This week there were two significant developments on our issues–one good and one disappointing. The good news is that HB 358, which would have barred transgender girls and young women from participating in school sports designated for females, is dead. The disappointing news is that a bill to raise the marriage age to 18 with no exceptions (HB 41/SB 35) was gutted. The amended bill brings the existing law into line with the sexual assault statute– something that should have been done when the marital rape exemption was repealed–while retaining all of the archaic exemptions that allow marriage as young as age 14.
The NC NOW Legislative Update #9 summary talks about many things –
– Governor Cooper’s proposed budget
– HB 354 to improve hate crime law, gender and also ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, disability, and sexual orientation—all categories not covered by our present law
– legislators interfering in settlement to a lawsuit that extended the time that absentee ballots would be accepted and counted, and introduced a bill to that would ban the Attorney General from settling lawsuits that name legislative leaders without including the legislators in the negotiations.
– response to the voter suppression bill, SB326, following national trends
– North Carolina Republicans have joined the national movement to bar trans women from participating in school sports by introducing HB 358
The NFL is still broken – things look the same as they did when Ray Rice knocked out his then girlfriend in an elevator. Nothing was done about Rice until someone released the video of him actually knocking her out and dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator. The video of them going in with her upright and being dragged out was not enough. More shockingly, before the video was released, the NFL made special pink jerseys promoting him to women! That is right – the pink jerseys had abuser Ray Rice’s number on it. They are ignoring charges against Antonio Brown now, similarly, although so far without the pink jersey.
Attorney Patricia Bradley gave the Fayetteville NOW chapter wonderful insight into the many ways the comprehensive federal law Title IX protects against discrimination, how the reporting and prosecuting systems work, and actions we can take.