender students will only be allowed to participate on teams that align with their biological sex. The bill also notes only two genders, male and female, for all interscholastic and intramural activities. The vote to override Cooper’s veto on House Bill 574 passed 74-45 in the House and 27-18 in the Senate.
The bill will impact Elon’s 16 Division 1 teams and 26 intramural teams starting in the upcoming 2023-24 academic year. Jennifer Strawley, Elon’s new athletic director, sent Elon News Network the following comment in regards to HB574.
“We are aware of the veto override of House Bill 574 by the General Assembly on Wednesday. The university is committed to supporting its students and providing an inclusive and supportive campus environment that will allow our student-athletes to succeed,” Strawley wrote.
House Bill 808, which also passed 74-45 in the House and 27-18 in the Senate, will prohibit most cases of minors across the state from receiving gender affirming care — such as hormone treatments, puberty-blocking medications and surgical procedures used for gender transition. Violations of this legislation by a medical professional will result in the “revocation of the medical professional's license to practice.”
HB808 also prohibits the use of state funds for gender transition procedures on minors.
Minors who began receiving gender affirming medical treatment prior to Aug. 1 will be able to continue receiving care under HB808, as long as their parents or guardians consent to the treatment and the medical professional deems it to be “in the best interest of the minor.”
SB49 passed 72-47 in the House and 27-18 in the Senate. The bill outlines rules for North Carolina parents and guardians with students enrolled in public elementary schools to be notified if their child changes pronouns at school. The bill also allows parents to review and challenge school material and prohibits instruction on “gender identity, sexual activity, or sexuality” for students in kindergarten through fourth grade.
In a previous interview with Elon News Network, senior Oliver McGowan and student worker at Elon’s Gender and LGBTQIA Center, said that this legislation impacts the entire Elon community.
“I really encourage students to recognize that this is all of our problem right now,” McGowan said. “Even if you aren't from North Carolina, you don't vote in North Carolina, you're here full time as a student for three to five years, so it's really important for us to figure out how we can support our community.”
Luis Garay, director of Elon’s Gender and LGBTQIA Center, declined to comment on the legislation.
Joseph Navin contributed to the reporting of this story.