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law into line with the sexual assault statute– something that should have been done when the marital rape exemption was repealed–while retaining all of the archaic exemptions that allow marriage as young as age 14.
Never a dull moment at the legislature. This week a dispute between House Speaker Moore and a senior Republican legislator went public and culminated in Representative Julia Howard being removed as a senior finance committee chair. Great news on one of the many anti-Transgender person bills filed.
This week saw the introduction of two terrible bills. The religious right has had so much success on the medical front passing laws to regulate abortion and abortion providers, they have decided to widen the scope of their activities to deny trans youth medical care (SB 514). The second bill (SB 515) would legalize medical discrimination across the board by introducing a bill that would allow doctors and other medical personnel along with hospitals and other medical practices to deny medical care to anyone for conscientious reasons. It is worthwhile to examine these two bills in detail because they provide important insight into the kind of world these religious extremists desire.
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
Looking at the obstruction and scheming in the US Senate with regard to legislation and judicial candidates, including Amy Coney Barrett.
The Supreme Court of the United States, SCOTUS, is taking up some crucial cases, and the fear is they will reverse precedent and legislate from the bench. If they do this, it would be up to Congress to fix, if and when they are able. Fear of an out of control SCOTUS is why women and allies across the nation protested so mightily during the hearing of Brett Kavanaugh in summer and fall of 2018. See Stop Kavanaugh Events Around NC – starting 9/4/18 and other articles on protests before and during Kavanaugh trial. NOW, SCOTUS seems to be going after not just women’s right to reproductive access but also fair treatment of LGBTQUI people and also city government’s ability to make their own policies.
Charlotte NOW had a “Uni-Tea Queerlesque” Benefit Show and Candidates Forum to kick off Charlotte Pride and remind people to vote in the upcoming local elections. The Aug 10 event was a lot of fun and a huge success. This was a first and everyone loved it!
Events around the state starting 9/4/18, timed with the start of confirmation hearings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for US Supreme Court. Kavanaugh is an extremist and would be devastating to all kinds of people and the environment. Link to action as well.