State bill with LGBTQ limits heads to Senate floor

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina bill that proponents say would give parents greater authority over their children’s education and health is heading to the Senate floor, but critics say the measure would harm young LGBTQ people.

The bill would require public school personnel to alert parents, in most circumstances, before calling their child by a different name or pronoun. It also would prohibit instruction about gender identity and sexuality in K-4 classrooms, with an exception for “student-initiated questions.”

The bill was slated for a floor vote Tuesday after the measure cleared a third committee late Monday following nearly two hours of debate and hearings.

Authors say the bill is needed to keep parents informed about what their children are being taught in schools. Critics warn it could jeopardize the mental health and physical safety of transgender and gender-nonconforming students who could be outed to their parents without consent.

A version of the bill passed the Senate last year and the revised measure is expected to pass the chamber again. It also would have to clear the House, where Republicans are one seat shy of a supermajority and likely would need some Democratic support to push it through.